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Maximizing The Science Returns Of The LINC-NIRVANA Multi-Conjugated Adaptive Optics System

Radhakrishnan Santhakumari, Kalyan Kumar

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Abstract

Earth's fully turbulent atmosphere prevents ground-based optical and near-infrared telescopes (larger than 30 cm) to reach their full potential, i.e. their diffraction-limited capabilities. In order to overcome this limitation, real-time correction of the aberrations caused by the atmosphere is essential. This is done using a technique called Adaptive Optics (AO). Achieving wide-field correction requires an extension to this technique known as Multi-Conjugated Adaptive Optics (MCAO). My PhD concentrated on max- imising the scientific return of one such MCAO system, the LINC-NIRVANA (LN) instrument currently undergoing commissioning at the Large Binocular Telescope. Starting from alignment and calibration in the lab to the on-going commissioning, I have contributed to the optical assembly, integration, verifica- tion, and software development of the LN MCAO system. I also solved a particular challenge faced by the MCAO systems, namely the "partial illumination issue". In addition, I also developed a concept that can improve the AO performance, which we call as the "wind predictive control". Finally, to understand the astrophysical capabilities of an AO system, I studied a pre-main sequence star system, the T Tauri, using observations from two instruments with advanced AO systems capable of providing high-contrast high-resolution near-infrared imagery.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Bailer-Jones, Prof. Dr. Coryn
Place of Publication: Heidelberg, Germany
Date of thesis defense: 22 November 2017
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2017 14:29
Date: 2017
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy > Institute of Physics
Subjects: 520 Astronomy and allied sciences
530 Physics
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