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Proceedings Paper

UKIRT upgrades program: preparing for the 21st century
Author(s): Timothy G. Hawarden; Charles P. Cavedoni; Nicholas P. Rees; Timothy C. Chuter; Donald G. Pettie; Colin M. Humphries; Richard J. Bennett; E. Etad; John W. Harris; Brian Mack; Eckhart Pitz; Andreas Glindemann; Ralf-Rainer Rohloff
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Paper Abstract

In the 1970s the pioneering thin-mirror 3.8 m United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) of the UK Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) was conceived as a low-cost `light bucket', with an 80% encircled-energy diameter <EQ 3'. However the delivered primary mirror had an 80 encircled- energy diameter of approximately 1' and the telescope has regularly delivered sub-arc-second images. To exploit this quality and to keep UKIRT competitive in a 21st century of 8-meter telescopes, in 1991 the SERC initiated an ambitious Upgrades Program, with the goal of routinely providing near- diffraction limited images at 2.2 microns. The major elements of the program are an adaptive tip-tilt secondary system, an active five-axis secondary collimation system, an upgraded primary mirror support system providing active control of the main optical aberrations, and modifications to the telescope and its enclosure to reduce or eliminate dome and mirror seeing, so as to take advantage of the excellent natural seeing on Mauna Kea. This paper outlines the overall project goals, the proposed strategies for upgrading the telescope and the progress to date.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1994
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2199, Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes V, (1 June 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.176215
Show Author Affiliations
Timothy G. Hawarden, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Charles P. Cavedoni, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Nicholas P. Rees, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Timothy C. Chuter, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Donald G. Pettie, Royal Observatory Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Colin M. Humphries, Royal Observatory Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Richard J. Bennett, Royal Observatory Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
E. Etad, Royal Observatory Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
John W. Harris, Royal Observatory Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Brian Mack, Royal Greenwich Observatory (United Kingdom)
Eckhart Pitz, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Andreas Glindemann, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Ralf-Rainer Rohloff, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2199:
Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes V
Larry M. Stepp, Editor(s)

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