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Proceedings Paper

SOAR 4.1-m Telescope: from commissioning to early science
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Paper Abstract

Development of the 4.1 meter SOuthern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) Telescope is now complete. All baseline systems are in place and extensive commissioning activities have been performed with and without the primary optics installed in the telescope. The facility and dome have been under observatory operations and TCS control for a year of testing and tuning. The altitude over azimuth telescope mount was integrated on the mountain in a rapid 3-month period due to the complete assembly and testing performed at the factory prior to delivery. Early mount testing and successful integration into the Telescope Control System (TCS) without the optical system was accomplished on the sky through use of two separate small aperture telescopes fixed to the structure. One of these, the "feed telescope" was also pivotal in early testing of the calibration wavefront sensor and SOAR optical imager by directing focused light to these separate instruments. The SOAR optical system, with its 4.1 meter clear aperture, 100 cm thick, ULEtm primary mirror, its lightweight ULEtm secondary, and its fast tip tilt ULEtm tertiary has been delivered and installed in the telescope. This system was also assembled as an electrically connected system and individually optically tested under a visible interferometer at the factory enabling rapid integration and a short commissioning period on telescope. In this paper we present the project status, a summary of the commissioning period, and the performance data for the completed telescope and its major components.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5489, Ground-based Telescopes, (28 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552602
Show Author Affiliations
Victor L. Krabbendam, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Stephen Heathcote, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
German Schumacher, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Hugo E. Schwarz, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Thomas A. Sebring, Lowell Observatory (United States)
Michael Warner, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)

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

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