SOAR Adaptive Module (SAM)


The correction of the wave-front will be achieved using a low-altitude (10km) Rayleigh laser guide star. The nominal average optical power of the Nd:YAG solid-state laser beam will be 8W, wavelength 355nm, pulse frequency 10kHz.

The launch telescope of ~10" diameter will be located behind the SOAR secondary mirror, the laser - at the telescope elevation ring. The UV laser beam will be aircraft-safe.

In addition to the laser, SAM will get signals for tip-tilt correction from one to three guide stars located in a circular field of 5' diameter around the science field. The magnitude limit will be R< 18, ensuring 90% sky coverage at Galactic pole. It will be possible to use bright (R< 10) natural stars instead of laser if available - in this mode the resolution will be higher, but the uniformly-corrected field will be smaller.

SAM will be permanently mounted at the side port of the optical ISB. The struts of the cage around ISB will be modified to accommodate SAM. The SAM mass will be 120kg. The maximum science-instrument mass exceeds 100kg, being restricted only by the total load of the ISB.

SAM will be controlled by the telescope operator by means of a user-friendly software that hides the complexity of adaptive optics and automatically adapts to changing atmospheric conditions. SAM will be designed as heavy-duty facility instrument fully compatible with the SOAR operational model.