Shane Adaptive Optics Workshop #2

Hello fellow AO users

We are currently evaluating how the Shane adaptive optics / ShARCS instrument can be upgraded to improve scientific productivity and overall scientific impact.

In order to compete in today's observational astronomy environment this AO system must excel in superb image quality and rapidity with which it performs science observations. This allows it to be competitive with a 3 meter aperture in an era of 5-10 meter telescopes.

We are identifying a list of high-payoff items that we can work on, and we are enthusiastically asking for your inputs. Your experience using the instrument is a very valuable in this regard. Here are a few examples of what we thought could have significant general benefit: (LGS=Laser Guide Star, NGS=Natural Guide Star):
  1. NGS: Increase NGS off-axis field of view with improvements to the wavefront sensors
  2. NGS & LGS: Improve and automate the guide star acquisition and AO tuning process so that operators spend less time adjusting, aligning, and AO tuning on sky.
  3. NGS & LGS: Develop a set of software tools for the astronomers use: observing planing tools, exposure calculator, quick-and-dirty online data reduction & display, PSF estimation and image analysis, spectrum reduction.
  4. LGS: Commissioning the new fiber laser is somewhat delayed unfortunately,  but we are making progress! For the interim we can repair and restore the present laser back to its original output power so that the AO system will correct better with it.

There are certainly a lot more possibilities, and your experience with the system will help us to vet where to concentrate the upcoming efforts.

To facilitate, we are arranging to convene a workshop, something akin to the workshop we had in December 2014, where AO users can describe their research and discuss instrument issues and plans forward with the ShaneAO community. 

A target time frame for this workshop is November or December 2016.

The workshop will be one-day face-to-face, with video chat enabled, dinner included.  It's been suggest we can have a second workshop a few months subsequent at a different campus location so more people total can participate in person.

In addition, we will set up an interactive web site that provides the info, space for presentations and discussion.

Start here ( and give us your comments, or email me at gavel at ucolick dot org.

Please also visit the ShaneAO website.