Abstract

The adaptive-optics (AO) system at the W. M. Keck Observatory is characterized. We calculate the error budget of the Keck AO system operating in natural guide star mode with a near-infrared imaging camera. The measurement noise and bandwidth errors are obtained by modeling the control loops and recording residual centroids. Results of sky performance tests are presented: The AO system is shown to deliver images with average Strehl ratios of as much as 0.37 at 1.58 μm when a bright guide star is used and of 0.19 for a magnitude 12 star. The images are consistent with the predicted wave-front error based on our error budget estimates.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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