Launching a New Generation of Discovery: PlaneWave Instruments Announces Partnership with Hart Scientific Consulting International

PlaneWave Instruments and Hart Scientific Consulting International (HartSCI) have announced their new partnership to offer the world’s first commercially pre-integrated adaptive optics solution.

PlaneWave Instruments manufactures world-class telescopes and observatory systems, but advanced applications within astronomical research, laser communications, and government or agency programs often require adaptive optics (AO) to achieve the clearest images and highest data throughput possible.

Adaptive optics systems use fast-moving or deformable mirrors to correct the distortion of the atmosphere- which affects the wavefront of transmitted light- as the atmosphere blurs resolution and detail through the telescope. Incorporating AO with ground-based telescopes effectively allows them to perform closer to the level of space-based telescopes. 

HartSCI’s advanced AO systems have previously been paired with PlaneWave’s telescopes but were purchased separately and subsequently, as an AO system might take up to two years to customize, manufacture, deliver, and install before the customer could use it. 

Now, HartSCI has designed and created an AO system that seamlessly integrates with the RC700, CDK700, and PW1000. “This has never, ever been done before,” says Stephen Warner, Vice President and Program Manager for HartSCI. “It used to be 18-24 months between a customer’s purchase of an adaptive optics system to actually using the system to collect data. Now, we can be on-sky the same night as the installation.”

HartSCI’s AO is available for purchase as an optional accessory with the RC700, CDK700, and PW1000 with deliveries beginning in the 4th quarter of 2022. 

“Since our founding, PlaneWave has been on a mission to create the perfect telescope. Adaptive optics aren’t necessary for every PlaneWave customer, but this partnership democratizes access to adaptive optics for our customers who do have that need,” says Eric Blackhurst, PlaneWave’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We’re creating an easier, faster, and less expensive way to access adaptive optics than ever before. This will undoubtedly lead to new discoveries in astronomy.”