Gemini Preprint #6

Jim Oschmann, Doug Simons
Gemini 8m Telescopes Project, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson AZ 85719


The Gemini 8 Meter Telescopes performance with active and adaptive optics as a system is given. The telescopes are being designed to deliver near diffraction limited images at infrared wavelengths to the focal plane. This will be achieved with a combination of innovative telescope design, a fully active control system and a natural guide star adaptive optics (AO) system for the Mauna Kea Telescope. The predicted delivered performance while under full active control is given at 2.2 microns. The top level AO system error budget is presented including the effects of instrumentation.

The Gemini Telescopes have been designed from the outset to be fully active; from control of the primary mirror surfaces and positioning of the secondary to ventilation of the enclosure by control over the ventilation gates. Descriptions of the concepts used in the various subsystems have been published previously. Here, we will emphasize the system level interactions between the Gemini Adaptive Optics System and the telescope and instruments. This includes a performance summary of how the telescope operates with and without AO.

First, the current system concept is outlined, which includes wavefront sensors/guiders in the following areas:

Acquisition and Guiding System:Peripheral Wavefront Sensors
Scientific Instruments:On Instrument Wavefront Sensors
Adaptive Optics System:Facility Wavefront Sensor

The system performance depends upon the interactions of these three key sensor areas. For non-AO use, both peripheral and on instrument wavefront sensors may be used to support fast and slow guiding and active control of the telescope alignment and wavefront. For AO use, combinations of all three types of wavefront sensors may be used for adaptive atmospheric compensation in addition to the functions listed above. The system is designed to quickly change between modes of operation (AO to non-AO and back) under remote control.

To appear in Proc. SPIE 2871, "Optical Telescopes of Today and Tomorrow".

Download the PostScript file.

Ruth A. Kneale / / November 15, 1996