VLT - Very Large Telescope
Microgate, together with ADS, was committed in 2004 by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to the development of a feasibility study for an adaptive secondary mirror for the VLT main telescopes (UTs).
This initial study has evolved in to a final design and then into a construction Phase, started in 2008.
According to the baseline design, 1170 actuators distributed over the 1211mm wide mirror will provide adaptive optics correction also at visible wavelengths.
Microgate is acting as prime contractor and with ADS International beeing nominated sub-contractor.
1.95mmThin mirror thickness
2 nm rmsCapacitive sensors reading noise
80 kHzControl loop frequency
0.5 msTypical response time
6 (3 pairs)Number of control electronics crates
78Number of DSP control boards
160 bil. MACs/sComputational power
4 Gbit/sReal time communication speed
System Assembly and integration started by mid 2011. The electromechanical tests have been successfully completed by mid 2012, confirming and even exceeding the expected dynamic performances. In Sep 2012 the system left Microgate's facilities for integration in the hub and optical tests and calibration, performed at ESO premises in Garching under Microgate's responsibility, in cooperation with INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri. The optical tests have been completed in March 2013, confirming the full performance of the adaptive mirror. The unit passed a long (2.5 years) testing and calibration phase in Garching (D), in conjunction with the new adaptive optics modules (Graal, Galacsi) before installation on the telescope. In October 2016 the deformable secondary mirror was installed on the Unit Telescope 4 (Yepun).
- 28-oct-2016 - First Light for Largest Adaptive Optics System
- 4-feb-2014 - Improved Adaptive Optics Mirror Delivered
- 18-feb-2013 - Super-thin Mirror Under Test at ESO
- 2-mar-2012 - Super-thin Mirror for Sharper Star Images
- 7-sep-2010 - The Art of Sculpting Glass