Abstract

This paper describes the active optics system of the VLT Survey Telescope, the 2.6-m survey telescope designed for visible wavelengths of the European Southern Observatory at Cerro Paranal, in the Atacama desert. The telescope is characterized by a wide field of view (1.42 deg diameter), leading to tighter active optics than in conventional telescopes, in particular for the alignment requirements. We discuss the effects of typical error sources on the image quality and present the specific solutions adopted for wavefront sensing and correction of the aberrations, which are based on the shaping of a monolithic primary mirror and the positioning of the secondary in five degrees of freedom.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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