After a long path of development, ALPAO are proud to see their DM3228 Deformable Mirror installed at the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.

Beginning of the project

A few years ago, the ESO (European Southern Observatory), funded the development of a new large ALPAO deformable mirror to answer to the technical and scientific challenges of the next generation of astronomical instruments : the DM3228.

The DM3228, always based on ALPAO proprietary electro-magnetic technology, provides 3228 actuators, spaced every 1.5mm on a 90mm diameter pupil.

One of the major challenges of this deformable mirror was to meet the space constraints defined by the researchers within the installation. This product was developed, manufactured and tested, at ALPAO's facility in Montbonnot, France. It was a meticulous task that required a lot of expertise from all of our team specialists (mechanical, electronic, optics, test & measurement…).

This first DM3228 delivered end of 2019 is currently in service at the MEUDON observatory (France).

Earlier this year, we have delivered a second DM3228 to the research team at the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, USA. During this project we had to solve quite a number of issues but Alpao’s team never gave up and thanks to the customer support, we finally installed the deformable mirror a few months ago on the “SCExAO” instrument (Subaru Coronographic Extreme Adaptive Optics).

The deformable mirror will allow, among other things, to bring to a next level the search for exoplanets!

Watch ALPAO's latest webinar on this subject below:

DM installed on Subaru laboratory test bench in Hawaii.

At the SPIE Astronomical Telescope and Instrumentation conference held in Yokohama, Japan last June, Dr. Julien LOZI, Senior SCExAO Scientist at Subaru Telescope NAOJ, has presented some very promising first technical results on sky obtained using Alpao DM3228. For example, an unprecedented increase in contrast levels on the Subaru 8-meter class telescopes.

More information on ALPAO's Deformable Mirror technology here