The SBIG AO-X is a large aperture AO designed to be compatible with all STX and STXL series cameras, including the STX-16803, STXL-16200, STXL-11000 and STXL-6303. The AO-X requies minimal backfocus while offering a large 3″ aperture optical element, which is large enough to cover the KAF-16803 CCD sensor.
The AO-X requires an off-axis guide camera behind the device. The StarChaser SC-3 can be used with all STXL and STX cameras in conjunction with FW8S-STXL or FW7-STX filter wheels. It can also be used with the STX Guider stacked on an FW7-STX, with an FW8G-STXL self-guiding filter wheel, or with a Remote Guide Head if you have a custom Off-Axis Guider setup.
The images below are actual star images showing the effect of image wander corrected at 1 Hz and 10 Hz:
- 1 Hz Corrections
- 10 Hz Corrections
And the resulting size of the star image in a long exposure:
1 Hz Corrections
10 Hz Corrections
Other data gathered by Brad Wallis of JPL (Brad Wallis and Benoit Schillings developed the prototype for the original AO-7) show the the effect of rapid corrections on poor seeing. At 1 Hz the larger, slower component is reduced, but the amplitude of the jitter remains about the same:
However, at a 5Hz correction rate, the faster jitter is reduced:
And at a 10 Hz correction rate, significant improvement is seen:
The improvement in stellar profiles can also be seen at corrections above 1 Hz. First by looking at the non-AO guided image:
And comparing the non-AO guided image to the AO guided image there is again significant improvement in the FWHM of the star profile:
Telescope mounts cannot correct faster than about once per second. The 10Hz rate of the AO-X will clearly result in improved resolution under the right conditions.