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|Title: ||Adaptive optic demonstrators for extremely large telescopes|
|Authors: ||Campbell, Michael Aloysius|
|Supervisor(s): ||Evans, Chris|
|Issue Date: ||27-Jun-2011|
|Publisher: ||The University of Edinburgh|
|Abstract: ||The next generation of ground-based optical/infrared (IR) telescopes will have primary mirrors
of up to 42 m. To take advantage of the large potential increase in angular resolution,
adaptive optics will be essential to overcome the resolution limits set by atmospheric turbulence.
Novel techniques such as Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) and Multi-Object
Adaptive Optics (MOAO) are being developed to achieve near diffraction-limited images over
large fields-of-view. This thesis concerns the development of MCAO and MOAO pathfinders.
Specifically, the construction of CANARY, aMOAO demonstrator, and the on-sky performance
and scientific exploitation of the Multi-conjugate Adaptive optics Demonstrator (MAD).
CANARY is under construction for the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) in La Palma
and contains a telescope simulator to allow testing of the set-up in the laboratory. The simulator
contains a natural guide star emulator, turbulence phase screens, and telescope relay optics. The
work presented here concerns the integration of the various components in relation to numerical
models and the CANARY specifications.
MAD was a near-IR imager on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Science demonstration
observations were taken of R136, the young, massive cluster situated in the 30 Doradus
star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud. These data were used here to determine
the MCAO performance across the ~1’x1’ field-of-view, for different pointings with respect
to the guide stars, finding high Strehl ratios and relatively uniform corrections across the fields.
The MAD data are then used to construct radial surface brightness profiles for R136, providing
new insights into intriguing past results from the Hubble Space Telescope. The MAD
data reveal that the profile is strongly asymmetric, removing the need for dramatic dynamical
evolution of the cluster in the recent past, and highlighting the importance of considering asymmetries
when analysing clusters further afield. The MAD data, combined with other near-IR
imaging from the VLT, are then used to investigate the nature of candidate young stellar objects
from recent observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope.|
|Sponsor(s): ||Marie Curie fellowship|
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
|Appears in Collections:||Physics thesis and dissertation collection|
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