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Proceedings Paper

Performance predictions for the Robert Stobie spectrograph near infrared arm on SALT
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Paper Abstract

The Robert Stobie Spectrograph near infrared arm will provide high throughput, low to medium resolution long slit and multi-object spectroscopy with broadband, spectropolarimetric, and Fabry-Perot imaging modes over a 8' diameter field of view. The wavelength range of the instrument is 0.9-1.7 microns, and can be operated simultaneously with the visible arm to extend the short wavelength limit to 0.32 microns. Once fielded, RSS-NIR will be the only facility instrument on an 8-10 meter class telescope with multi-object spectroscopy capability covering this spectral range simultaneously. RSS-NIR is scheduled to be commissioned on the 11-meter Southern African Large Telescope in late 2012. This is an upgrade to the existing visible instrument, with which it shares the slit plane and an ambient temperature collimator. Beyond the collimator, the NIR arm is cooled to -40 °C, with a cryogenic dewar containing the detector, long wavelength blocking filters, and final camera optics. This semi-warm configuration has required extensive upfront analysis of the instrumental thermal background levels, which have been incorporated into the instrument performance simulator. We present the performance predictions for spectroscopic modes of RSS-NIR and preliminary performance estimates and NIR issues still being addressed in the design for Fabry-Perot and polarimetric modes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 July 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77357V (20 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.858226
Show Author Affiliations
Marsha J. Wolf, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Andrew I. Sheinis, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Theodore B. Williams, Rutgers, The State Univ. of New Jersey (United States)
Kenneth H. Nordsieck, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Matthew A. Bershady, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (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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