The adaptive-optics (AO) system at the W. M. Keck Observatory is characterized. We calculate the error budget of the Keck AO system operating in natural guide star mode with a near-infrared imaging camera. The measurement noise and bandwidth errors are obtained by modeling the control loops and recording residual centroids. Results of sky performance tests are presented: The AO system is shown to deliver images with average Strehl ratios of as much as 0.37 at 1.58 μm when a bright guide star is used and of 0.19 for a magnitude 12 star. The images are consistent with the predicted wave-front error based on our error budget estimates.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
(010.1080) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Active or adaptive optics
(010.1330) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric turbulence
(010.7350) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Wave-front sensing
Marcos A. van Dam, David Le Mignant, and Bruce A. Macintosh, "Performance of the Keck Observatory Adaptive-Optics System," Appl. Opt. 43, 5458-5467 (2004)