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Proceedings Paper

Present and future instrumentation for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope
Author(s): Gary J. Hill; Phillip J. MacQueen; Povilas Palunas; Stuart I. Barnes; Matthew D. Shetrone
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Paper Abstract

The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) is an innovative large telescope of 9.2 meter aperture, located in West Texas at McDonald Observatory. The HET operates with a fixed segmented primary and has a tracker which moves the four-mirror corrector and prime focus instrument package to track the sidereal and non-sidereal motions of objects. The HET has been taking science data for nearly a decade. Recent work has improved performance significantly, replacing the mirror coatings and installing metrology equipment to provide feedback that aids tracking and alignment of the primary mirror segments. The first phase of HET instrumentation included three facility instruments: the Low Resolution Spectrograph (LRS), the Medium Resolution Spectrograph (MRS), and High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS). The current status of these instruments is briefly described. A major upgrade of HET is in progress that will increase the field of view to 22 arcminutes diameter, replacing the corrector, tracker and prime focus instrument package. This wide field upgrade will feed a revolutionary new integral field spectrograph called VIRUS, in support of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). VIRUS is a facility instrument that consists of 150 or more copies of a simple unit integral field spectrograph. In total VIRUS will observe 34,000 spatial elements simultaneously, and will open up wide-area surveys of the emission-line universe for the first time. We describe the HET wide field upgrade and the development of VIRUS, including results from testing the prototype of the VIRUS unit spectrograph.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 July 2008
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 701406 (9 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788225
Show Author Affiliations
Gary J. Hill, McDonald Observatory, Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Phillip J. MacQueen, McDonald Observatory, Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Povilas Palunas, McDonald Observatory, Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Stuart I. Barnes, McDonald Observatory, Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Matthew D. Shetrone, Hobby-Eberly Telescope, Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7014:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II
Ian S. McLean; Mark M. Casali, Editor(s)

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