Adaptive Optics System for the Mt. Wilson Observatory's 2.5-m Telescope with both Natural and Laser Guide Star Capabilities
P. I., Laird Thompson, Astronomy Dept., Univ. of Illinois
Co-P.I., Prof. Scott Teare, Dept. Electrical Engineering, New Mexico Tech
For general orientation purposes, please refer to the title-bar image above showing the 2.5-m Telescope in its dome. Look for the labels: Main Optics Bench, Beam Combining Room, Excimer Laser. Then click on the thumbnail images below to bring up a description of these UnISIS subsystems. Once you click, you will also find links to close-up images of the individual components within UnISIS: the deformable mirror, the tip-tilt mirror, beam transfer optics, etc.
|Main Optics Bench||Beam Combining Room||Excimer Laser||Control Room|
|Telescope AO System||Operating Frequency||Telescope Diameter||Total No. Actuators||Actuator Spacing in Pupil|
|UnISIS NGS / Mt. Wilson||Maximum=1.3KHz Typical=600Hz||2.5-m||177||20 cm|
|Palomar AO||Maximum=2 KHz Typical=500-800Hz||5-m||241||32 cm|
|Keck AO||Maximum=500Hz||10-m||241||64 cm|
|Lick Observatroy||Maximum=500Hz||3-m||61 (36 subapertures)||44 cm|
|MMT||Maximum=555Hz||6.5-m||336 (12x12 subapertures)||54 cm|
|AEOS Telescope||Maximum=200Hz Typical=50Hz||3.67-m||944||11 cm **Effective 17 cm|
|UnISIS LGS / Mt. Wilson||Maximum=333Hz Typical=167Hz||2.5-m||177||20 cm|
|Lick LGS / Mt. Hamilton||100-200Hz-at-zenith 55Hz-off-zenith||3-m||61 (36 subapertures)||44 cm|
Click here for an early group picture of those who helped to build UnISIS.
Prof. Laird Thompson, Principal Investigator & Prof. of Astronomy, University of Illinois
Prof. Scott Teare, Co-Principal Investigator & Prof. of Electrical Engineering, New Mexico Tech
Prof. Xiong Yao-Heng, Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Illinois
Permanent Position: Head of Laser Ranging, Yunnan Observatory, P.R.China
NIRIM - Near Infrared Camera:
Dr. Margaret Meixner - Formerly UIUC Astronomy, now STScI
EEV Wavefront Sensor Electronics & 2048x2048 Loral Sensor and Electronics:
Dr. Robert Leach - SDSU, Astronomy and Astronomical Research Cameras, Inc.
MIT/LL Wavefront Sensor Electronics (this camera is now retired):
Prof. Ray DuVarney - Emory University, Physics
Dr. Jim Beletic - Georgia Institute of Technology (now at Keck)
Optical Design Consultant:
Dr. E. Harvey Richardson - Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Retired
Mr. Thomas Schneider - RipTideRealTime Inc., Topanga Canyon, CA.
Mr. Joseph Russell - De La Guerra Power, Inc.
Prof. Abhiit Chakraborty (now at Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India)
Dr. Peter McCullough, Hubble Fellow & Assistant Professor - UIUC Astronomy (now STScI)
Mr. Richard Castle, Researcher - UIUC Astronomy (since retired)
Mr. Samuel Crawford, Graduate Student - UIUC Electrical & Computer Engineering (now at JPL)
Mr. Christopher Neyman, Graduate Student - UIUC Astronomy (now at KECK)
Ms. Jie Zou, Graduate Student - UIUC Astronomy (now Physics Department, Eastern Illinois University
Mr. Daniel Bullok, Graduate Student - UIUC Computer Science
Mr. Daniel Goscha, Undergraduate Student - UIUC Astronomy
Mr. Jeremy Hicks, Undergraduate Student - UIUC Engineering
The construction as well as science commissioning of UnISIS was administered by Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (ATI) Section in the Astronomy Program of the National Science Foundation under award numbers AST-9220504 and AST-0096741. ATI Program Directors who have been involved in overseeing the UnISIS development have included Dr. G. Wayne van Citters, Dr. Benjamin Snavely, Dr. James Breckinridge, and Dr. Andrew Clegg. Additional funding was provided by the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the University of Illinois Astronomy Department. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author of this web page and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.