Vol 14, No 4

Improvement in the performance of solar adaptive optics

Xiao-Fang Zhang, Lian-Qi Wang


Abstract Adaptive optics (AO), which provides diffraction limited imaging over a field-of-view (FOV), is a powerful technique for solar observation. In the tomographic approach, each wavefront sensor (WFS) is looking at a single reference that acts as a guide star. This allows a 3D reconstruction of the distorted wavefront to be made. The correction is applied by one or more deformable mirrors (DMs). This technique benefits from information about atmospheric turbulence at different layers, which can be used to reconstruct the wavefront extremely well. With the assistance of the MAOS software package, we consider the tomography errors and WFS aliasing errors, and focus on how the performance of a solar telescope (pointing toward zenith) is related to atmospheric anisoplanatism. We theoretically quantify the performance of the tomographic solar AO system. The results indicate that the tomographic AO system can improve the average Strehl ratio of a solar telescope in a 10" − 80" diameter FOV by only employing one DM conjugated to the telescope pupil. Furthermore, we discuss the effects of DM conjugate altitude on the correction achievable by the AO system by selecting two atmospheric models that differ mainly in terms of atmospheric properties at ground level, and present the optimum DM conjugate altitudes for different observation sites.


Keywords instrumentation: adaptive optics — atmospheric effects — solar system

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