Palomar AO upgrade

We will upgrade the wavefront sensor (WFS) arm of Palm-3000 (P3K), the adaptive optics (AO) system on the P-200 Hale telescope, with an innovative new design. P3K feeds several instruments: the workhorse infrared camera and spectrograph PHARO, the integral field spectrograph P1640, the visible camera TMAS, visible IFS SWIFT, and soon it will feed DARKNESS a revolutionary optical-IR MKID based camera. The AO system is also foreseen to couple to a diffraction-limited precision radial-velocity (PRV) spectrograph in the immediate future. All of the above will see performance and science benefits from the upgrade.

P3K is a mainstay of JPL and campus researchers (50+ strong group). The new WFS benefits the entire user community, which has strongly backed the AO system in recent campus and JPL polls, and which is markedly in favor of maintaining competitive AO capabilities at Palomar. 

The direct deliverable of this 1 yr project is the installation of an electron multiplying CCD camera based WFS (OCAM 2K from first light imaging, FLI: This impacts AO competitiveness in the following two ways: (1) performance, i.e. improvements in sky-coverage, Strehl ratio, and resilience to atmospheric conditions, and (2) operational robustness. 

© Dimitri Mawet 2017