Abstract

The future generation of extremely large telescopes will be certainly equipped with wide-field adaptive optics systems. All the components of such adaptive optics systems have to be precisely specified, and most of the technical specifications are related to atmospheric turbulence parameters, particularly the profile of the refractive index structure constant $C_n^2(h)$. The monitor Profiler of Moon Limb (PML) for the extraction of the $C_n^2(h)$ profile with high vertical resolution for nighttime and daytime conditions by the observation of the moon limb or sun edge has been developed and is now routinely exploited at the Calern Observatory on the French Riviera. The PML instrument uses a differential method with two small subapertures through which the moon limb or sun edge are observed, leading to a continuum of double stars that allows a scan of the whole atmosphere with high resolution in altitude. The PML is an autonomous instrument aided by a set of equipment such as an all-sky camera, a small meteorological station, and an automatic system to cover the two subapertures with solar filters to switch from night/moon to day/solar observations. In addition, the PML instrument provides in real time a large characterization of the atmospheric turbulence since it can measure other turbulence parameters, such as the total seeing and the isoplanatic angle.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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