Image Source: Chun et al. 2008 SPIE paper
The adaptive optics system in NICI consists of an 85-element curvature wavefront sensor and deformable mirror. The
AO control electronics, software, deformable mirror, and wavefront sensor were designed and built by the Institute for
Astronomy at the University of Hawaii. Integration and initial commissioning of the NICI AO system was done with a
deformable mirror from CILAS, but this was later replaced by deformable mirror by the University of Hawaii with a
smaller minimum radius of curvature and higher resonance frequency.
An important aspect of assessing NICI's performance is the data reduction pipeline. Teams at UH developed separate data reduction pipelines that differ slightly in the precise order of data reduction steps and the algorithms employed, however all produce similarl results. Beth Biller adapted the University of Arizona's SDI pipeline while Zahed Wahaj and Etienne Artigau developed new pipelines.
Upon commissioning in 2008, NICI performed close to expectations. Contrast versus angular separation at the time of commissioning is shown below. The curves are the result of Wahaj's data reduction pipeline.
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