Sky coverage modeling for the whole sky for laser guide star multiconjugate adaptive optics

Appl Opt. 2012 Jun 1;51(16):3692-700. doi: 10.1364/AO.51.003692.

Abstract

The scientific productivity of laser guide star adaptive optics systems strongly depends on the sky coverage, which describes the probability of finding natural guide stars for the tip/tilt wavefront sensor(s) to achieve a certain performance. Knowledge of the sky coverage is also important for astronomers planning their observations. In this paper, we present an efficient method to compute the sky coverage for the laser guide star multiconjugate adaptive optics system, the Narrow Field Infrared Adaptive Optics System (NFIRAOS), being designed for the Thirty Meter Telescope project. We show that NFIRAOS can achieve more than 70% sky coverage over most of the accessible sky with the requirement of 191 nm total rms wavefront.