Science and new opportunities with the Robo-AO automated laser adaptive optics system
Jason Prochaska



Robo-AO is the first autonomous laser adaptive optics system and science instrument operating on sky. It robotically executes large scale surveys, monitors long-term astrophysical dynamics and characterizes newly discovered transients, all at the visible diffraction limit. The first of many envisioned systems has finished 41 nights of science observing at the Palomar Observatory 60-inch telescope in 2012, having completed over 4,400 robotic observations. Robo-AO will be augmented with a low-noise wide field infrared imager and tip-tilt sensor in mid-2013 to widen the spectral bandwidth and increase available sky coverage while enabling deeper visible imaging using adaptive-optics sharpened infrared tip-tilt guide sources. A review of the instrument, current science programs and future directions for the technology developed for Robo-AO will be presented.