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Proceedings Paper

Saving SALT: repairs to the spherical aberration corrector of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT)
Author(s): Darragh E. O'Donoghue; James O'Connor; Lisa A. Crause; Francois Strumpfer; Ockert J. Strydom; Janus D. Brink; Craig Sass; Eben Wiid; Eli Atad-Ettedgui
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Paper Abstract

The construction of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) was largely completed by the end of 2005. At the beginning of 2006, it was realized that the telescope's image quality suffered from optical aberrations, chiefly a focus gradient across the focal plane, but also accompanied by astigmatism and higher order aberrations. In the previous conference in this series, a paper was presented describing the optical system engineering investigation which had been conducted to diagnose the problem. This investigation exonerated the primary mirror as the cause, as well as the science instruments, and was isolated to the interface between the telescope and a major optical sub-system, the spherical aberration corrector (SAC). This is a complex sub-system of four aspheric mirrors which corrects the spherical aberration of the 11-m primary mirror. In the last two years, a solution to this problem was developed which involved removing the SAC from the telescope, installing a modification of the SAC/telescope interface, re-aligning and testing the four SAC mirrors and re-installation on the telescope. This paper describes the plan, discusses the details and shows progress to date and the current status.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 2010
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 7739, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation, 77390Q (19 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856239
Show Author Affiliations
Darragh E. O'Donoghue, South African Astronomical Observatory (South Africa)
James O'Connor, South African Astronomical Observatory (South Africa)
Lisa A. Crause, South African Astronomical Observatory (South Africa)
Francois Strumpfer, South African Astronomical Observatory (South Africa)
Ockert J. Strydom, SALT Foundation (South Africa)
Janus D. Brink, SALT Foundation (South Africa)
Craig Sass, South African Astronomical Observatory (South Africa)
Eben Wiid, SALT Foundation (South Africa)
Eli Atad-Ettedgui, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7739:
Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation
Eli Atad-Ettedgui; Dietrich Lemke, Editor(s)

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