APPLICATIONS NEWS

Beamsplitter assists in stargazing

30 January 2013

Beamsplitter assists in stargazing


Adaptive optics being integrated with the Gran Telescopio de Canarias (GTC) will feature a 180mm diameter dichroic beamsplitter to direct the infrared part of the spectrum to the science instrument and the visible light to the wavefront sensor.

The Gran Telescopio de Canarias is a 10.4 metre reflecting telescope with a segmented primary mirror. It is located at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, on the island of La Palma – one of the top astronomical sites in the northern hemisphere. The GTC is a Spanish initiative lead by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.

Mireia Rosado Rubio, an optical engineer in the development group at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, said: 'The adaptive optics system is intended to provide diffraction limited images with the GTC in the H and K bands. This is achieved by correcting the wavefront distortions induced by atmospheric turbulence.

'A Shack-Hartmann type wavefront sensor measures the perturbations, and a corrective element (deformable mirror) applies the opposite of the perturbations measured in order to cancel the wavefront distortions.' The dichroic beamsplitter is manufactured and supplied by Optical Surfaces.

Related internet links

Gran Telescopio de Canarias
Optical Surfaces