The multi-conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) system for solar observations at the 1.6-meter clear aperture New Solar Telescope (NST) of the Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) in Big Bear Lake, California, enables us to study fundamental design questions in solar MCAO experimentally. It is the pathfinder for MCAO of the upcoming Daniel K. Inoyue Solar Telescope (DKIST). This system is very flexible and offers various optical configurations such as different sequencings of deformable mirrors (DMs) and wavefront sensors (WFS), which are hard to simulate conclusively. We show preliminary results and summarize the design, and 2016 updates to the MCAO system. The system utilizes three DMs. One of which is conjugate to the telescope pupil, and the other two to distinct higher altitudes. The pupil DM can be either placed into a pupil image up- or downstream of the high-altitude DMs. The high-altitude DMs can be separately and quickly conjugated to various altitudes between 2 and 8 km. Three Shack-Hartmann WFS units are available, one for low-order, multi-directional sensing and two high-order on-axis sensing.
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Dirk Schmidt ; Nicolas Gorceix ; Jose Marino ; Thomas Berkefeld ; Thomas Rimmele, et al.
Progress in multi-conjugate adaptive optics at Big Bear Solar Observatory
", Proc. SPIE 9909, Adaptive Optics Systems V, 990929 (August 4, 2016); doi:10.1117/12.2232087; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2232087