The NGS2 test
left to right:
Ian Price, Ignacio
René Rutten is on
the business end
of the camera.
Semester 2018B Outcomes
The NGS2 unit on the
test bench in La Serena.
The high-speed EM CCD
camera is on the left-
hand side. The orange
lines are fibers to mimic
multiple guide stars that
are imaged onto the
AO real-time control system. This results in
much simpler acquisition procedures, and
achieves much better sky coverage, since
fainter stars will become accessible.
In February a major milestone was achieved
on this project. The system developed by
ANU arrived in La Serena, Chile, where it was
installed on a test bench and integrated with
the AO real-time control system (Figures 2
and 3). The results have been excellent, prov-
ing that the system will work as designed.
Much work remains to be done. Integration
of the new system, named “NGS2,” in the ex-
isting multi-conjugate AO system will not be
a trivial task. If all goes well, we expect to do
this early in Semester 2019B.
We’re now in the thick of Semester 2019A
and taking stock of the outcome of 18B.
Preliminary completion results for pro-
grams in the regular queue (in other
words, excluding Targets of Opportunity
and block-scheduled instrument modes)
are shown in Figure 4 (following page).
Band 1 programs at both sites fared rath-
er well, three quarters of them reaching
100% completion. In the North, Band 3,
which typically takes the more relaxed ob-
serving conditions, fared relatively worse
— another reflection of the fact that 18B was
better than either of the preceding B semes-
ters in Hawai‘i.
In the South, the completion rate was better
than it has been for many semesters, thanks
to a healthy percentage of stable, good
conditions despite the loss of five nights to
a major earthquake in January 2019. Note
that in 18B we took data on the last of the
traditional “rollover” programs; from now
on, regular queue Band 1 programs (except
Target of Opportunities, Fast Turnaround,
Director’s Discretionary, and Large and Long
Programs) have one semester of “persis-
tence,” and so some of those will continue to
accumulate data as we continue into 2019A.