Imaging & Spectroscopy

An Adaptive Optics Upgrade For The Automated Planet Finder Telescope Using An Adaptive Secondary Mirror

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
August 31, 2023
Filed under , , , , , , ,
An Adaptive Optics Upgrade For The Automated Planet Finder Telescope Using An Adaptive Secondary Mirror
The APF ASM secondary assembly model as designed by TNO. The ASM has 61 actuators laid out in a hexapolar arrangement. The ASM will make use of the existing focus and tip-tilt assembly from the current static secondary mirror assembly. — astro-ph.IM

As we enter the era of TESS and JWST, instrumentation that can carry out radial velocity measurements of exoplanet systems is in high demand.

We will address this demand by upgrading the UC Lick Observatory’s 2.4-meter Automated Planet Finder (APF) telescope with an adaptive optics (AO) system. The AO upgrade will be directly integrated into the APF telescope by replacing the telescope’s static secondary mirror with a 61-actuator adaptive secondary mirror (ASM) to minimize the disturbance to the spectrograph optics. This upgrade is enabled by The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research’s (TNO) large-format deformable mirror technology, which will be constructed using a new style of high-efficiency hybrid-variable reluctance actuator.

We outline the technical design and manufacturing plan for the proposed APF AO upgrade and simulate the improvement to the science yield using HCIpy. Our simulations predict the AO upgrade will reduce the PSF instabilities due to atmospheric turbulence, concentrating the light on the spectrograph slit by a multiplicative factor of more than two (doubling the telescope’s observing efficiency) for targets as dim as I = 14. When completed, the APF adaptive secondary mirror will be among the first pairings of an ASM with a radial velocity spectrograph and become a pathfinder for similar AO systems in telescopes of all sizes.

Rachel Bowens-Rubin, Arjo Bos, Philip Hinz, Bradford Holden, Matt Radovan

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:2308.14709 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2308.14709v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Journal reference: Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 12185, id. 121851X 15 pp. (2022)
Related DOI:
Focus to learn more
Submission history
From: Rachel Bowens-Rubin
[v1] Mon, 28 Aug 2023 17:09:53 UTC (10,422 KB)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻