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Proceedings Paper

A fast new cadioptric design for fiber-fed spectrographs
Author(s): Will Saunders
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Paper Abstract

The next generation of massively multiplexed multi-object spectrographs (DESpec, SUMIRE, BigBOSS, 4MOST, HECTOR) demand fast, efficient and affordable spectrographs, with higher resolutions (R = 3000-5000) than current designs. Beam-size is a (relatively) free parameter in the design, but the properties of VPH gratings are such that, for fixed resolution and wavelength coverage, the effect on beam-size on overall VPH efficiency is very small. For alltransmissive cameras, this suggests modest beam-sizes (say 80-150mm) to minimize costs; while for cadioptric (Schmidt-type) cameras, much larger beam-sizes (say 250mm+) are preferred to improve image quality and to minimize obstruction losses. Schmidt designs have benefits in terms of image quality, camera speed and scattered light performance, and recent advances such as MRF technology mean that the required aspherics are no longer a prohibitive cost or risk. The main objections to traditional Schmidt designs are the inaccessibility of the detector package, and the loss in throughput caused by it being in the beam. With expected count rates and current read-noise technology, the gain in camera speed allowed by Schmidt optics largely compensates for the additional obstruction losses. However, future advances in readout technology may erase most of this compensation. A new Schmidt/Maksutov-derived design is presented, which differs from previous designs in having the detector package outside the camera, and adjacent to the spectrograph pupil. The telescope pupil already contains a hole at its center, because of the obstruction from the telescope top-end. With a 250mm beam, it is possible to largely hide a 6cm × 6cm detector package and its dewar within this hole. This means that the design achieves a very high efficiency, competitive with transmissive designs. The optics are excellent, as least as good as classic Schmidt designs, allowing F/1.25 or even faster cameras. The principal hardware has been costed at $300K per arm, making the design affordable.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8446, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 844654 (24 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925704
Show Author Affiliations
Will Saunders, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8446:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV
Ian S. McLean; Suzanne K. Ramsay; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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