The development of wide field adaptive optics (AO) capabilities greatly increases the potential information content (spatial resolution elements × spectral resolution elements) per telescope pointing. This is illustrated in Table 1, which lists the wide field AO systems for the VLT. The multi-conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) demonstrator MAD has already proven that a 1′ corrected field of view (FoV) with point spread function (PSF) full width half-maximum (FWHM) of 0.1″ is possible [E. Marchetti, R. Brast et al. in ESO Messenger 129, 8 (2007)]. This corresponds to a number of spatial resolution elements, N sp=4×104. The two ground-layer adaptive optics (GLAO) systems currently under development promise comparable numbers. Comparing these figures with the seeing limited case for the maximum VLT FoV and good seeing we see that in terms of the number of spatial resolution elements the wide field AO foci of the VLT will be just as ‘wide field’ as any seeing limited instrument.
|Name||Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings|
|Conference||Workshop on Science with the VLT in the ELT Era, 2007|
|Period||8/10/07 → 12/10/07|