Adaptive optics with a Laser for Astronomy

ALFA is the "adaptive optics with a laser for astronomy" system for the Calar Alto 3.5-m telescope. It is a joint project between the MPIA in Heidelberg and the MPE. This system dramatically improves the image resolution in the near-infrared regime. Diffraction limited images at 2.2 microns obtained with ALFA have a higher spatial resolution than those obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. ALFA is based on a Shack-Hartmann sensor with a high-speed low-noise CCD camera, a 97-actuator deformable mirror, a tip-tilt sensor (CCD camera), a tip-tilt mirror and a continuous Ar-Ion laser pumped dye laser which generates the laser beacon in the sodium layer of the mesosphere.

MPE Participation:

  • Joint project between MPE and MPIA in Heidelberg

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