LINC-NIRVANA (LN) is a near infrared imaging instrument for the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) offering both multi-conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) and ultimately, interferometric beam combination for ultra high spatial resolution. The combination of LN and LBT provides a unique platform for high angular resolution astronomy. On the one hand, the fully adaptive secondary mirrors of the telescope permit exquisite correction of ground layer atmospheric turbulence. When combined with higher layer correction within LN, the resulting MCAO system will deliver single-eye, diffraction limited imagery over a wide field of view. On the other hand, the two, co-mounted 8.4 meter primary mirrors of the LBT present an orientation-independent entrance pupil to the instrument. This allows LN to operate in so-called Fizeau-mode, delivering 23-meter spatial resolution and 12-meter effective collecting area for panoramic imagery.
This website explains the science and technology behind LINC-NIRVANA. It also provides links to a variety of resources to further your exploration. Enjoy!
First Try at MCAO
On 10 June 2017, the team had a few minutes to try Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO). The sequence of images above show the open-loop performance, ground-layer correction, and two-layer correction. Although the image quality improved, this performance is far from our ultimate goal. This is understandable, given that the high-layer wavefront sensor had only seen sky for a few minutes, and these measurements used only a very low number of modes. Short version: Stay tuned for exciting results in the future!
LN team-member Carmelo relaxes next to LINC-NIRVANA on LBT
LINC-NIRVANA Demonstrates Ground-Layer Adaptive Optics
On 29 March 2017, during the first on-sky commissioning run, LINC-NIRVANA demonstrated Ground-Layer Adaptive Optics (GLAO) using one of its two Ground-layer Wavefront Sensors driving the facility adaptive secondary mirror of the LBT. The image above shows the expected halving of the Full-Width at Half-Maximum (FWHM) of the delivered star image when GLAO is applied. The LN team locked the adaptive optics loop on five separate natural guide stars and used 20 Zernike modes for this measurement.
Site manager: Tom Herbst
5 July 2017