Subject: Future of Chaos

From: Edward Kibblewhite

Submitted: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 12:20:15 -0600 (CST)

Message number: 128 (previous: 127, next: 129 up: Index)

	The minutes of the users committee meeting of feb 10 contain 
errors about the plans of ChAOS.
	The original plan was to remove ChAOS from the 3.5 meter and ship 
it back to Chiaco to refurbish it and incorporate the IR instrument which 
is under construction. THe laser would be moved from the telescope at the 
same time to make way for the Echelle. We planned  to get the laser 
operation and move it to Sac Peak where we could optimize its operation 
for astronomy during the summer. The intension was to return both 
sub-systems to the 3.5 m in the fall where they would be integrated.This 
approach seemed to us the most efficient use of everyone resources There 
were no plans to move it to a smaller telescope.

	Since this action was proposed we learnt that our NSF proposal 
($800K over two years) was turned down. I enclose a copy of the comments 
of the reviewing panel since there are clearly issues which may have to 
be addressed by ARC.
	It should be noted that we give only minimal support to continued 
development of deformable mirrors or the WCE under the NSF grant and are 
fully committed to making ChAOS work on the 3.5 meter telescope. We were 
able to continue support of ChAOS last year from carry over money. There 
is no money left. We will attempt to fund the laser beacon experiments 
and observing runs through April. After that ChAOS is dead. There are no 
plans to return it to the 3.5 meter in the forseeable future. I'm really 
p*ssed off.

	Ed Kibblewhite


	"This proposal aims to provide continued support for the 
of Chicago adaptive optics program which includes a number of diverse 
efforts: improving the tip-tilt system to remove high frequency telescope 
oscillation, commissioning the Chaos with a sodium laser guide 
star,improving the optical projection system for the laser guide star, 
completing an IR camera system which will be used with Chaos, 
supporting WCE experiments at Yerkes Observatory, and supporting 
algorithm development for wavefront reconstructors.The effort to date 
has resulted in the successful operation of the WCE and closed-loop 
operation of Chaos with natuiral stars.

	The main strengths of Kibblewhite's proposal lie in the delivery 
and initial operation of a complex experimental laser to produce laser 
guide stars in the sodium layer and the commissioning of the basic Chaos 
adaptive optics components (only with natural stars). Success has also 
been demonstrated in the operation of WCE and in algorithm 
developmenmt for reconstructors, but these are of secondray importance 
relative to the primary goal of making the Chaos system work at the ARC 

	The panel finds the following weaknesses in Kibblewhite's 
proposal. First, there is a fundemental problem with the ARC telescope, 
namely 20Hz and 45 Hz oscillations of the telecope secondary structure. 
Instead of solving this problem with the Chaos tip-tilt system, the ARC 
Consortium should address the basic problem with the telescope structure. 
The panel believes that the ARC consortium should commit itself to this 
goal if it aims to benefit from NSF funding for laser guided adaptive 
work. Second, it is crucial for the PI to keep the primary focus of work 
the most important goal:to make Chaos work with a laser guide stas. This 
may mean reducing the effort spent on secondary projects which might 
include WCE, building  deformable mirrors in-house (which could be 
purchased from commercial vendors), and an alternate strategy of having 
ARC provide a facility IR camera-spectrograph, and building aircraft 
avoidance systems. The panel sees great potential in the Chaos effort if 
these fundemental problems are addressed.

	The panel has no substantive comments on the budget in view of 
the more fundeamental difficulties noted above."

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