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16 September 2011 Status report on the Large Binocular Telescope's ARGOS ground-layer AO system
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ARGOS, the laser-guided adaptive optics system for the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), is now under construction at the telescope. By correcting atmospheric turbulence close to the telescope, the system is designed to deliver high resolution near infrared images over a field of 4 arc minute diameter. Each side of the LBT is being equipped with three Rayleigh laser guide stars derived from six 18 W pulsed green lasers and projected into two triangular constellations matching the size of the corrected field. The returning light is to be detected by wavefront sensors that are range gated within the seeing-limited depth of focus of the telescope. Wavefront correction will be introduced by the telescope's deformable secondary mirrors driven on the basis of the average wavefront errors computed from the respective guide star constellation. Measured atmospheric turbulence profiles from the site lead us to expect that by compensating the ground-layer turbulence, ARGOS will deliver median image quality of about 0.2 arc sec across the JHK bands. This will be exploited by a pair of multi-object near-IR spectrographs, LUCIFER1 and LUCIFER2, with 4 arc minute field already operating on the telescope. In future, ARGOS will also feed two interferometric imaging instruments, the LBT Interferometer operating in the thermal infrared, and LINC-NIRVANA, operating at visible and near infrared wavelengths. Together, these instruments will offer very broad spectral coverage at the diffraction limit of the LBT's combined aperture, 23 m in size.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.


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