A new wave-front sensor for Keck: adaptive optics with a near infra-red Pyramid wave-front sensor
Charlotte Bond
University of Hawaii / Institute for Astronomy



Wave-front sensing in the infrared is highly desirable for future science with adaptive optics (AO) systems, enabling the high contrast study of exoplanets; increased sky coverage; and extending the AO performance to fainter natural guide stars. As part of the KPIC (Keck Planet Imager and Characterizer) project a near infrared, high order Pyramid wave-front sensor (WFS) will be implemented on the Keck telescope, with the aim of providing high resolution AO correction for the study of M dwarf systems. Here I will introduce the concept of the Pyramid wave-front sensor and it's potential for improved AO correction in future systems. I will present the wave-front sensing scheme designed for KPIC, the expected performance and science goals. The implementation of this high sensitivity sensor in the near infrared benefits from increased AO correction, compared to optical wavelengths, allowing for greater realization of the potential of this sensor and fewer non-linear effects. To this end we will utilize a SAPHIRA camera, developed by Selex and the University of Hawaii. This system will be the first of it's kind, extending the capabilities of the Keck telescope and providing insight into such instruments for future AO systems, such as those planned for the extremely large telescopes (ELTs).