The Thirty Meter Telescope will employ a sophisticated adaptive optics system to compensate for image blurring caused by atmospheric turbulence. The NFIRAOS facility adaptive optics system will employ high-powered lasers to produce artificial "stars" in the Earth's mesospheric sodium layer. Light from these stars, collected by the telescope, provides information about the atmospheric phase distortion which is then corrected in real time by two deformable mirrors controled by an advanced computer system. The system will allow the telescope to achieve a resolution limited only by the wavelength of light.
NFIRAOS is being designed and built in Canada by the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics. As Project Scientist, I work with scientists and engineers at TMT and HIA to develop specifications and assess possible design options.