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 MSCA MOAI

The ambition of the project MOAI (MethOds And Instrumentation for laser guide star wavefront sensing) is to evaluate the feasibility of tip-tilt correction with Polychromatic Laser Guide Stars, and investigate and propose innovative concepts for LGS Wave-Front Sensing.



Adaptive optics (AO) together with sodium laser guide stars (LGS) have revolutionized astronomical observations in the last decades. The new generation of Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) will require and integrate AO-assisted observations to comply with their scientific programs, however, extrapolating the current AO technology to the dimensions of the ELTs encounters technological barriers (large, sensitive, and fast detectors) and fundamental limitations derived from the geometry and properties of LGS (spot elongation and tip-tilt indetermination). Therefore, the aim of the MOAI project is to develop MethOds And Instrumentation for laser guide star wavefront sensing (LGSWFS), in view of the challenges imposed by the future ELTs. Three specific goals are foreseen, namely : i) evaluate the feasibility of LGS tip-tilt correction using the polychromatic laser guide star concept, ii) investigate and propose an innovative concept of LGSWFS for ELTs, and iii) demonstrate a new LGSWFS technology. The project will be carried out at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM) in 24 months. The first and second exploratory-research goals will be accomplished by testing and modeling new LGSWFS concepts using state-of-the-art AO facilities and software developed at LAM, in addition to numerical simulations of LGS. The third goal will be realized through the implementation of an LGSWFS prototype in the laboratory, and post validation of its performance with an on-sky experiment at AO facilities in La Palma. The combination of local AO expertise with the experience of the fellow in LGS will be essential for the success of this project. Achieving the objectives will considerably extend the capabilities of AO-assisted observations, which will constitute a significant contribution of the European action and the fellow to enable new astrophysical discoveries in the upcoming era of ELTs.



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