14 October 1996 New dual-aperture telescope for the Mt. Evans observatory
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An unusual dual-aperture 28.5-inch, f/21 Ritchey-Chretien telescope has been completed and will be installed in the recently upgraded University of Denver extreme high altitude observatory facility, atop 14,268 ft. Mount Evans in Colorado. Designed to optimize high spatial resolution imaging, the Meyer binocular telescope incorporates active thermal management of the telescope structure. The secondary mirror support elements are fabricated from INVAR and permit active tip-tilt and focusing capability. The optics were fabricated from Zerodur by Contraves USA, and each system has a measured total wavefront error less than 0.050 lambda at 633 nm. All optical surfaces are coated with a multi- layer dielectric enhanced silver, providing high reflectance from below 350 nm to beyond 26 micrometer. The telescope control system has been designed to allow initial operation from an insulated control room. Long-term plans call for totally remote operation from the University of Denver campus via direct microwave radio link. Instrumentation planned for the telescope at first light includes: (1) a low order 400 nm to 1,000 nm band adaptive optics system (AO5: adaptive optics, 5 mode) equipped with a large format CCD camera; (2) a mid-infrared array camera (TNTCAM: ten and twenty micron camera); and (3) a mid-IR moderate dispersion spectrometer (TGIRS: two grating IR spectrometer). Some of the science problems the dual aperture telescope is uniquely situated to tackle include the study of planetary atmosphere, detection of planetary systems around nearby stars and the analysis of evolutionary changes in stars. The Mount Evans site (at 4,303 meters elevation, the highest operating astronomical facility in the world) is located 70 km west of Denver and can be reached via a paved state highway which extends all the way to the summit. The observatory is currently under construction with installation of the telescope planned for late summer 1996.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Eric T. Meyer, Eric T. Meyer, Robert E. Stencel, Robert E. Stencel, Donald G. Bruns, Donald G. Bruns, "New dual-aperture telescope for the Mt. Evans observatory", Proc. SPIE 2828, Image Propagation through the Atmosphere, (14 October 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.254196; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.254196


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