The GTC AO system designed and developed during the last years is based on a single deformable mirror with 21 x 21 actuators, conjugated to the telescope pupil, and a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor with 20 x 20 subapertures, using an OCAM2 camera. The GTCAO system will provide a corrected beam with a Strehl Ratio (SR) of 0.65 in K-band with bright natural guide stars. This paper reports the updated status of the integration of GTCAO in the IAC laboratory, and the results obtained in the first tests carried out to evaluate the performance of the system, before the complete characterization and the verification of the requirements. The wavefront sensor verification has been completed, and it has been integrated in the optical bench together with the corrector optics including the CILAS deformable mirror. The calibration system, also mounted on the optical bench, includes light sources used to tune, characterise and calibrate the whole system. It also simulates the atmospheric turbulence and the telescope, delivering an aberrated wavefront used to debug the whole control system, and to test the real time control software, the servo loop and different servo control strategies. Finally the Test Camera has been also integrated at the science focus to evaluate the performance.
The Gran Telescopio Canarias Adaptive Optics (GTCAO) will measure the wavefront with a Shack-Hartmann sensor. This wavefront sensor (WFS) is based on the CCD220, an electron-multiplying CCD (EMCCD) that achieves sub-electron readout noise, increasing the signal to noise ratio when weak natural guide stars (NGS) are used as reference. GTCAO will start its operation in telescope with NGS, using only one wavefront sensor, and later it will incorporate a Laser Guide Star (LGS) and consequently a second WFS, also based on an EMCCD. Both EMCCDs and a third one used as spare, have been characterized and compared including the system gain, electron- multiplication gain, readout noise vs gain, excess noise and linearity. The EM gain calibration is important to keep all EMCCD channels in the linear regime and the camera manufacturer carries it out, but it is reported that the multiplication gain may suffer ageing and degradation even if the camera is not in use. This suggests the need to monitor this ageing. In this paper it is proposed and tested a procedure for predictive maintenance that re-characterize the system gain, electron- multiplication gain and linearity periodically in order to predict the eventual ageing of the EMCCD multiplying registers. This procedure can be carried out quickly while the detector is installed in the WFS and in operational status. In order to provide the required illumination, the GTCAO calibration system is used.
The Gran Telescopio Canarias Adaptive Optics (GTCAO) is a single-conjugated post-focal system with a Shack Hartmann wavefront sensor, and one Deformable Mirror (DM) conjugated to the pupil. The optical design for tip-tilt correction includes two different mirrors, DM and the telescope M2, being M2 also used for off-loading the DM to avoid reaching its stroke limits. This optical configuration is open to different control strategies that have been simulated with Matlab. Later it has also been simulated using Durham Adaptive optics Real-time Controller (DARC) and its AO simulator, DASP. Finally some preliminary laboratory results are presented.
The Gran Telescopio Canarias Adaptive Optics (GTCAO) is a single-conjugated post-focal system with a Shack Hartmann wavefront sensor working at visible wavelength and one Deformable Mirror (DM) conjugated to the pupil. GTCAO does not include a fast tip-tilt mirror in its optical bench so it relies on the telescope secondary mirror (M2) to correct low frequency tip-tilt and offload the DM. This paper describes specific details of the software implementation of the mirror control for GTCAO, analyses its computational needs, presents the series of tests performed on the newly designed AO closed loop, and summarises software optimizations and operating system configurations set in order to optimise computer performance in the available hardware architecture
This contribution is focused on the innovative aspects of the design of the Laser Guide Star (LGS) Facility for the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) Adaptive Optics (GTCAO) System . After a trade-off process considering different alternatives, a preliminary opto-mechanical design was defined, based on a “TOPTICA SodiumStar” laser to be launched on-axis. To maximize throughput, different novelties around the optical, and mechanical design of the Laser Launch System, including the Laser Head, the Beam Transfer Optics and the Launch Telescope are emphasized in this paper. In particular, all the elements of the Laser Launch System have been compacted to be placed at the backside envelope of the GTC M2 mechatronics. To fit in that envelope the thermal enclosure of the Laser Head had to be redefined to avoid mechanical interferences and science beam vignetting. An innovative closed-loop Laser Head cooling approach was defined to be also arranged at the backside of GTC M2. Performance simulations running in parallel to the on-axis LGS design could not determine any difference in performance between the on-axis and the off-axis launch. Hence, considering the higher packaging and maintenance complexity required by the on-axis launch, GTC decided to define the off-axis configuration as the new baseline approach. All the solutions already defined for the on-axis approach that were applicable to the new off-axis baseline were reused. To reduce the cost of future upgrades, the LGS design allows generating and launching several LGS with just one launch telescope splitting the light from the Laser Head. In parallel with keeping the volume of the facility to a minimum, an effort to keep its maintenance as simple as possible has been also made to avoid the impact on the telescope operational costs.
EMIR is the NIR imager and multi-object spectrograph common user instrument for the GTC and it has recently passed its first light on sky. EMIR was built by a Consortium of Spanish and French institutes led by the IAC. EMIR has finished its AIV phase at IAC facilities and it is now in commissioning on sky at GTC telescope, having completed the first run. During previous cool downs the EMIR subsystems have been integrated in the instrument progressively for verifying its functionality and performance. In order to fulfil the requirements, prepare the instrument to be in the best conditions for installation in the telescope and to solve unexpected electronics drawbacks, some changes in the implementation have been accomplished during AIV. In this paper it is described the adjustments, modifications and lessons learned related to electronics along AIV stages and the commissioning in the GTC. This includes actions in different subsystems: Hawaii2 detector and its controller electronics, Detector translation Unit, Multi object slit, wheels for filters and grisms, automatisms, vacuum, cryogenics and general electronics.
Since the beginning of the development of the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), an Adaptive Optics (AO) system was considered necessary to exploit the full diffraction-limited potential of the telescope. The GTC AO system designed during the last years is based on a single deformable mirror conjugated to the telescope pupil, and a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor with 20 x 20 subapertures, using an OCAM2 camera. The GTCAO system will provide a corrected beam with a Strehl Ratio (SR) of 0.65 in K-band with bright natural guide stars.
Most of the subsystems have been manufactured and delivered. The upgrade for the operation with a Laser Guide Star (LGS) system has been recently approved. The present status of the GTCAO system, currently in its laboratory integration phase, is summarized in this paper.
The Near Infrared Spectrograph and Photometer (NISP) is one of the instruments on board the ESA EUCLID mission. The Universidad Polit´ecnica de Cartagena and Instituto de Astrof´ısica de Canarias are responsible of the Instrument Control Unit of the NISP (NI-ICU) in the Euclid Consortium. The NI-ICU hardware is developed by CRISA (Airbus Defence and Space), and its main functions are: communication with the S/C and the Data Processing Unit, control of the Filter and Grism Wheels, control of the Calibration Unit and thermal control of the instrument. This paper presents the NI-ICU status of definition and design at the end of the detailed design phase.
The Adaptive optics for GTC is a single conjugated post focal AO system placed in the Nasmyth platform over a static optical table. It has been designed initially for natural guide star and in the later project phase adapted to one laser guide star. The AO system is composed of the following subsystems: wavefront corrector, wavefront sensor, structure, calibration system and test camera. This paper presents the hardware electronics to support all these subsystems including a real time control introduction.
Cryostats are closed chambers that hinder the monitoring of materials, structures or systems installed therein. This paper presents a webcam-based measurement and monitoring system, which can operate under vacuum and cryogenic conditions to be mainly used in astrophysical applications. The system can be configured in two different assemblies: wide field that can be used for mechanism monitoring and narrow field, especially useful in cryogenic precision measurements with a resolution up to 4 microns/pixel.
The Near Infrared Spectrograph and Photometer (NISP) is one of the instruments on board the ESA EUCLID mission. The Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena and Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias are responsible of the Instrument Control Unit of the NISP (NI-ICU) in the Euclid Consortium. The NI-ICU main functions are: communication with the S/C and the Data Processing Unit, control of the Filter and Grism Wheels, control of the Calibration Unit and thermal control of the instrument. This paper presents the NI-ICU status of definition and design at the end of the preliminary design phase.
In order to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of HARMONI (E-ELT first light visible and near-infrared integral field VIR
spectrometer), a pupil mask has been identified to be included at the fore-optics to limit the background radiation coming
into the spectrographs. This mask should rotate synchronously with the telescope pupil during observations, taking into
account the combined effects of the telescope tracking and the de-rotation of the FOV. The implementation of the pupil
mask functionality will require complex movements with high precision at cryogenic temperatures which implies an
important technological challenge.
This paper details a set of experiments completed to gain knowledge and experience in order to accomplish the design
and control of cryogenic mechanisms reaching this type of pupil motion. The conceptual design of the whole mechanism
started from the feedback acquired from those experiments is also described in the following sections.
Mathematical Morphology appears as a theory that can solve some drawbacks of the classical lineal image processing. Linear filters generate a spatial distortion from initial image, what gives as a result that specific algorithms are usually needed for each process with a complexity that can not be implemented in VLSI systems for Real Time Image Processing. Mathematical Morphology is an alternative method to overcome the inherent drawbacks of the linear processing based on the comparison of an initial image with some well known geometric figures. In this paper we present the implementation of a specific processor that computes Mathematical Morphology (MM) basic operations. Using a clock frequency of 250 MHz this processor is able to handle real time 512x512 pixels video images. Mathematical Morphology allows the nonlinear processing of images and it is based on Dilation and Erosion operations using a geometric figure called Structural Elements (SE). More complex image processing can be performed using these basic operations. In this implementation the structural element of 3x3 pixels was chosen. 0.6micrometers HgaAsIV standard cells technology, from Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation, has been used achieving a logic level gate description with the possibility of migration to another technologies.
This paper describes an ATM transceiver implementation with add/drop function over SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) able to handle STM-16c (OC-48c) signals. The design has been developed using Vitesse HGaAs-IV technology using DCFL (Direct Coupled FET Logic) standard cells and obtaining, in this way, a logic gate level description which could be easily exportable to any technology.