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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Vol. 17, Iss. 7 — Mar. 30, 2009
  • pp: 4920–4931

Effects of laser beam propagation and saturation on the spatial shape of sodium laser guide stars

Fabien Marc, Hugues Guillet de Chatellus, and Jean-Paul Pique  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 7, pp. 4920-4931 (2009)

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The possibility to produce diffraction-limited images by large telescopes through Adaptive Optics is closely linked to the precision of measurement of the position of the guide star on the wavefront sensor. In the case of laser guide stars, many parameters can lead to a strong distortion on the shape of the LGS spot. Here we study the influence of both the saturation of the sodium layer excited by different types of lasers, the spatial quality of the laser mode at the ground and the influence of the atmospheric turbulence on the upward propagation of the laser beam. Both shape and intensity of the LGS spot are found to depend strongly on these three effects with important consequences on the precision on the wavefront analysis.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1080) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Active or adaptive optics
(010.1300) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric propagation
(010.1330) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric turbulence
(010.7350) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Wave-front sensing
(110.4280) Imaging systems : Noise in imaging systems
(110.6770) Imaging systems : Telescopes

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: August 1, 2008
Revised Manuscript: November 4, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: November 17, 2008
Published: March 16, 2009

Fabien Marc, Hugues Guillet de Chatellus, and Jean-Paul Pique, "Effects of laser beam propagation and saturation on the spatial shape of sodium laser guide stars," Opt. Express 17, 4920-4931 (2009)

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