About The Use of Laser Telescope

The laser power of an adaptive optics is about 20 watts if not higher, 4000 times the power of a class 3A consumer laser delivering less than 5 mW! It goes without saying that a power laser can only be used when there is no plane or satellite in the sky, a glare that can dramatically hurt pilots or dazzle military satellites. this is why, as this article explains, in the United States the use of power lasers is controlled by the Space Command of the USAF and by the Federal Administration of Civil Aviation (FAA). ).

A study published in 2009 by AURA and NSF researchers showed that the ban on using lasers while flying planes or satellites prevented Hawaiian Keck telescope astronomers from doing their job for 30 years. minutes to several hours during 5 to 10% of nights of observations.

As we say in these cases, the discussions between the parties were cordial but no agreement was found, especially since the NSF does not consider the issue of the use of the laser as a high priority.

In this context, American astronomers recognize that astronomy sites located outside the United States jurisdiction have an advantage, notably the ESO Observatory in Chile and the Observatory of Roque de los Muchachos located on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands where the Europeans have the GTC, a telescope of 10.4 m opening. Finally, seen from this angle the Europeans have nothing to envy to Uncle Sam.

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