Progress in multi-conjugate adaptive optics at Big Bear Solar Observatory

Dirk Schmidt, Nicolas Gorceix, Jose Marino, Thomas Berkefeld, Thomas Rimmele, Xianyu Zhang, Friedrich Wöger, Phil Goode

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

22 Scopus citations


The multi-conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) system for solar observations at the 1.6-meter clear aperture New Solar Telescope (NST) of the Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) in Big Bear Lake, California, enables us to study fundamental design questions in solar MCAO experimentally. It is the pathfinder for MCAO of the upcoming Daniel K. Inoyue Solar Telescope (DKIST). This system is very flexible and offers various optical configurations such as different sequencings of deformable mirrors (DMs) and wavefront sensors (WFS), which are hard to simulate conclusively. We show preliminary results and summarize the design, and 2016 updates to the MCAO system. The system utilizes three DMs. One of which is conjugate to the telescope pupil, and the other two to distinct higher altitudes. The pupil DM can be either placed into a pupil image up-or downstream of the high-Altitude DMs. The high-Altitude DMs can be separately and quickly conjugated to various altitudes between 2 and 8 km. Three Shack-Hartmann WFS units are available, one for low-order, multi-directional sensing and two high-order on-Axis sensing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems V
EditorsEnrico Marchetti, Jean-Pierre Veran, Laird M. Close
ISBN (Electronic)9781510601970
StatePublished - 2016
EventAdaptive Optics Systems V - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jul 1 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceAdaptive Optics Systems V
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • BBSO
  • Big Bear Solar Observatory
  • KAOS Evo 2
  • MCAO
  • Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics
  • NST
  • New Solar Telescope
  • Solar Adaptive Optics


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