We propose ground-layer adaptive optics (GLAO) to improve the seeing on the
European Extremely Large Telescope. Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensors (WFSs) with laser guide stars (LGSs) will experience significant spot elongation due to off-axis observation. This spot elongation influences the design of the laser launch location, laser power, WFS detector, and centroiding algorithm for LGS GLAO on an extremely large telescope. We show, using end-to-end numerical simulations, that with a noise-weighted matrix-vector-multiply reconstructor, the performance in terms of 50% ensquared energy (EE) of the side and central launch of the lasers is equivalent, the matched filter and weighted center of gravity centroiding algorithms are the most promising, and approximately
undersampled pixels are optimal. Significant improvement in the 50% EE can be observed with a few tens of photons/subaperture/frame, and no significant gain is seen by adding more than 200 photons/subaperture/frame. The LGS GLAO is not particularly sensitive to the sodium profile present in the mesosphere nor to a short-timescale (less than
) evolution of the sodium profile. The performance of LGS GLAO is, however, sensitive to the atmospheric turbulence profile.
© 2011 Optical Society of America