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Proceedings Paper

Mechanical design evolution of the VIRUS instrument for volume production and deployment
Author(s): Brian L. Vattiat; Gary J. Hill; J. L. Marshall; D. L. DePoy; Svend Bauer; Andreas Kelz; M. D. Rafal; Richard Savage; John Good; John A. Booth; M. P. Smith; Travis Prochaska; Richard D. Allen
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Paper Abstract

The Visible Integral-Field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS) is an integral field spectrograph to support observations for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). The VIRUS instrument is fed by more than 33,000 optical fibers and consists of 150 spectrographs in 75 individual, identical units. This paper discusses the evolution in mechanical design of the VIRUS unit spectrographs to maximize the cost benefit from volume production. Design features which enable volume manufacture and assembly are discussed. Strategies for reducing part count while enabling precision alignment are detailed. Design considerations for deployment, operation, and maintenance en mass at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope are also made. In addition, several enabling technologies are described including the use of cast aluminum in vacuum housings, use of cast Invar, and processing cast parts for precision tolerances.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 July 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 773575 (20 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857314
Show Author Affiliations
Brian L. Vattiat, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Gary J. Hill, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
J. L. Marshall, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
D. L. DePoy, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Svend Bauer, Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam (Germany)
Andreas Kelz, Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam (Germany)
M. D. Rafal, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Richard Savage, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
John Good, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
John A. Booth, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
M. P. Smith, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Travis Prochaska, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Richard D. Allen, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7735:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III
Ian S. McLean; Suzanne K. Ramsay; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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