Performance of Subaru AO188
Performance of AO is characterized by a Strehl ratio (a peak intensity normalized by that of PSF without any turbulence) and FWHM of the PSF. These depend on a the AO guide star magnitude, seeing, sky background and angular separation between the target and guide star. In general, performance of the AO system is better with a brighter guide star, at a better seeing, or longer wavelength. Followings are summary of the AO188 performance in the NGS and LGS modes.
1. On-source Strehl ratio and FWHM
The plots below show Strehl ratio and FWHM as a function of AO guide star magnitude and observed wavelength. Please note that the performance shown here would be the best cases since these data were taken under good natural seeing condition of 0.4 arcsec. We also show a FWHM as a function of seeing based on the data obtained by AO36 (Oya et al. 2004, SPIE Proc., 5490, 409), for your information. Seeing statistics at Subaru is shown here.
2. Encircled energyThe plot below shows the encircled flux plot of the point sources obtained by AO188 with R=9.0 guide star at 0.5-0.6 arcsec seeing condition. Half-flux radius, within which half of the total flux is contained, is 0.1 arcsec for JHKL'M' band, 0.2 arcsec for shorter z band, and 0.5 arcsec for normal seeing condition. The higher flux concentration due to the AO correction resulted in much higher sensitivity. The expected sensitivity gain by AO188 for point sources is about 2.0 mag for K band in best case (SR~0.5).
3. Isoplanatic field
Performance of AO correction degrades gradually with increasing distance from a guide star because the angular correlation of atmospheric turbulence becomes lower as increasing distance from a guide star (anisoplanatism). The isoplanatic angle (in which atmospheric turbulence should be considered approximately uniform) of AO188 would be around 30 arcsec in radius, although these values may vary from night to night, or even during a night (see figures below).
1. LGS brightness
2. Strehl ratio and FWHMThe plots below shows the FWHM and Strehl ratio of the point source observed as a function of the Tip/Tilt guide star R-band magnitude and the observed wavelength. In general, the performance of the LGS mode is better with a brighter tip/tilt guide star, at a better seeing, or longer wavelength. To get a meaningful AO correction, the faintest limit of the Tip/Tilt guide star is around 18mag in R band. The performance of the LGS mode also become worse at lower elevation, since the brightness of the laser guide star is become fainter at lower elevation as shown above.
3. Isoplanatic field
The performance of the tip/tilt correction becomes worse as increasing the distance between the science target and tip/tilt guide star, although the strehl ratio degradation for the LGS mode as a function of the distance is expected to be slower than that for the NGS mode.
08 February 2013