9780826346919

The Adaptive Optics Revolution: A History

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780826346919

  • ISBN10:

    082634691X

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-05-30
  • Publisher: Univ of New Mexico Pr
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Summary

Adaptive optics is the most revolutionary breakthrough in astronomy since Galileo pointed his telescope skyward nearly four hundred years ago. It is critical technology that will enable astronomers to answer challenging questions about the universe.Over the last four decades, a formidable and persistent team of scientists from the Air Force Research Laboratory, MIT/Lincoln Laboratory, and private contractors led the way in achieving groundbreaking advances in adaptive optics. They demonstrated laser guide star techniques and made adaptive optics practical on large telescopes. The military aggressively pursued the development of adaptive optics for two reasons--imaging for space situational awareness and laser weapons. A significant part of this research occurred at the Starfire Optical Range in New Mexico and the Maui optical site in Hawai'i. The program remained classified during the 1970s and 1980s, but the government declassified it in the early 1990s, enabling significant technology transfer to the astronomy community.Robert Duffner has compiled a unique history of the invention of laser guide stars and other contributions to adaptive optics made by the Department of Defense. He had access to a collection of primary source material housed in the offices of government scientists and in the Research Laboratory's archives at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque. Duffner also interviewed seventy-one prominent scientists who played key roles advancing adaptive optics research.

Author Biography

Robert Duffner has written a unique history of the invention of laser guide stars and other contributions to adaptive optics made by the Department of Defense. He had access to a large collection of primary source material housed in the offices of government scientists and in the Air Force Research Laboratory's archives at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque. Duffner also interviewed seventy-one prominent scientists who played key roles advancing adaptive optics research.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Robert Q. Fugatep. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. xix
List of Acronymsp. xxv
Sputnik, Reality, and Technologyp. 1
Early Days: The Romansp. 17
Rome and Itek: First Adaptive Optics Systemsp. 41
Laser Guide Starsp. 65
Fugate's Rayleigh Guide Star Experimentsp. 89
Lincoln Laboratoryp. 119
Sharing the Gold: Astronomical Nuggetsp. 145
Strategic Defense Initiativep. 169
Airborne Laserp. 203
3.5-Meter Military Telescope Complex: Starfire Optical Range, New Mexicop. 237
3.67-Meter Military Telescope Complex: Maui, Hawaiip. 277
Sodium Guide Star Laser: The Futurep. 313
Conclusionp. 339
List of Interviewsp. 349
Notesp. 355
Indexp. 439
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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