-- SteveErtel - 22 Apr 2020

LMIRCam AO health check

LBTO is putting in significant effort to monitor the health of the AO system. This uses regular observations of bright (in terms of AO performance range) stars with LUCI to measure the achieved Strehl ratio. LBTI is supporting this effort by providing similar observations with LMIRCam as much as reasonably possible. Observations are taken as part of the LBTI nightly AO check-out ('start-up star'), where in addition to closing the AO loop on a bright star, a quick set of LMIRCam images is taken.
  • Type of observation: On-sky.
  • Duration: 5 min (data acquisition).
  • Who: Science camera operator (data acquisition). Steve Ertel and/or LBTO (analysis).
  • Interval: Every night LBTI is on sky, during AO checo-out on bright start-up star.
  • Exception: If for some reason it is very urgent to get onto a science target at the beginning of the night, or conditions are hopeless for good AO performance, this can be skipped.

Acquiring AO check-out data

This data acquisition procedure assumes that the operator is able to perform basic LMIRCam imaging data acquisition.
  • Preset to a start-up star and close and optimize the AO. Double sided observations are preferred.
  • Set PID to 19.
  • Set up LMIRCam for a standard high-contrast imaging observation. Filter: std-L, fast mode, center stripe.
  • Take a nod pair with 50 frames in each position.
  • Take a set of 50 darks.

Analyzing AO check-out data

Evaluate AO performance by performing a visual inspection of the data on the display. Any issues should be addressed as much as possible before starting science observations. Data are currently provided in an informal way to LBTO (Al Conrad) for further analysis. Data may also be analyzed in day time by Steve as needed.


  • Automated, formal analysis in real time would be desirable. To be implemented by Steve soon-ish.
  • Data are currently manually included in LBTO's analysis by Al Conrad on a best-effort basis. This needs to be formalized.
Topic revision: r1 - 22 Apr 2020, SteveErtel
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