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Proceedings Paper

The Hobby-Eberly Telescope completion project
Author(s): John A. Booth; Marsha J. Wolf; James R. Fowler; Mark T. Adams; John M. Good; Philip W. Kelton; Edwin S. Barker; Povilas Palunas; Frank N. Bash; Lawrence W. Ramsey; Gary J. Hill; Phillip J. MacQueen; Mark E. Cornell; Edward Larry Robinson
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Paper Abstract

The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) is a fixed-elevation, 9.2-m telescope with a spherical primary mirror and a tracker at prime focus to follow astronomical objects. The telescope was constructed for $13.9M over the period 1994-1997. A number of telescope performance deficiencies were identified and corrected following construction. Remaining problems included: 1) Dome seeing, 2) inadequate initial mirror segment alignment accuracy, and 3) mirror segment misalignment with time. The HET Completion Project was created in May 2001 to attack these problems and to identify and solve the next tier of problems. To address dome seeing, large louvers were installed and in operation by May 2002. Efforts are also underway to eliminate or suppress heat sources within the dome environment. To address segment alignment accuracy, a prototype Shack-Hartmann device, the Mirror Alignment Recovery System (MARS), was built and is in routine use at HET. The Segment Alignment Maintenance System (SAMS) is in early operation and has markedly improved telescope performance. Two Differential Image Motion Monitor (DIMM) telescopes were brought into regular operation in July 2001 to quantify atmospheric seeing at HET. As these improvements have been implemented, telescope image quality has improved significantly. Plans are in place to address additional performance issues.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 February 2003
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 4837, Large Ground-based Telescopes, (4 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.458223
Show Author Affiliations
John A. Booth, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Marsha J. Wolf, Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
James R. Fowler, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Mark T. Adams, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
John M. Good, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Philip W. Kelton, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Edwin S. Barker, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Povilas Palunas, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Frank N. Bash, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Lawrence W. Ramsey, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Gary J. Hill, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Phillip J. MacQueen, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Mark E. Cornell, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Edward Larry Robinson, Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)


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

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