Abstract

Laser guide stars (LGSs) aim at increasing the sky coverage of adaptive optics (AO) as this is highly restricted when using only natural guide stars. With such three-dimensional extended objects, spot elongation may limit the measurement accuracy of wavefronts. We evaluate the effect of differential focal anisoplanatism, induced solely by the longitudinal extension of a side-launched LGS, on the slope measurements performed by a Shack–Hartmann for a 40m class telescope. We also take this effect into account in the wavefront reconstruction and derive estimations of the resulting wavefront error in a multi-LGS AO system. We find an error of 100nm in the worst case at the subaperture level and a small error of the order of 10nm for six LGSs after wavefront reconstruction.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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