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Proceedings Paper

VIRUS: a massively replicated IFU spectrograph for HET
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Paper Abstract

We investigate the role of industrial replication in the construction of the next generation of spectrographs for large telescopes. In this paradigm, a simple base spectrograph unit is replicated to provide multiplex advantage, while the engineering costs are amortized over many copies. We argue that this is a cost-effective approach when compared to traditional spectrograph design, where each instrument is essentially a one-off prototype with heavy expenditure on engineering effort. As an example of massive replication, we present the design of, and the science drivers for, the Visible IFU Replicable Ultra-cheap Spectrograph (VIRUS). This instrument is made up of 132 individually small and simple spectrographs, each fed by a fiber integral field unit. The total VIRUS-132 instrument covers ~29 sq. arcminutes per observation, providing integral field spectroscopy from 340 to 570 nm, simultaneously, of 32,604 spatial elements, each 1 sq. arcsecond on the sky. VIRUS-132 will be mounted on the 9.2 m Hobby-Eberly Telescope and fed by a new wide-field corrector with a science field in excess of 16.5 arcminutes diameter. VIRUS represents a new approach to spectrograph design, offering the science multiplex advantage of huge sky coverage for an integral field spectrograph, coupled with the engineering multiplex advantage of >102 spectrographs making up a whole.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 September 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5492, Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy, (30 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552474
Show Author Affiliations
Gary J. Hill, McDonald Observatory, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
Phillip J. MacQueen, McDonald Observatory, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
Carlos Tejada, Univ. Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico)
Francisco J. Cobos, Univ. Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico)
Povilas Palunas, McDonald Observatory, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
Karl Gebhardt, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
Niv Drory, Univ. of Texas/Austin (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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