The Application of Synthetic-Beacon Technology to Astronomy
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH LEXINGTON LINCOLN LAB
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The application of adaptive optics technology to laser-beam control has been under investigation within the military community since the early 1970s. This work has encompassed a wide range of theoretical investigations as well as an impressive suite of laboratory and field experiments. During this period a number of real-time systems incorporating several hundred degrees of freedom have been built and tested, and the technology to extend this number by at least an order of magnitude is now under development. To exploit adaptive- optics concepts in the construction of astronomical telescopes, the budgetary restrictions under which this field of research operates must be considered and improvements in system performance must be carefully balanced against equipment complexity, reliability, and cost. To accomplish this design trade-off, a set of concise analytic models describing the essential properties of a laser guide- star phase-conjugation system has been assembled. With the aid of these models, an optimization strategy for mating adaptive optics to a 4-m-class optical telescope has been developed research shows that such a system might be expected to improve the effective atmospheric seeing conditions by nearly a factor of 10 within the isoplanatic patch of the turbulence probe.
- Lasers and Masers
- Optical Detection and Detectors