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Session 15 - Interplanetary, Instrumentation.
Oral session, Monday, June 30
Ballroom A, Chair: Victor Pizzo

[15.04] Progress in Active Optics at the NSO/SP Vacuum Tower Telescope

R. R. Radick (PL/GPSS), T. R. Rimmele (National Solar Observatory/Sacramento Peak)

About a year ago, NSO/SP and PL/GPSS jointly began the development of an active optics system for the Vacuum Tower Telescope at Sac Peak. Although the immediate objective of this project is to provide a system for sensing and correcting the slowly varying aberrations in the optical system of the VTT/SP, the system is also intended to provide a platform for further development of low order adaptive optics and ultimately a full atmospheric compensation system for use in solar imaging. A correlating Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor, capable of using solar granulation as its target, and a 97-actuator deformable mirror, manufactured by Xinetics, Inc., are the key components of the new system. During March, 1997, the control loop was closed for the first time at the VTT, and the ability of the wavefront sensor to function using both small sunspots and granulation was successfully demonstrated. Further performance and optimization tests at the VTT are scheduled for May. We will report the results.


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