LINC-NIRVANA is a near infrared imaging instrument for the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) offering both multi-conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) and interferometric beam combination for high spatial resolution.
The instrument is built by a consortium of German and Italian institutes. The Italian contribution is coordinated by INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova.
INAF-OABo has contributed to the instrument construction by the supply of two sub-systems, the so-called Mid High layer Wavefront Sensors (acronym: MHWS). These sub-systems are devoted to the measurement of the atmospheric turbulence effects on the optical wavefront and are therefore crucial parts of the MCAO system inside LINC-NIRVANA. After integration and verification in the optical laboratory of INAF-OABo, the two MHWS have been delivered to the PI institute (MPIA, Germany). The last MHWS was delivered in 2010. After delivery, INAF-OABo has supported MPIA in the integration of the two MHWS at system level.
INAF-OABo is contributing to the project also in these areas:
- definition of science case, observational strategies and data reduction procedures
- adaptive optics engineering, in particular development of the control strategies and algorithms.
The personnel at INAF-OABo involved in LINC-NIRVANA is: Carmelo Arcidiacono, Giovanni Bregoli, Paolo Ciliegi, Giuseppe Cosentino (University of Bologna, INAF associate), Emiliano Diolaiti, Italo Foppiani, Matteo Lombini, Laura Schreiber.
Another significant contribution of INAF-OABo to the LBT programme has been the development of the Infrared Test Cameras (IRTC), two near infrared technical imagers designed for the commissioning of the Gregorian foci of the telescope both in adaptive optics and seeing-limited modes.
The project was led by INAF-OABo and was carried out in collaboration with the University of Bologna and the MPIA.
The construction of these two technical imagers was completed in early 2008 after about one year from the start of the project. The two instruments were delivered and installed respectively in the test tower of the Astrophysical Observatory of Arcetri and at the LBT. In 2010 the IRTC was used to acquire the first-light images of the LBT in adaptive optics mode.