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Proceedings Paper

The X-shooter spectrograph: a new concept of mechanical assembly for a multiple-arm Cassegrain instrument
Author(s): Niels Michaelsen; Vincenzo De Caprio; Niels Christian Jessen; Jean-Louis Lizon; Ruben Mazzoleni; Marco Riva; Paolo Spano; Anton Norup Sørensen; Matteo Tintori; Dennis W. Wistisen; Hans Dekker; Per Kjærgaard Rasmussen; Filippo M. Zerbi; Sandro D'Odorico
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Paper Abstract

X-shooter is a second generation VLT instrument currently under construction by a Consortium of Institutes from Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, France and ESO. X-shooter is designed to acquire intermediate (5000-10000) resolution spectra of single objects in an unprecedented wide wavelength coverage (320-2500 nm). In order to maximize efficiency the beam is divided into 3 arms (UV, VIS and NIR) by a system of dichroics. X-shooter is designed for the Cassegrain focus of one VLT unit. The mechanical assembly has to provide specific solutions to maintain 3 arms within the strict tolerances required by the intermediate resolution, during the typical motions of the Cassegrain focal station. It must as well ensure the permanent co-alignment of the 3 slits and the stability of the spectral format on the focal plane of each arm, allowing long intervals between calibration exposures. The above requirements have been met via an innovative mechanical design merging passive stiffness and active control to obtain a light, accessible and functional assembly. This paper gives a description of the X-shooter mechanical assembly with main emphasis on the common "backbone" structure and the UV- and VIS spectrograph arms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 June 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6269, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy, 62692Z (30 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.671872
Show Author Affiliations
Niels Michaelsen, Niels Bohr Institute (Denmark)
Vincenzo De Caprio, INAF, IASF (Italy)
INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (Italy)
Niels Christian Jessen, Danish National Space Ctr. (Denmark)
Jean-Louis Lizon, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Ruben Mazzoleni, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Marco Riva, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (Italy)
Paolo Spano, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (Italy)
Anton Norup Sørensen, Niels Bohr Institute (Denmark)
Matteo Tintori, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (Italy)
Dennis W. Wistisen, Niels Bohr Institute (Denmark)
Hans Dekker, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Per Kjærgaard Rasmussen, Niels Bohr Institute (Denmark)
Filippo M. Zerbi, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (Italy)
Sandro D'Odorico, European Southern Observatory (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6269:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy
Ian S. McLean; Masanori Iye, Editor(s)

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