"ADAPTIVE OPTICS PROVIDES NEW DATA ON THE SOLAR SYSTEM"
The Adaptive Optics group at the Institute for Astronomy (University of Hawaii) is developing adaptive optics systems based upon curvature sensing and correction. We have chosen to implement curvature based AO, for its implementational simplicity, sensitivity, and robustness.
A UH AO 13-element system , first developed at the coudé focus of the CFHT , has been regularly used (typically 20 nights a year) at the F/36 Cassegrain focus since December 1994. In January 1994, the 13 element AO system was fitted to the bent Cassegrain focus of the UKIRT and in November 1996, to the UH 2.2m telescopes.
A 36 element AO system: Hokupa'a (which means "immovable star" in hawaiian) has now been built and was first operated in November 1997 at the F/36 Cassegrain focus of the CFHT. Click here to see a 20MB movie of Hokupa'a correcting turbulence (audio track included with movie -by Buzz Graves).
A a "shorter" 4.7 MB mpg movie of the Hokupa'a off then on .
In June 1999, Hokupa'a was moved to Gemini North and has delivered high resolution images for the Gemini North dedication.
Both instruments have behaved as theoretically expected. The systems have produced many astronomical IMAGES and are generating scientific research papers .
The field of adaptive optics is rapidly expanding, there are now many other systems being built throughout the world.