Laboratory Facility
  • 1900 sq ft in the in the Thimann Laboratories Building in two separate rooms
  • Lab area clean to class 10,000 standards
  • Class 100 cleanroom area
  • Temperature control
  • Light control
Optical Tables
  • 18 x 4 ft granite optical table (ExAO testbed)
  • 6 x 6 ft granite optical table (cleanroom/assembly/test area)
  • 2 16 x 4 ft Newport optical tables (MCAO testbed, wavefront sensing and control experiments, interferometers)
  • Phase-shifting Diffraction Interferometer (PSDI) - ~0.2 nm rms absolute wavefront accuracy over a 10-20 mm area - ExAO prototype evaluation and calibration
  • Zygo Fizeau Interferometer - 4 inch aperture with 6 x zoom, 1000x1000 resolution, 4" window and flat with lambda/20 certification - general purpose optical testing
  • Veeco White-Light Interferometer - - for testing MEMS devices
  • Quadrature Polarization Interferometer (QPI) - high speed (30 Hz) phase determination on 20 mm square aperture in a Mach-Zehnder configuration - used for testing transmissive optics single-pass and the temporal response of spatial light modulators
Deformable Mirrors
  • 32 x 32 continuous face sheet MEMS device from Boston Micromachines - going in to ShaneAO as the high-order DM.
  • 2 52-actuator magnetic-actuated membrane DMs from Alpao. One for the MCAO testbed, one going in to ShaneAO as the woofer (low-order) DM.
  • 4 768 x 768 pixel liquid crystal spatial light modulators from Hamamatsu - surrogate DMs for the MCAO testbed
  • Some number of 37-element segmented MEMS devices from Iris AO - for AO demonstration and laser beam wavefront correction. Laser Guidestar Uplink AO is an ongoing research effort at Lick Observatory.
  • 1 36 element membrane DM from Aperture Optical Systems - for AO demonstration and controls research
  • 3 1024 x 1024 Dalsa 1M30 cameras - wavefront sensors for the MCAO testbed (up to 4 guidestars per camera)
  • 2 additional 1024 x 1024 Dalsa 1M30 cameras - wavefront sensing in the ExAO prototype
  • 1K x 1K Science Grade CCD from Princeton Instruments with E2V CCD47-10 chip - for far-field high-contrast measurements on the ExAO testbed
  • 2 Sci-Measure "Little-Joe" cameras with 80x80 Lincoln Labs CCD39 chip. One will be incorporated as the tip/tilt sensor on ShaneAO.
  • 1 Sci-Measure "Big-Joe" camera with 160x160 Lincoln Labs CCD66 chip - to be incorporated as the wavefront sensor on ShaneAO.

Wavefront Aberration Plates
  • Etched glass 150 x 150 mm area with Kolmogorov spectrum, 40 micron features (4K x 4K), 8 bit resolution, 25 micron peak optical path difference - for testing ExAO or MCAO systems with simulated atmospheric turbulence - we only have 2 of these now but plan to replicate them at various peak optical path specification for use as simulated atmospheric layers.
  • Acrylic spray on optical plastic. These are round 4 to 6 inch plates with a random pattern of aberrations roughly following a Kolmogorov power law.
  • A 2-watt 532 nm short coherence laser for use in the PSDI interferometer.
  • A 10 watt 589 nm Sodium Guidestar laser. Based on fiber-amplifier technology, this laser is adjustable in spectral and pulse format to enable optimal coupling to the sodium atoms. This is now in the LAO cleanroom in preparation for being installed at the Shane telescope in conjunction with the new Shane telescope adaptive optics system, ShaneAO. This laser was developed by a team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under an R&D grant from the CfAO.

  • Hardy Quad 3.04 Gigahertz CPU with 8 GBy RAM, 4 MBytes cache - for real-time MCAO tomography and wavefront control.  This is sufficient for 9 laser guidestars and 4 deformable mirrors with a 5 Hz control loop update rate.  CPU idle time can be used for simulation runs.
  • Lightwave A 24-processor compute server running Linux with IDL, Mathematica, Python, etc. - For running compute intensive AO-project related calculations such as Fresnel wave-propagation and laser guidestar sodium response physics.

Donald Gavel, Director, Laboratory for Adaptive Optics