Adaptive optics for the CHARA array

Theo A. Ten Brummelaar*, Laszlo Sturmann, Judit Sturmann, Stephen T. Ridgway, John D. Monnier, Michael J. Ireland, Xiao Che, Harold A. McAlister, Nils H. Turner, P. G. Tuthill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The CHARA Array is a six telescope optical/IR interferometer run by the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy of Georgia State University and is located at Mount Wilson Observatory just to the north of Los Angeles California. The CHARA Array has the largest operational baselines in the world and has been in regular use for scientific observations since 2004. In 2011 we received funding from the NSF to begin work on Adaptive Optics for our six telescopes. Phase I of this project, fully funded by the NSF grant, consists of designing and building wavefront sensors for each telescope that will also serve as tip/tilt detectors. Having tip/tilt at the telescopes, instead of in the laboratory, will add several magnitudes of sensitivity to this system. Phase I also includes a slow wavefront sensor in the laboratory to measure non-common path errors and small deformable mirrors in the laboratory to remove static and slowly changing aberrations. Phase II of the project will allow us to place high-speed deformable mirrors at the telescopes thereby enabling full closed loop operation. We are currently seeking funding for Phase II. This paper will describe the scientific rational and design of the system and give the current status of the project.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems III
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventAdaptive Optics Systems III - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 1 Jul 20126 Jul 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceAdaptive Optics Systems III


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