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Proceedings Paper

Better flat-fielding for ground-based UV spectrographs
Author(s): Florian Kerber; Reinhard Hanuschik; Sabine Moehler; Alain Smette; Jonathan Smoker; Pierre Bourget; Peter J. Dwyer; Michael Rotschädl
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Paper Abstract

A new technological development, the laser driven light source (LDLS), in which a laser excited plasma emits intense continuum radiation over a wide wavelength range from well below the atmospheric cut-off up to 800 nm, promises to greatly improve our ability to provide high quality flat-fields for astronomical spectrographs. Its particular strength lies in the ground-based ultraviolet (UV). We report on tests conducted with a LDLS using FORS2, UVES, X-Shooter and CRIRES at ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in August 2013. Comparison with standard calibration sources such as halogen and deuterium lamps shows that with the LDLS flat-fields with a better balanced dynamic range and excellent signal to noise ratio can be achieved within short exposure times. This will enable higher quality science at the short wavelength end of existing spectrographs at the VLT. Furthermore the LDLS provides exceptional stability and long lifetime as important operational aspects. Optimised UV spectrographs such as the proposed CUBES (wavelength range 300-400 nm) project will be able to take full advantage of this development removing the long-standing limitation of signal to noise ratios of UV flat-fields.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 July 2014
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9147, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V, 914743 (8 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2055179
Show Author Affiliations
Florian Kerber, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Reinhard Hanuschik, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Sabine Moehler, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Alain Smette, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Jonathan Smoker, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Pierre Bourget, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Peter J. Dwyer, Energetiq Technology, Inc. (United States)
Michael Rotschädl, Mountain Photonics GmbH (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9147:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V
Suzanne K. Ramsay; Ian S. McLean; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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