Laser guide stars wavefront sensors for the EELT

Lombini, Matteo (2011) Laser guide stars wavefront sensors for the EELT , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Astronomia, 23 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3706.
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The Adaptive Optics is the measurement and correction in real time of the wavefront aberration of the star light caused by the atmospheric turbulence, that limits the angular resolution of ground based telescopes and thus their capabilities to deep explore faint and crowded astronomical objects. The lack of natural stars enough bright to be used as reference sources for the Adaptive Optics, over a relevant fraction of the sky, led to the introduction of artificial reference stars. The so-called Laser Guide Stars are produced by exciting the Sodium atoms in a layer laying at 90km of altitude, by a powerful laser beam projected toward the sky. The possibility to turn on a reference star close to the scientific targets of interest has the drawback in an increased difficulty in the wavefront measuring, mainly due to the time instability of the Sodium layer density. These issues are increased with the telescope diameter. In view of the construction of the 42m diameter European Extremely Large Telescope a detailed investigation of the achievable performances of Adaptive Optics becomes mandatory to exploit its unique angular resolution . The goal of this Thesis was to present a complete description of a laboratory Prototype development simulating a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor using Laser Guide Stars as references, in the expected conditions for a 42m telescope. From the conceptual design, through the opto-mechanical design, to the Assembly, Integration and Test, all the phases of the Prototype construction are explained. The tests carried out shown the reliability of the images produced by the Prototype that agreed with the numerical simulations. For this reason some possible upgrades regarding the opto-mechanical design are presented, to extend the system functionalities and let the Prototype become a more complete test bench to simulate the performances and drive the future Adaptive Optics modules design.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Lombini, Matteo
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze matematiche, fisiche ed astronomiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
adaptive optics optical design
Data di discussione
11 Aprile 2011

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