Abstract Details

Title: Remote Operations of Laser Guide Star Systems: Gemini Observatory.

Authors: Richard J Oram, Vincent Fesquet, Robert Wyman, Celine D�orgeville

Institute/Affiliation: AURA Gemini Observatory

Abstract Type: talk

Abstract Information:

The Gemini North telescope, equipped with a 14W laser, has been providing Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics (LGS AO) regular science queue observations for worldwide astronomers since February 2007. The new 55W laser system for MCAO was installed on the Gemini South telescope in May 2010. In this paper, we comment on how Gemini Observatory developed regular remote operation of the Laser Guide Star Facility and high-power solid-state laser as routine normal operations. Fully remote operation of the LGSF from the Hilo base facility HBF was initially trialed and then optimized and became the standard operating procedure (SOP) for LGS operation in December 2008.

From an engineering perspective remote operation demands stable, well characterized and base-lined equipment sets. In the effort to produce consistent, stable and controlled laser parameters (power, wavelength and beam quality) we completed a failure mode effect analysis of the laser system and sub systems that initiated a campaign of hardware upgrades and procedural improvements to the routine maintenance operations. Finally, we provide an overview of normal operation procedures during LGS runs and present a snapshot of data accumulated over several years that describes the overall LGS AO observing efficiency at the Gemini North telescope.