UC Santa Cruz

Dept of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Astronomy 289, Winter 2020

Adaptive Optics and its Applications





January 9th 2020 through March 10th, 2020

Tu Th 9:50 - 11:25 AM
Center for Adaptive Optics
Conference Room (top floor)

UC Santa Cruz

Neptune with and without AO



Office: ISB 379
Phone: (831) 459-2991
email: max at ucolick.org

Tu Th noon - 1:00 PM

Either in CfAO Conference Room or in my office, Interdisciplinary Science Bldg 379





Required Text:

Field Guide to Astronomical Instrumentation by Keller, Navarro, and Brandl

Available from SPIE


Syllabus: click here

Links to other lectures/tutorials on Adaptive Optics

General Adaptive Optics links

Links to information about Concept Maps





Reading Assignments

Obtain from Canvas at UCSC of via email from Professor




Reading 1 January 9th "Adaptive Optics for Astronomy" by Richard Davies and Markus Kasper, Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics 2012, 50, pages 305-351.
Reading 2 January 14th



Reading 3 January 23rd Review Reading 2 carefully
Reading 4 January 28th Read Excerpts from Brandt and McLean (see Canvas or pw protected email). Pay special attention to McLean section 9.9
Reading 5  


Reading 6 February 20 Rigaut (MCAO), Hubin (GLAO), Gendron (MOAO)
Reading 7    
Reading 8        
Reading 9        
Reading 10        
Reading 11    






Homework Assignments

    Due date   PDF Files

WORD Files

Homework 1: Tell me a bit about yourself   January 14th  

Homework1_2020.docx   n/a  
Homework 2: Optics; turbulence parameters   January 30th   Homework2_2020.pdf Homework2_2020.docx      
Homework 3:                
Homework 4:                
Project Final Report Instructions                



Lectures Version 1 (topics, dates, lectures may change)

Note: you are welcome to use slides and figures from these lectures in your own presentations, under the condition that you include the words ''Credit: Claire E. Max, UCSC'' somewhere on your slide


        Lecturer       PDF Files

PPT Files

    Other Files and notes

January 9

Lecture 1: Introduction to adaptive optics; Overview of course

  Max   Lecture 1 Lecture 1      

January 14

Lecture 2: Atmospheric Turbulence: Sources, Kolmogorov turbulence






  Lecture 2 Lecture 2    

Videos and Animated GIFs

Kelvin Helmholtz


Siding Spring SCIDAR

January 16

Lecture 3: Geometrical Optics

  Hinz   Lecture 3        

January 21

Lecture 4: Physical Optics and Deformable Mirrors

  Hinz   Lecture 4        

January 23

Lecture 5: Imaging through Turbulence

  Max   Lecture 5 Lecture 5    




January 28

Lecture 6: Signal to Noise Ratio and Detectors

  Max   Lecture 6 Lecture 6    




January 30

Lecture 7: Error Budgets, Class Projects Intro


Lecture 7 - Error Budgets

Class Projects Intro

Lecture 7 - Error Budgets

Class Projects Intro



February 4

Lecture 8: Wavefront Sensing

  Max   Lecture 8 - Wavefront Sensing Lecture 8 - Wavefront Sensing    

Solar Granulation from DKIST

Full Field

Zoomed in

February 6

Lecture 9:: Laser Guide Stars; Class Project Starters (in class)


Lecture 9 - Laser Guide Stars

Project Starters

Lecture 9 - Laser Guide Stars

Project Starters


February 11

Lecture 10: AO Control Systems; Class Projects Focused Investigation (in class)


Lecture 10 - Control Systems

Lecture 10 - Class Projects

Lecture 10 - Control Systems

Lecture 10 - Class Projects


February 13

Lecture 11: Wavefront Reconstruction

  Jensen-Clem   Lecture 11 - Wavefront Reconstruction v2 Lecture 11 - Wavefront Reconstruction v2    


February 18

Lecture 12: Second half of laser lecture; AO Optimization; Class projects: Performance requirements first draft due


Lecture 12 Part1: Laser Guide Stars

Lecture 12 Part 2: Optimization

Lecture 12 Part 1 Laser Guide Stars

Lecture 12 Part 2: Optimization



February 20

Lecture 13: LGS tomography, LTAO, MCAO, MOAO, GLAO

Class Projects: Discuss Performance Requirements, Begin AO System Design


Lecture 13 Part 1 - Tomography

Lecture 13 Part 2 - Projects

Lecture 13 Part 1 - Tomography

Lecture 13 Part 2 - Projects




February 25

Lecture 14: Extreme AO for High Contrast


Lecture 14 Extreme AO

Project Presentations

Written Report Instructions

Written Report Rubric

Lecture 14 Extreme AO      

February 27

Lecture 15: How to be a savvy user and consumer of AO

  Max   Lecture 15 Savvy User Lecture 15 Savvy User      

March 3

AO Demonstrator Lab


March 5

Lecture 16: AO for Vision Science



  Lecture 16 AO for Vision Science Lecture 16 AO for Vision Science    



March 10

Lecture 17: Class Project Presentations in class






March 12: Summarizing main points of class; synthesis of class projects   Max            

March 16-20

Exam period: there will be a take-home exam. Written project reports will be due at end of exam period.





This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.