New! November 27, 2006

Much work has been accomplished at CFHT on VASAO over these past months, though the earthquake aftermath has made us busy lately. Simulations and error-budget calculations were carefully looked at, with more work to be done (it is really complex!). Challenges are humongous, but also very exciting!  The corresponding documents are available on the "More information" page.

In parallel, we are building a prototype of  a seismometer à la Tokovinine to understand the issues we could have using it on our telescope. We are also studying the design of an experiment making use of our AO (Pueo) to check the performances of a laser polychromatic guide star coupled to a seismometer at the level needed for science, i.e. a few milli-arcseconds in differential position of the components of a two-color star as well as in vibration monitoring, and how well the sum of a seismometer information and a differential tip-tilt measurement are actually tracking the overall tip-tilt. The good thing about this is that there is no need for a laser...  Bright stars, chosen dimmer and dimmer to see how much flux is really needed for the level of performance to be reached, are enough.

On the French side. much time has been spent within the ELP-OA project trying to solve a divergence of opinion about the use of a single-photon excitation from a laser at 330nm for making a polychromatic laser guide star instead of the two-photon excitation initially proposed. ELP-OA will go through more review process in the coming months. It is a good thing that lasers are not needed very soon anyway!

May 30, 2006
VASAO is presented at the SPIE. Here is the corresponding paper (pdf), which presents the project and gives the status of the feasibility study as on early May 2006.

January 30 - February 3, 2006
J.P. Pique (mode-less laser developer) and A. Le Van Suu (ELP-OA project manager) visit CFHT.

Early January 2006

The VASAO mailing list is created and an announcement sent to the C, F and H communities.

20 December 2005

The VASAO web pages are created and the VASAO mailing list made operational.

November-December 2005
VASAO has been presented to the Scientific Advisory Council at its November meeting and to the Board of Directors of the CFHT Corporation at its December meeting. The VASAO concept is seen as a challenging and scientifically potentially interesting development, worth the feasibility study proposed by CFHT for 2006.