SAM = SOAR Adaptive Module

March 18, 2015. Experimental observations with a Fabry-Perot etalon in SAM were conducted by C.Oliveira (Brazil) and P.Amram (France) on March 17/18, 2015. The F-P scans a narrow spectral line with a spectral resolution of R~20000 to determine gas velocities and other parameters. The images below (credit: P.Amram) show quick-look results on the Antennae galaxies. Left: spatial distribution of H-alpha emission, right: velocity field. More work is needed before this mode can be offered to general SAM users. Please, express your interest to the SOAR staff if you would like to use F-P in SAM in the future.

February 20, 2015. False-color image of the Herbig-Haro object HH46/47 in the Gum nebula taken on February 14, 2015 with SAM by C. Briceno and S. Heathcote. Two 1-h exposures in the H-alpha and [SII] filters are combined with 15-min exposure in R (red, green and blue respectively; credit: C. Briceno), with resolution of ~0.45" (under 0.9" seeing).

Click to see the FULL IMAGE

July 14, 2014. In March 2014, SAM was used to probe the binarity of low-mass stars paired to nearby solar-type dwarfs. One 0.2 arcsec binary was discovered. The paper is accepted by the Astronomical Journal. Its preprint is available at ArXiv:1407.6045

March 25, 2014. The report on SAM science verification is posted. Get the report here.
In March 2014, SAM executed two observing proposals. The image below taken on March 4, 2014, shows gravitational arc MACS1206.2-0847 (combined from two 12-min. exposures in the i' and r' filters, FWHM resolution of 0.36 and 0.39 arcsec, respectively).

February 2014. The SAM science verification program is finished in the January 2014 run. The picture below shows gravitational arcs in the galaxy cluster Abel 370 as seen by by the SDSS, HST, and SAM (from SV proposal by G.~Caminha et al.)
Abel 370

The FULL IMAGE shows an amazing picture where almost every source is a distant galaxy, partially resolved by SAM, and only few are stars. The dark shadow on the left is produced by the SAM guide probe wich used a guide star at the periphery of the science field (this is a region of low star density). Several gravitational arcs are seen in the image. Elongation of galaxies caused by the weak lensing is also noticeable. The images were taken on September 29, 2013 under non-optimal conditions and has a FWHM resolution of 0.5 arcsec. Five 5-min. exposures in the SDSS i' and r' filters were combined to produce the picture.

December 3, 2013. The report on SAM commissioning is posted. Get the report here.

February 2013. Composite image of the planetary nebula NGC~2440 taken with SAM on February 26, 2013. The (r,g,b) colors correspond to the B,V,Halpha, the FWHM resolution is 0.35 arcsec in all bands.
NGC 2440

January 24, 2013. The paper based on SAM LGS data has been submitted to the Astronomical Journal.
Title: SOAR adaptive optics observations of the globular cluster NGC 6496
Authors: Luciano Fraga, Andrea Kunder, Andrei Tokovinin.
See the published paper at Astro-ph: :1304.4880 [Full reference: 2013, AJ, 145, 165]

January 18, 2013. Science verification of SAM starts this semester, 2013A. The deadline for the proposals is March 15, 2013. See the Call for Proposals

May 15, 2012. On the engineering night of May 8/9 SAM reached a resolutin of 0.26" in the I band, showing substantial gain over open-loop data. The image fragments (click to enlarge) show globular cluster NGC 6496.
NGC 6496, I-band

Filter I: exposure 120c, resolution 0.26" (closed-loop) and 0.51" (open loop).

NGC 6496, V-band

Filter V: exposure 300c, resolution 0.43" (closed-loop) and 0.66" (open loop).

March 16, 2012. On the engineering night of March 6/7 the SAM AO loop worked well (we removed the LLT enclosure and reduced the internal seeing that enlarged the LGS). The best achieved resolution is 0.30arcsec in the I filter. Read more here...
NGC 3132 LGS spots

December 7, 2011. After fixing the LLT optics and other LLT improvements, the SAM laser is back on sky. The picture shows radial profile of un-gated LGS, FWHM 1.4arcsec. Improved LGS image quality allows us to see "rays" produced by turbulence. Images on the right show those "rays" with pedestal subtracted and their computer simulation.

April 16, 2011. The loop was closed on the laser guide star on April 15. Next night, the improvement of the image quality in closed-loop was documented by images of bright stars. Side-by-side comparison of PSFs in the green and red are shown in the image, with FWHM indicated.

January 27, 2011. SOAR dome struck by laser!

January 7, 2011. "The laser box has been tested and aligned with the SOAR truss simulator, on a Gemini lab. Alignment was successful, and very useful data was retrieved, along with a mounting procedure." (PS)

September 8, 2010. The first half of this video [3.6MB] shows a SAM internal star-simulating image of roughly 2/3rds of an Arcsecond in 355nm uv light. It is imaged through phase plate 1 of TURSIM (r0 ~14 to 20cm @ 500nm) rotating at 30% speed with static aberrations present. A very sudden transition is clearly seen when the WFS-DM correction loop is closed taking into account the static aberrations offsets. The rest of the second half of the video shows the system correcting the disturbances induced by TURSIM.

December 23, 2009. The SAM Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector is being commisioned. Watch this video to see the dispersion going from ZD=70[deg] to ZD=0[deg]

October 9, 2009. SAM was removed from the telescope on October 4, 2009 and returned back to La Serena, for integration of the remaining components. During the two test runs in August-October, good compensation quality was achieved when the seeing conditions were normal and sky was clear. Long-exposure images of close visual binaries reach a resolution around 0.1 arcsec in the I-band. See also a direct image of a spectacular close triple I385 (HIP 85216) with two components at 0.39 and 0.26 arcsec obtained on October 2 in the I-band.

August 10, 2009. The SOAR Adaptive Module, SAM, has been installed at the telescope on August 5, 2009. Next evening, August 6, the AO loop was closed on a bright star briefly seen between the clouds. See pictures here

July 21, 2008. The SOAR Adaptive Module, SAM, is coming together in the optics lab. Here optical engineer Roberto Tighe (right), and software engineer Rolando Cantarutti test the realtime adaptive software with all of the final opto-mechanical components placed in the SAM module. Meanwhile, work proceeds in parallel on: completion of control electronics, cabling of the module, design of the laser guide star system (for the second phase), and design of the detector mount and dewar for the SAMI imager. The instrument is currently scheduled to be commissioned on the telescope in the Natural Guide Star (NGS) mode in mid-2009. The laser system is scheduled for commissioning a year later.

See other SAM pictures

January 3, 2008. This is the status of the SAM bench being built in the shop. The front plate is missing in the picture, but it is 80% fabricated. The side plate is being built now.

March 5, 2007. A new SDN is available!! SDN-8307 on Tilt Error Signals has been uploaded. (PDF).

November 23, 2006. A new SDN is available!! SDN-3207 on NGS Wavefront Design. (PDF)

November 17, 2006. A new version of the SAM Optical Alignment has been uploaded. Team members comments are welcome! (PDF)

October 31, 2006. The mechanical design of the SAM bench is nearly finished. The mock-up bench is used to trace the cabling and to check access for alignment [click to enlarge].

March 2, 2005. Loop closed with real DM, CCD-39 and software in the lab! More details here:

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