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See detailStatus of the ARGOS project
Rabien, S.; Barl, L.; Beckmann, U. et al

in Adaptive Optics Systems IV (2014)

ARGOS is the Laser Guide Star and Wavefront sensing facility for the Large Binocular Telescope. With first laser light on sky in 2013, the system is currently undergoing commissioning at the telescope. We ... [more ▼]

ARGOS is the Laser Guide Star and Wavefront sensing facility for the Large Binocular Telescope. With first laser light on sky in 2013, the system is currently undergoing commissioning at the telescope. We present the overall status and design, as well as first results on sky. Aiming for a wide field ground layer correction, ARGOS is designed as a multi- Rayleigh beacon adaptive optics system. A total of six powerful pulsed lasers are creating the laser guide stars in constellations above each of the LBTs primary mirrors. With a range gated detection in the wavefront sensors, and the adaptive correction by the deformable secondary's, we expect ARGOS to enhance the image quality over a large range of seeing conditions. With the two wide field imaging and spectroscopic instruments LUCI1 and LUCI2 as receivers, a wide range of scientific programs will benefit from ARGOS. With an increased resolution, higher encircled energy, both imaging and MOS spectroscopy will be boosted in signal to noise by a large amount. Apart from the wide field correction ARGOS delivers in its ground layer mode, we already foresee the implementation of a hybrid Sodium with Rayleigh beacon combination for a diffraction limited AO performance. [less ▲]

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See detailStatus of ARGOS - The Laser Guide Star System for the LBT
Raab, W.; Rabien, S.; Gaessler, W. et al

in Proceedings of the Third AO4ELT Conference (2013)

ARGOS is an innovative multiple laser guide star adaptive optics system for the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), designed to perform effective GLAO correction over a very wide field of view. The system is ... [more ▼]

ARGOS is an innovative multiple laser guide star adaptive optics system for the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), designed to perform effective GLAO correction over a very wide field of view. The system is using high powered pulsed green (532 nm) lasers to generate a set of three guide stars above each of the LBT mirrors. The laser beams are launched through a 40 cm telescope and focused at an altitude of 12 km, creating laser beacons by means of Rayleigh scattering. The returning scattered light, primarily sensitive to the turbulences close to the ground, is detected by a gated wavefront sensor system. The derived ground layer correction signals are directly driving the adaptive secondary mirror of the LBT. ARGOS is especially designed for operation with the multiple object spectrograph Luci, which will benefit from both, the improved spatial resolution, as well as the strongly enhanced flux. In addition to the GLAO Rayleigh beacon system, ARGOS was also designed for a possible future upgrade with a hybrid sodium laser - Rayleigh beacon combination, enabling diffraction limited operation. The ARGOS laser system has undergone extensive tests during Summer 2012 and is scheduled for installation at the LBT in Spring 2013. The remaining sub-systems will be installed during the course of 2013. We report on the overall status of the ARGOS system and the results of the sub-system characterizations carried out so far. [less ▲]

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See detailStatus of the ARGOS ground layer adaptive optics system
Gässler, W.; Rabien, S.; Esposito, S. et al

in Adaptive Optics Systems III (2012)

ARGOS the Advanced Rayleigh guided Ground layer adaptive Optics System for the LBT (Large Binocular Telescope) is built by a German-Italian-American consortium. It will be a seeing reducer correcting the ... [more ▼]

ARGOS the Advanced Rayleigh guided Ground layer adaptive Optics System for the LBT (Large Binocular Telescope) is built by a German-Italian-American consortium. It will be a seeing reducer correcting the turbulence in the lower atmosphere over a field of 2' radius. In such way we expect to improve the spatial resolution over the seeing of about a factor of two and more and to increase the throughput for spectroscopy accordingly. In its initial implementation, ARGOS will feed the two near-infrared spectrograph and imager - LUCI I and LUCI II. The system consist of six Rayleigh lasers - three per eye of the LBT. The lasers are launched from the back of the adaptive secondary mirror of the LBT. ARGOS has one wavefront sensor unit per primary mirror of the LBT, each of the units with three Shack-Hartmann sensors, which are imaged on one detector. In 2010 and 2011, we already mounted parts of the instrument at the telescope to provide an environment for the main sub-systems. The commissioning of the instrument will start in 2012 in a staged approach. We will give an overview of ARGOS and its goals and report about the status and new challenges we encountered during the building phase. Finally we will give an outlook of the upcoming work, how we will operate it and further possibilities the system enables by design. [less ▲]

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See detailStatus report on the Large Binocular Telescope's ARGOS ground-layer AO system
Hart, M.; Rabien, S.; Busoni, L. et al

in Astronomical Adaptive Optics Systems and Applications IV (2011)

ARGOS, the laser-guided adaptive optics system for the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), is now under construction at the telescope. By correcting atmospheric turbulence close to the telescope, the system ... [more ▼]

ARGOS, the laser-guided adaptive optics system for the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), is now under construction at the telescope. By correcting atmospheric turbulence close to the telescope, the system is designed to deliver high resolution near infrared images over a field of 4 arc minute diameter. Each side of the LBT is being equipped with three Rayleigh laser guide stars derived from six 18 W pulsed green lasers and projected into two triangular constellations matching the size of the corrected field. The returning light is to be detected by wavefront sensors that are range gated within the seeing-limited depth of focus of the telescope. Wavefront correction will be introduced by the telescope's deformable secondary mirrors driven on the basis of the average wavefront errors computed from the respective guide star constellation. Measured atmospheric turbulence profiles from the site lead us to expect that by compensating the ground-layer turbulence, ARGOS will deliver median image quality of about 0.2 arc sec across the JHK bands. This will be exploited by a pair of multi-object near-IR spectrographs, LUCIFER1 and LUCIFER2, with 4 arc minute field already operating on the telescope. In future, ARGOS will also feed two interferometric imaging instruments, the LBT Interferometer operating in the thermal infrared, and LINC-NIRVANA, operating at visible and near infrared wavelengths. Together, these instruments will offer very broad spectral coverage at the diffraction limit of the LBT's combined aperture, 23 m in size. [less ▲]

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See detailARGOS: the laser guide star system for the LBT
Rabien, S.; Ageorges, N.; Barl, L. et al

in Adaptive Optics Systems II (2010)

ARGOS is the Laser Guide Star adaptive optics system for the Large Binocular Telescope. Aiming for a wide field adaptive optics correction, ARGOS will equip both sides of LBT with a multi laser beacon ... [more ▼]

ARGOS is the Laser Guide Star adaptive optics system for the Large Binocular Telescope. Aiming for a wide field adaptive optics correction, ARGOS will equip both sides of LBT with a multi laser beacon system and corresponding wavefront sensors, driving LBT's adaptive secondary mirrors. Utilizing high power pulsed green lasers the artificial beacons are generated via Rayleigh scattering in earth's atmosphere. ARGOS will project a set of three guide stars above each of LBT's mirrors in a wide constellation. The returning scattered light, sensitive particular to the turbulence close to ground, is detected in a gated wavefront sensor system. Measuring and correcting the ground layers of the optical distortions enables ARGOS to achieve a correction over a very wide field of view. Taking advantage of this wide field correction, the science that can be done with the multi object spectrographs LUCIFER will be boosted by higher spatial resolution and strongly enhanced flux for spectroscopy. Apart from the wide field correction ARGOS delivers in its ground layer mode, we foresee a diffraction limited operation with a hybrid Sodium laser Rayleigh beacon combination. [less ▲]

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See detailMilli-arcsecond Astrophysics with VSI, the VLTI Spectro-imager in the ELT Era
Malbet, F.; Buscher, D.; Weigelt, G. et al

in Moorwood, Alan (Ed.) Science with the VLT in the ELT Era (2009)

Nowadays, compact sources relatively warm like surfaces of nearby stars, circumstellar environments of stars from early stages to the most evolved ones and surroundings of active galactic nuclei can be ... [more ▼]

Nowadays, compact sources relatively warm like surfaces of nearby stars, circumstellar environments of stars from early stages to the most evolved ones and surroundings of active galactic nuclei can be investigated at milli-arcsecond scales only with the VLT in its interferometric mode. We propose a spectro-imager, named VSI (VLTI spectro-imager), which is capable to probe these sources both over spatial and spectral scales in the near-infrared domain. This instrument will provide information complementary to what is obtained at the same time with ALMA at different wavelengths and the extreme large telescopes. [less ▲]

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See detailVSI: the VLTI spectro-imager
Malbet, F.; Buscher, D.; Weigelt, G. et al

in Schöller, Markus; Danchi, William; Delplancke, Françoise (Eds.) Optical and Infrared Interferometry (2008, July 01)

The VLTI Spectro Imager (VSI) was proposed as a second-generation instrument of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer providing the ESO community with spectrally-resolved, near-infrared images at ... [more ▼]

The VLTI Spectro Imager (VSI) was proposed as a second-generation instrument of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer providing the ESO community with spectrally-resolved, near-infrared images at angular resolutions down to 1.1 milliarcsecond and spectral resolutions up to R = 12000. Targets as faint as K = 13 will be imaged without requiring a brighter nearby reference object; fainter targets can be accessed if a suitable reference is available. The unique combination of high-dynamic-range imaging at high angular resolution and high spectral resolution enables a scientific program which serves a broad user community and at the same time provides the opportunity for breakthroughs in many areas of astrophysics. The high level specifications of the instrument are derived from a detailed science case based on the capability to obtain, for the first time, milliarcsecond-resolution images of a wide range of targets including: probing the initial conditions for planet formation in the AU-scale environments of young stars; imaging convective cells and other phenomena on the surfaces of stars; mapping the chemical and physical environments of evolved stars, stellar remnants, and stellar winds; and disentangling the central regions of active galactic nuclei and supermassive black holes. VSI will provide these new capabilities using technologies which have been extensively tested in the past and VSI requires little in terms of new infrastructure on the VLTI. At the same time, VSI will be able to make maximum use of new infrastructure as it becomes available; for example, by combining 4, 6 and eventually 8 telescopes, enabling rapid imaging through the measurement of up to 28 visibilities in every wavelength channel within a few minutes. The current studies are focused on a 4-telescope version with an upgrade to a 6-telescope one. The instrument contains its own fringe tracker and tip-tilt control in order to reduce the constraints on the VLTI infrastructure and maximize the scientific return. [less ▲]

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See detailSystem overview of the VLTI Spectro-Imager
Jocou, L.; Berger, J.-P.; Malbet, F. et al

in Schöller, Markus; Danchi, William; Delplancke, Françoise (Eds.) Optical and Infrared Interferometry (2008, July 01)

The VLTI Spectro Imager project aims to perform imaging with a temporal resolution of 1 night and with a maximum angular resolution of 1 milliarcsecond, making best use of the Very Large Telescope ... [more ▼]

The VLTI Spectro Imager project aims to perform imaging with a temporal resolution of 1 night and with a maximum angular resolution of 1 milliarcsecond, making best use of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer capabilities. To fulfill the scientific goals (see Garcia et. al.), the system requirements are: a) combining 4 to 6 beams; b) working in spectral bands J, H and K; c) spectral resolution from R= 100 to 12000; and d) internal fringe tracking on-axis, or off-axis when associated to the PRIMA dual-beam facility. The concept of VSI consists on 6 sub-systems: a common path distributing the light between the fringe tracker and the scientific instrument, the fringe tracker ensuring the co-phasing of the array, the scientific instrument delivering the interferometric observables and a calibration tool providing sources for internal alignment and interferometric calibrations. The two remaining sub-systems are the control system and the observation support software dedicated to the reduction of the interferometric data. This paper presents the global concept of VSI science path including the common path, the scientific instrument and the calibration tool. The scientific combination using a set of integrated optics multi-way beam combiners to provide high-stability visibility and closure phase measurements are also described. Finally we will address the performance budget of the global VSI instrument. The fringe tracker and scientific spectrograph will be shortly described. [less ▲]

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