The aim of the Project is to equip the GRAN TELESCOPIO CANARIAS (GTC) Adaptive Optics system (GTCAO) with a Laser Guide Star (LGS) Facility (LGSF), to extend its sky coverage.
The GTCAO system will compensate the atmospheric turbulence in the line of sight of the scientific field of view (FOV), allowing GTC to exploit its high spatial resolution capabilities. A bright star is necessary to measure the atmospheric turbulence and compensate it. Therefore, the use of the GTCAO is limited to the presence of bright natural guide stars within the isoplanatic angle of the science object, a few arcseconds around it. So the regions of the sky where GTCAO can be used are very reduced.
The availability of a LGS, that can be generated at any position on the sky, will allow to increase dramatically the GTCAO sky coverage and the potential science that can be done with its high resolution instrumentation.
The Adaptive Optics (AO) for the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) corrects the effect of the atmospheric turbulence on the light, to exploit the high spatial resolution capability of GTC. The Laser Guide Star (LGS) extends the coverage of GTCAO to any part of the sky, increasing dramatically the capability to do high spatial resolution science.