Share Email Print
cover

Proceedings Paper

The Hobby-Eberly Telescope: performance upgrades, status, and plans
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $14.40 $18.00
cover GOOD NEWS! Your organization subscribes to the SPIE Digital Library. You may be able to download this paper for free. Check Access

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 series of extensive engineering upgrades and corrective actions have been completed recently, resulting in significantly improved delivered image quality and increased operational efficiency. The telescope's Spherical Aberration Corrector (SAC) optics were recoated with a highly reflective and durable broadband coating at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The software mount model that maintains optical alignment of the SAC with the 11-m primary mirror array was recalibrated and improved. The acquisition and guiding optics for both the High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS) and the Low Resolution Spectrograph (LRS) were reworked and improved, allowing for better focus and SAC alignment monitoring and control. Recoating of the primary mirror segment array was begun. Telescope images of 0.82 arcseconds have been recorded for sustained periods in preliminary testing following the engineering upgrade, an improvement of 50% over previous best performance. Additional engineering upgrades are scheduled to consolidate these performance gains and to continue improving delivered image quality, throughput, and telescope operational efficiency. The HET is now capable of the science performance for which it was designed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5489, Ground-based Telescopes, (28 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552500
Show Author Affiliations
John A. Booth, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas (United States)
Mark T. Adams, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Edwin S. Barker, NASA Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Frank N. Bash, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas (United States)
James R. Fowler, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas (United States)
John M. Good, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas (United States)
Gary J. Hill, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas (United States)
Philip W. Kelton, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas (United States)
David L. Lambert, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas (United States)
Phillip J. MacQueen, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas (United States)
Povilas Palunas, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas (United States)
Lawrence W. Ramsey, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Gordon L. Wesley, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5489:
Ground-based Telescopes
Jacobus M. Oschmann, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top