Seminar Series

Rise of the machines: Robo-AO and the evolution of adaptive optics

Christoph Baranec, Caltech

09 Sep 2012 - 15:30

The 60-inch telescope at Palomar Observatory is host to Robo-AO, the first automated laser adaptive optics system in the world. By fully robotizing and sequencing this complex opto-electronic machine, we are able to execute large scale surveys, monitor long-term astrophysical dynamics and characterize newly discovered transients, all at the visible diffraction limit. Robo-AO is now wrapping up a month-long science demonstration in addition to seven other shared-risk programs. A clone of Robo-AO is in development for the 2-m IGO telescope in India, as well as a laser-less variant for the 1-m telescope at Table Mountain, CA. A low-noise wide-field infrared imager and tip-tilt sensor will be added to the Palomar system in mid-2013 to increase the available sky coverage and allow deeper visible imaging using AO sharpened infrared tip-tilt guide sources.

LCO Seminar Series,
6740 Cortona Dr, Suite 102,
Goleta, CA 93117