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Proceedings Paper

Technical challenges of the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope
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Paper Abstract

The 4m Advance Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) will be the most powerful solar telescope in the world, providing a unique scientific tool to study the Sun and possibly other astronomical objects, such as solar system planets. We briefly summarize the science drivers and observational requirements of ATST. The main focus of this paper is on the many technical challenges involved in designing a large aperture solar telescope. The ATST project has entered the design and development phase. Development of a 4-m solar telescope presents many technical challenges. Most existing high-resolution solar telescopes are designed as vacuum telescopes to avoid internal seeing caused by the solar heat load. The large aperture drives the ATST to an open-air design, similar to night-time telescope designs, and makes thermal control of optics and telescope structure a paramount consideration. A heat stop must reject most of the energy (13 kW) at prime focus without introducing internal seeing. To achieve diffraction-limited observations at visible and infrared wavelengths, ATST will have a high order (order 1000 DoF) adaptive optics system using solar granulation as the wavefront sensing target. Coronal observations require occulting in prime focus, a Lyot stop and contamination control of the primary. An initial set of instruments will be designed as integral part of the telescope. First telescope design and instrument concepts will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 February 2003
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 4837, Large Ground-based Telescopes, (4 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.456707
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas R. Rimmele, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Stephen L. Keil, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Christoph U. Keller, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Frank Hill, National Solar Observatory (United States)
John Briggs, Univ. of Chicago (United States)
Nathan E. Dalrymple, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Bret D. Goodrich, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Steven L. Hegwer, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Rob Hubbard, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Jacobus M. Oschmann, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Richard R. Radick, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Deqing Ren, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Jeremy Wagner, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Stephen Wampler, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Mark Warner, National Solar Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4837:
Large Ground-based Telescopes
Jacobus M. Oschmann; Larry M. Stepp, Editor(s)

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