Previous abstract Next abstract
A high power laser system has been adapted to generate a sodium-layer guide star for use in an adaptive optics system for large astronomical telescopes. The laser system consists of a set of copper vapor lasers which pump a flowing liquid dye laser. The dye laser is tuned to the 589 nm sodium D2 line resonance, corrected to produce a flat wave front for minimum divergence angle and phase modulated to give a spectral profile which closely matches that of the mesospheric sodium layer. The pulse format of the laser is adjusted to avoid saturation effects. Design considerations for the laser system parameters, construction details and performance details are presented. Plans for a compact version at power levels required for adaptive optics systems in the visible are also presented.
Wednesday program listing