Archived News: 2009-2010
December 23rd, 2010: Several key components have arrived: the periscope assembly and many of the custom optics, including flat and off-axis parabolic mirrors. The optics will be sent out to be coated with a specialized high-reflectivity coating that spans ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared wavelengths. The periscope will be painted in the new year with a special paint that mitigates stray light reflections.
December 13th, 2010: We're awaiting the imminent delivery of the laser periscope assembly. The periscope will be used to jog the laser guide star beam from off-axis to on-axis, reducing wavefront measurement errors due to perspective elongation. The periscope will be installed and tested in January 2011.
September 29th, 2010: Robo-AO laser run featured on Palomar Skies blog.
September 27th, 2010: Continued testing of the laser guide star including beam quality and photometry at the different adjustable heights, laser steering, and projector flexure.
The Robo-AO laser commissioning team in front of the black laser projector enclosure (from left to right): Shriharsh, Christoph (PI), Reed and Hillol. Not pictured: Alex and Marland.
September 25th, 2010: Optimization of laser spot size on sky with the laser projector internal focus.
September 24th, 2010: The first propagation of the Robo-AO laser guide star from the 60 inch telescope at Palomar Observatory.
July 2nd, 2010: Delivery of the laser periscope mirrors.
June 25th, 2010: Delivery of the 6.5" UV laser projector output lens.
May 26th, 2010: Successful test fit of the Robo-AO UV laser guide star projector assembly on the P60 telescope.
April 30th, 2010: Graduate student Shriharsh Tendulkar (left) explains the working of the laboratory adaptive optics system to a visiting group of undergraduate students and their professors from Pomona College.
February 25th, 2010: Successful power test of the UV laser in the lab. Christoph Baranec (PI; right) sporting this season's latest in full body laser safety gear.
February 23rd, 2010: Palomar staff assist with identifying an appropriate place to mount Robo-AO's UV laser guide star on the P60 telescope.
December 28th, 2009: First closed-loop operation of the laboratory adaptive optics system at 1.2kHz. The above shows the wavefront sensor pixels before (left) and during (right) closed-loop operation.
May 2009: Setup and re-alignment of the adaptive optics system in the new Cahill lab space.