Monday, September 30, 2013

Pisces is on the telescope!

PISCES arrived on the mountain on Saturday (Sep 28). It was installed on its flange in the lab without any problem and was up and running by the end of the day.

PISCES integration in the lab

Today (Sep 30) by 14:30,  PISCES was installed on the telescope at the RFBG (Right Front Bent Gregorian) port, the one LUCI2 was using over the past days for various warm tests and alignments.


First images were taken at 15:30 and a 1st-order pupil alignment to AdSec-DX was completed at 16:30! A very smooth process...

Pupil image in H-band. Enclosure structure is seen in the background 
and the secondary is in the center with its swing arm spider at 5 o'clock.

Good news about the read noise of the detector: It is reduced from 5 ADU from the last run (23 e-) to about 3.5 ADU (15 e-), now that the armature current is zeroed on the filter wheel motor during integrations. 

Many thanks to the PISCES team (Don McCarthy and Craig Kulesa) and the LBTO staff!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

PISCES will come to LBTO...

The PISCES observing run will finally take place!

The 7-night observing run is scheduled from the evening of Oct 8 to the morning of Oct 15. A full schedule of LBT's 13B semester can be found here.

Scheduling has been made a bit complicated by the exciting adventures (see here for the last episodes) of the right-side adaptive secondary mirror, which PISCES will use.

PISCES will be installed on the telescope on the last day of September.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Announcement of Opportunity

LBTO is capable of providing exquisite AO performances, which are currently used in the L and M bands with LMIRCam on LBTI. However, the current delays in the fabrication and commissioning of the diffraction limited capabilities of the LUCI2 instrument will result in the absence of near-IR (J-H-K) imaging capabilities before the middle of 2014A semester at the earliest. 

LBTO is therefore contemplating installation once more of PISCES, a near-IR camera designed and built under the leadership of Don McCarthy of Steward Observatory. PISCES has been used on LBT in 2011 for a very successful run which demonstrated the high quality of the LBT adaptive optics (see documents and publications below). 

If there is sufficient scientific interest expressed by the LBTO partnership, PISCES will be installed for a run one to two weeks long, depending on the total amount of time allocated to proposals by the partners, likely scheduled toward the end of September. Proposals will be handled by each partner and the selected ones will be collected by LBTO which will then organize the preparation of run with the PI team. Practical details for the observations themselves will be defined once the accepted proposals will be known. 

In order to enable relatively large programs with high scientific impact, PIs are encouraged to submit joint proposals with PIs from other partners.


Documents on LBT AO and PISCES


PISCES-LBT publications from the 2011 run