We report results that were obtained with two generations (Generation I and Generation II) of a laser-guidestar adaptive-optics system that is capable of continuous compensation at 65-Hz (Generation I) and 130-Hz (Generation II) closed-loop bandwidths on a 1.5-m telescope. We used a copper-vapor laser that was focused at a 10-km range as the laser guide star and a range-gated Shack-Hartmann sensor to operate a continuous-facesheet deformable mirror that controlled either 149 or 241 actuators. We used a separate full-aperture sensor and a steering mirror to remove overall tilt. System performance was measured by imaging stars with a high-resolution CCD camera in a narrow spectral band that was centered at 0.88 μm, from which we computed point-spread functions, optical transfer functions, and Strehl ratios. Using the laser guide star, we achieved a FWHM image resolution of 0.13 arcsec and a Strehl ratio of 0.48. Using a natural guide star, we achieved a Strehl ratio of 0.64 at 0.13 arcsec FWHM resolution. We also obtained compensated images of the Trapezium region in Orion in H-α light, using only the laser guide star.
© 1994 Optical Society of America
R. Q. Fugate, B. L. Ellerbroek, C. H. Higgins, M. P. Jelonek, W. J. Lange, A. C. Slavin, W. J. Wild, D. M. Winker,†, J. M. Wynia, J. M. Spinhirne, B. R. Boeke, R. E. Ruane, J. F. Moroney,†, M. D. Oliker, D. W. Swindle, and R. A. Cleis§, "Two generations of laser-guide-star adaptive-optics experiments at the Starfire Optical Range," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 11, 310-324 (1994)