3 July 1998 Hobby-Eberly Telescope: commissioning experience and observing plans
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Abstract
Experience in bringing into operation the 91-segment primary mirror alignment and control system, the focal plane tracker system, and other critical subsystems of the HET will be described. Particular attention is given to the tracker, which utilizes three linear and three rotational degrees of freedom to follow sidereal targets. Coarse time-dependent functions for each axis are downloaded to autonomous PMAC controllers that provide the precise motion drives to the two linear stages and the hexapod system. Experience gained in aligning the sperate mirrors and then maintaining image quality in a variable thermal environments will also be described. Because of the fixed elevation of the primary optical axis, only a limited amount of time is available for observing objects in the 12 degrees wide observing band. With a small core HET team working with McDonald Observatory staff, efficient, reliable, uncomplicated methodologies are required in all aspects of the observing operations.
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John W. Glaspey, Mark T. Adams, John A. Booth, Mark E. Cornell, James R. Fowler, Victor L. Krabbendam, Lawrence W. Ramsey, Frank B. Ray, Randall L. Ricklefs, William J. Spiesman, "Hobby-Eberly Telescope: commissioning experience and observing plans", Proc. SPIE 3349, Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return, (3 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.316520; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.316520
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