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6 July 2018 Characterising the stability of the SPRAT autonomous imaging spectrograph
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SPRAT1 is a low resolution (R ∼ 300) long-slit spectrograph operating in the optical range 400 – 800 nm. It employs a linear layout with deployable optics and can image a 7.5 × 1.8 arcmin field during target acquisition. SPRAT has successfully operated on the robotic 2-metre Liverpool Telescope (LT)2 on La Palma since late 2014, with >1000 calibration arc spectra and acquisition images taken since installation. Reliable autonomous acquisition without human intervention requires stricter stability criteria to reliably locate a target object in a long-slit spectrograph. We describe methods used to characterise the mechanical repeatability in deployment of the slit and optical components using calibration arcs and standard star spectra, together with acquisition field images. The effect of the instrument orientation and annual temperature variations on the accuracy in locating a target in the imaging plane is characterised together with longer term drifts. The characterisation is compared with the initial design goals of the instrument and used to calculate correction coefficients.
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Andrzej S. Piascik and Iain A. Steele "Characterising the stability of the SPRAT autonomous imaging spectrograph", Proc. SPIE 10702, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII, 107022A (6 July 2018);

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