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Guide Star Facility

Photonics Spectra
Aug 2010
Toptica Photonics Inc. of Victor, N.Y., has won an approximately $6.4 million contract from the European Southern Observatory to develop four continuous-wave, high-power laser guide stars for its Very Large Telescope in Paranal, Chile. The guide stars, to be developed by Toptica and its Montreal-based partner MPB Communications, will be installed at the telescope in September 2013 and will be based on amplified and frequency-doubled diode laser systems. The contract is financed in part by European funds in the framework of the EC FP7 Optical Infrared Coordination Network for Astronomy.

The scientific observation of celestial radiation that has reached the vicinity of Earth, and the interpretation of these observations to determine the characteristics of the extraterrestrial bodies and phenomena that have emitted the radiation.
laser guide star
An artificial star used to aid in adaptive optics imaging of the sky. The guide star is provided from a telescope system on the ground and is directed into the imaged region. The wavefront distortions are accounted for by transmission of the source through the atmosphere.
An afocal optical device made up of lenses or mirrors, usually with a magnification greater than unity, that renders distant objects more distinct, by enlarging their images on the retina.
AmericasastronomyBasic ScienceBusinessChileCommunicationscontractdiode lasersEC FP7European Southern Observatoryfrequency-doubled diode laser systemlaser guide starlight speedMontrealMPB CommunicationsOptical Infrared Coordination Network for AstronomytelescopeTopticaToptica Photonics Inc.Very Large Telescopelasers

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