Abstract

The design of the laser-guide-star-based adaptive optics (AO) systems for the Extremely Large Telescopes requires careful study of the issue of elongated spots produced on Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensors. The importance of a correct modeling of the nonuniformity and correlations of the noise induced by this elongation has already been demonstrated for wavefront reconstruction. We report here on the first (to our knowledge) end-to-end simulations of closed-loop ground-layer AO with laser guide stars with such an improved noise model. The results are compared with the level of performance predicted by a classical noise model for the reconstruction. The performance is studied in terms of ensquared energy and confirms that, thanks to the improved noise model, central or side launching of the lasers does not affect the performance with respect to the laser guide stars’ flux. These two launching schemes also perform similarly whatever the atmospheric turbulence strength.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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