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Proceedings Paper

Upgraded UKIRT
Author(s): Timothy G. Hawarden; Nicholas P. Rees; Charles P. Cavedoni; Timothy C. Chuter; Antonio C. Chrysostomou; Donald G. Pettie; Richard J. Bennett; Eli Ettedgui-Atad; John W. Harris; Brian Mack; Eckhart Pitz; Andreas Glindemann; Stefan Hippler; Ralf-Rainer Rohloff; Karl Wagner
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Paper Abstract

The 3.8 m UK Infrared Telescope has been the focus of a program of upgrades intended to deliver images which are as close as possible to the diffraction limit at (lambda) equals 2.2 micrometers (FWHM equals 0.'12). This program is almost complete and many benefits are being seen. A high-bandwidth tip-tilt secondary mirror driven by a Fast Guider sampling at <EQ 100 Hz effectively eliminates image movement as long as a guide star with R < 16.m5 is available within +/- 3.'5 of the target. Low-order active control of the primary mirror and precision positioning of the secondary, using simple lookup tables, provide telescope optics which are already almost diffraction limited at (lambda) equals 2 micrometers . To reduce facility seeing the dome has been equipped with sixteen closable apertures to permit natural wind flushing, assisted in low winds by the building ventilation system. The primary mirror will soon be actively cooled and the concrete dome floor may be thermally insulated against daytime heating if fire safety concerns can be resolved. Delivered images in the K band now have FWHM which is usually <EQ 0.'8, frequently <EQ 0.'6 and quite often approximately 0.'3. Examples of the latter are shown: these approximate the resolution achieved by NICMOS on the HST. We estimate that the productivity of the telescope has approximately doubled, while its oversubscription factor has increased to > 4.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 August 1998
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3352, Advanced Technology Optical/IR Telescopes VI, (25 August 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.319306
Show Author Affiliations
Timothy G. Hawarden, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Nicholas P. Rees, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Charles P. Cavedoni, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Timothy C. Chuter, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Antonio C. Chrysostomou, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Donald G. Pettie, Royal Observatory Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Richard J. Bennett, Royal Observatory Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Eli Ettedgui-Atad, Royal Observatory Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
John W. Harris, Royal Observatory Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Brian Mack, Royal Greenwich Observatory (United Kingdom)
Eckhart Pitz, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Andreas Glindemann, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Stefan Hippler, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Ralf-Rainer Rohloff, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Karl Wagner, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)


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

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