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Proceedings Paper

The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope: beginning construction of the world's largest solar telescope
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Paper Abstract

The 4m Advance Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) will be the most powerful solar telescope and the world's leading ground-based resource for studying solar magnetism that controls the solar wind, flares, coronal mass ejections and variability in the Sun's output. The project has successfully passed its final design review and the Environmental Impact Study for construction of ATST on Haleakala, Maui, HI has been concluded in December of 2009. The project is now entering its construction phase. As its highest priority science driver ATST shall provide high resolution and high sensitivity observations of the dynamic solar magnetic fields throughout the solar atmosphere, including the corona at infrared wavelengths. With its 4 m aperture, ATST will resolve features at 0."03 at visible wavelengths and obtain 0."1 resolution at the magnetically highly sensitive near infrared wavelengths. A high order adaptive optics system delivers a corrected beam to the initial set of state-of-the-art, facility class instrumentation located in the coudé laboratory facility. The initial set of first generation instruments consists of five facility class instruments, including imagers and spectropolarimeters. The high polarimetric sensitivity and accuracy required for measurements of the illusive solar magnetic fields place strong constraints on the polarization analysis and calibration. Development and construction of a fourmeter solar telescope presents many technical challenges, including thermal control of the enclosure, telescope structure and optics and wavefront control. A brief overview of the science goals and observational requirements of the ATST will be given, followed by a summary of the design status of the telescope and its instrumentation, including design status of major subsystems, such as the telescope mount assembly, enclosure, mirror assemblies, and wavefront correction

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2010
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 7733, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III, 77330G (28 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857714
Show Author Affiliations
T. R. Rimmele, National Solar Observatory (United States)
J. Wagner, National Solar Observatory (United States)
S. Keil, National Solar Observatory (United States)
D. Elmore, National Solar Observatory (United States)
R. Hubbard, National Solar Observatory (United States)
E. Hansen, National Solar Observatory (United States)
M. Warner, National Solar Observatory (United States)
P. Jeffers, National Solar Observatory (United States)
L. Phelps, National Solar Observatory (United States)
H. Marshall, National Solar Observatory (United States)
B. Goodrich, National Solar Observatory (United States)
K. Richards, National Solar Observatory (United States)
S. Hegwer, National Solar Observatory (United States)
R. Kneale, National Solar Observatory (United States)
J. Ditsler, National Solar Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7733:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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