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Proceedings Paper

First science observations with the ACES echelle spectrograph
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Paper Abstract

The use of spectrographs with telescopes having high order adaptive optics (AO) systems offers the possibility of achieving near diffraction-limited spectral resolution with ground-based telescopes, as well as important advantages for instrument design. The use of an optical fiber to couple the instrument to the telescope affords additional advantages such as flexibility in the placement of the instrument and improved homogeneity of the input illumination function. In the case of Steward Observatory's Adaptively Coupled Echelle Spectrograph (ACES), the instrument is normally coupled to the telescope with an 8 micron diameter near single-mode optical fiber, although the instrument can be used at fixed focus locations without the fiber for telescopes so equipped. The use of a fiber coupler results in the phenomenon known as 'modal noise', where the transmission of multiple modes in the fiber leads to a wavelength-dependent variation in illumination that limits flat fielding precision. We have largely eliminated this effect through the use of an automated fiber stretcher device. We report here on improvements to the fiber feed optics and on interim observations made with the instrument at a conventional telescope not equipped with adaptive optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 September 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5492, Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy, (30 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552334
Show Author Affiliations
Robert O. Reynolds, Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Michael Lloyd-Hart, Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5492:
Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy
Alan F. M. Moorwood; Masanori Iye, Editor(s)

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