Adaptive optics is an especially powerful tool for high resolution imaging in the infrared beyond 2 μm, where it can cover all or a large fraction of the sky and where the complexity and cost is modest as compared with the telescope itself. The authors describe the principles behind the prototype of a so-called polychromatic adaptive optics system now being assembled at NOAO to be used at the 150 cm McMath and 380 cm Mayall telescopes on Kitt Peak. In it, the wavefront errors due to seeing and the telescope itself are being corrected for IR wavelengths, while the wavefront disturbances are being sensed at visible and near IR wavelengths.
Instrumentation for Ground-Based Optical Astronomy
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