Science Operations


There are several ways to utilize the LBTI for Thermal – mid infrared AO imaging.

Imaging Mode LMIRcam NOMIC About
Single Sided AO-imaging Background limited imaging or for those that want to take advantage of the full detector array.  For this mode a cold stop is placed to block the light from either the left or right telescope.
Double Sided non-Overlapped 1.4-5μm AO-imaging Speckle limited imaging. Dual AO images acquired placed side by side separated by ~half the width of the FoV.
Expert / Experimental Modes
Double Sided Overlapped AO-imaging Utilizes full collecting area of both telescopes at the cost of PSF stability.
Wall-Eyed Imaging Simultaneously image a science target and calibrator separated by <2arcmin, on to a single detector allowing for accurate differential photometry.

The alignment optics of LBTI allow for differential pointing of each side by some amount. This allows for easy adjustment of the beams to either overlap them on one of the science detectors, or to place the images side-by-side.

Further, the cameras have internal cold stops that can allow for blocking of either the left or right telescope, along with the background associated with the telescope. This allows for mix-and-match styles of observations.

Some programs, such as ones with numerous pointings and short exposures for example, to use one side only.  For programs that are contrast-limited, acquiring dual AO images with the images separated by half the detector width can be the most efficient and effective way to reach science goals.

Low signal-to-noise companion data can either be confirmed or ruled out with the simultaneous images from each telescope. This style of operation can also allow for different science detectors to be used on each side of the telescope. For example, it is possible to acquire NOMIC images with the left side while acquiring LMIRCam images with the right side, with independent nodding throws and timing for each camera.