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1 November 2010 Adaptive optics for the CHARA array II
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Abstract
The efficiency of the CHARA Array has proven satisfactory for a wide variety of scientific programs enabled by the first-generation beam combination and detector systems. With multi-beam combination and more ambitious scientific goals, improvements in throughput and efficiency will be highly leveraged. Engineering data from several years of nightly operations are used to infer atmospheric characteristics and raw instrumental visibility in both classic optical and single-mode fiber beam combiners. This information is the basis for estimates of potential gains that could be afforded by the implementation of adaptive optics. In addition to the very important partial compensation for higher order atmosphere-induced wavefront errors, the benefits include reduction of static and quasi-static aberrations, reduction of residual tilt error, compensation for differential atmospheric refraction, and reduction of diffractive beam propagation losses, each leading to improved flux throughput and instrumental visibility, and to associated gains in operability and scientific productivity.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
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