VASAO is an ambitious project that explores new conceptual direction in the field of astronomical adaptive optics. In the era of 8 meter and larger telescopes, and their instrument costs and telescope time pressure, there is a natural niche for such ground-breaking conceptual development in the 4 meter class telescope. The aim of VASAO is to provide diffraction limited imaging in the visible with 100% sky coverage; the challenge (but potential rewards) arises from the simultaneity of these requirements. To this end, CFHT is conducting a feasibility study based on the polychromatic guide star concept (Foy et al., 1995 ) coupled with a high order curvature AO system, presented in this paper. A number of experiments have been started (or carried out) to study the challenges and limits of the techniques involved in an operational setting; these include the FlyEyes detector, and a polychromatic tip-tilt test on natural stars. Because such a project straddles such a fine line between facility instrument and experimental facility, careful thought has to be given to the balance between modes of operations and potential astrophysical targets.© (2008) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.