OPTICON FP7 (2009-2012) WP1 - Adaptive Optics Systems

Please note this page is for historical reference only as OPTICON FP7 (2009-2012) is complete.

WP leader: Jean-Luc Beuzit

Adaptive optics technology, using both natural and laser guide stars, is the key technology for the next major advance in ground-based optical-IR astronomy. The primary goal of this set of activities is to design and develop Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics systems for existing large telescopes (Large Binocular Telescope, Very Large Telescope, William Herschel Telescope), to upgrade extent Adaptive Optics systems for a Solar telescope (GREGOR) and to upgrade the Very Large Telescope Planet Finder instrument (SPHERE) to maintain its competitiveness in the period 2010-2012. In addition to their direct impact on European research quality, these programmes have long-term impact as pathfinders for the future 42 m European Extremely Large Telescope and for the 4 m European Solar Telescope. The secondary objective of this Joint Research Activity is to develop Adaptive Optics key technologies required by the existing European Adaptive Optics Facilities. Critical technologies addressed are: Sodium laser sources at 589 nm for high signal to noise wavefront sensing, real time computer platforms (hardware and software) for both high order and flexible low order AO systems, optimum control algorithms for new Adaptive Optics concepts (multi-Object AO), calibration of large deformable mirrors and operation strategies for adaptive telescopes.