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7 August 2014 Swimming with ShARCS: comparison of on-sky sensitivity with model predictions for ShaneAO on the Lick Observatory 3-meter telescope
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The Lick Observatory's Shane 3-meter telescope has been upgraded with a new infrared instrument (ShARCS - Shane Adaptive optics infraRed Camera and Spectrograph) and dual-deformable mirror adaptive optics (AO) system (ShaneAO). We present first-light measurements of imaging sensitivity in the Ks band. We compare mea- sured results to predicted signal-to-noise ratio and magnitude limits from modeling the emissivity and throughput of ShaneAO and ShARCS. The model was validated by comparing its results to the Keck telescope adaptive optics system model and then by estimating the sky background and limiting magnitudes for IRCAL, the pre- vious infra-red detector on the Shane telescope, and comparing to measured, published results. We predict that the ShaneAO system will measure lower sky backgrounds and achieve 20% higher throughput across the JHK bands despite having more optical surfaces than the current system. It will enable imaging of fainter objects (by 1-2 magnitudes) and will be faster to reach a fiducial signal-to-noise ratio by a factor of 10-13. We highlight the improvements in performance over the previous AO system and its camera, IRCAL.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Srikar Srinath, Rosalie McGurk, Constance Rockosi, Renate Kupke, Donald Gavel, Gerald Cabak, David Cowley, Michael Peck, Christopher Ratliff, Elinor Gates, Daren Dillon, Andrew Norton, and Marc Reining "Swimming with ShARCS: comparison of on-sky sensitivity with model predictions for ShaneAO on the Lick Observatory 3-meter telescope", Proc. SPIE 9148, Adaptive Optics Systems IV, 91482Z (7 August 2014);


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