Implementation of MUAV as reference source for GLAO systems

  • Raúl Rodríguez GarcíaEmail author
  • Salvador Cuevas
Original Article


We propose an alternative method to generate an artificial reference source for a Ground Layer Adaptive Optics system airborne on a Multirotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Turbulence profiles from the Ground Layer at the National Astronomical Observatory in San Pedro Martir were analyzed to establish the requirements in luminosity, altitude, and flight stability of an artificial source. We found the source must be at least 800 m above the observatory’s surface and follow a fixed trajectory to emulate the apparent movement of the stars with a stability of 1.54 cm in time intervals smaller than 18 ms. We establish some commercial and customized MUAVs can nearly accomplish this task.


Adaptive optics GLAO Artificial reference source MUAV UAV 



The authors would like to thank Institute of Astronomy UNAM for the facilities provided. We also thank our anonymous referees for their comments that helped us to improve this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de AstronomíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico

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