Adaptive optics sky coverage for dome C telescopes

J. S. Lawrence, M. C. B. Ashley, J. W. V. Storey, L. Jolissaint, T. Travouillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


The unique atmospheric characteristics found at Dome C on the Antarctic plateau offer significant advantages for the operation of adaptive optics systems. An analysis is presented here comparing the performance of adaptive optics systems on telescopes located at Dome C with similar systems located at a mid-latitude site. The large coherence length, wide isoplanatic angle, and long coherence time of the Dome C atmosphere allow an adaptive optics system located there to correct to high order, observe over wide fields and use faint guide stars, resulting in a lower total wavefront error and a significant increase in sky coverage factor than can be achieved at a typical mid-latitude site. While the same performance could in principle be achievable at mid-latitude sites, this would only occur under exceptionally stable atmospheric conditions that are likely to occur on only a few nights per year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1127
Number of pages9
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number872
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

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