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Letter to the Editor
Laser guide star adaptive optics: measuring the sodium column density using a magneto-optical filter
Received 26 October 1998 / Accepted 15 February 1999
A general use of the adaptive optics requires an artificial guide star created by focusing a laser beam tuned to the sodium D2 line. We propose here a system to monitor the column density of the mesospheric sodium layer which is based on the sodium magneto-optical filter already widely used in solar observations. The principal characteristics of this system are high transmission and high spectral resolution which allow to perform measurements in minutes on a relatively small (e.g. 50 cm diameter) telescope, where the filter can easily mounted due to its compactness.
Key words: instrumentation: adaptive optics
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Online publication: March 18, 1999