The Optical Design of a Visible Adaptive Optics System for the Magellan Telescope
AdvisorClose, Laird M.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe Magellan Adaptive Optics system will achieve first light in November of 2012. This AO system contains several subsystems including the 585-actuator concave adaptive secondary mirror, the Calibration Return Optic (CRO) alignment and calibration system, the CLIO 1-5 μm IR science camera, the movable guider camera and active optics assembly, and the W-Unit, which contains both the Pyramid Wavefront Sensor (PWFS) and the VisAO visible science camera. In this dissertation, we present details of the design, fabrication, assembly, alignment, and laboratory performance of the VisAO camera and its optical components. Many of these components required a custom design, such as the Spectral Differential Imaging Wollaston prisms and filters and the coronagraphic spots. One component, the Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector (ADC), required a unique triplet design that had until now never been fabricated and tested on sky. We present the design, laboratory, and on-sky results for our triplet ADC. We also present details of the CRO test setup and alignment. Because Magellan is a Gregorian telescope, the ASM is a concave ellipsoidal mirror. By simulating a star with a white light point source at the far conjugate, we can create a double-pass test of the whole system without the need for a real on-sky star. This allows us to test the AO system closed loop in the Arcetri test tower at its nominal design focal length and optical conjugates. The CRO test will also allow us to calibrate and verify the system off-sky at the Magellan telescope during commissioning and periodically thereafter. We present a design for a possible future upgrade path for a new visible Integral Field Spectrograph. By integrating a fiber array bundle at the VisAO focal plane, we can send light to a pre-existing facility spectrograph, such as LDSS3, which will allow 20 mas spatial sampling and R~1,800 spectra over the band 0.6-1.05 μm. This would be the highest spatial resolution IFU to date, either from the ground or in space.
Degree ProgramGraduate College