Four units of TOPTICA’s laser guide star system “SodiumStar 20/2” project powerful orange beams into the air in Chile’s Atacama desert. Due to Rayleigh scattering, the SodiumStar laser beams are visible up to a height of a few tens of kilometres. When they enter the sodium layer at about 100 km altitude, they generate an artificial star used for adaptive optics correction.
On April 26th, the impressive Four-Laser Guide Star Facility (4LGSF) was fully operational for the first time at the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the Paranal Observatory in Chile. During the preceding verification phase, a team of TOPTICA and ESO engineers successfully completed the required system tests. This is a major step towards the completion of the Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF) and evident proof of the capability of TOPTICA’s ground-breaking guide star solution.