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Proceedings Paper

Design of a large low-scattered light telescope for solar observations
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Paper Abstract

This paper is an interim report of a feasibility study which is in progress for a large 400 cm aperture solar telescope (`CLEAR'). Unlike other large solar telescopes constructed in the last three decades, CLEAR does not use the concept of evacuated telescopes to eliminate internal seeing. The requirement for full access to the far infrared spectral region (> 2.5 micrometers ), and for low scattered light, eliminates the use of the entrance window which evacuated telescopes require. Instead, CLEAR avoids internal seeing by carefully controlling the internal thermal environment of the telescope by a number of means: (1) thermal control of the primary mirror; (2) flow of ambient air over the primary mirror surface and in the telescope; (3) locating the primary focus outside the telescope beam and enclosure where the heating resulting in concentrated sunlight can be managed better (this requires the use of an off-axis primary mirror); and (4) the use of a prime focus heat stop/absorber. In addition to controlling the internal seeing, such a configuration produces a telescope with very low scattered light characteristics, allowing quality observation of regions outside the solar limb and of sunspots. By eliminating the need for a large entrance window, the CLEAR concept therefore opens up the possibility of larger aperture solar telescopes. Notwithstanding its off-axis configuration, the Gregorian telescope produces excellent images (< 0.1 arcsec) over a 5 arcminute diameter field-of-view at the f/130 Gregorian focus. In addition to the four instrumentation stations near the Gregorian focus (i.e., direct Gregorian, Nasmyth, two `folded Gregorian'), the design provides for extensive instrumentation locations in a coude area. By means of a 3- level rotating coude platform, large instruments can be located at respectively f/30, f/45 and f/60 foci.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 August 1998
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 3352, Advanced Technology Optical/IR Telescopes VI, (25 August 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.319273
Show Author Affiliations
Jacques Maurice Beckers, National Optical Astronomy Observatories (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3352:
Advanced Technology Optical/IR Telescopes VI
Larry M. Stepp, Editor(s)

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