2 August 2000 Optimizing the delivered image quality at the WIYN 3.5-m Telescope
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Abstract
We discuss many enhancements and refinements to the WIYN Telescope that have demonstrably improved the imaging performance over the past few years. Currently, WIYN yields a median delivered image quality of 0.8 arc-seconds for 10 second exposures in the R-Band, and images better than 0.6 arc-seconds 20% of the time Peak yielding excellent atmospheric seeing conditions. The telescope and enclosure were designed to exploit the good seeing conditions with features such as superb optical components, a primary mirror that is actively controlled for low-order aberrations, a thermally controlled primary mirror, active and passive enclosure ventilation, real-time focus and collimation control, and precise tracking and guiding control. The WIYN organization is committed to continuously enhance the scientific performance of the observatory and through a long-term commitment of increased technical support we have made significant progress on many technical aspects for improved imaging performance. These improvements, which are described in this paper, include optimization of the wavefront curvature measurement process, better control of secondary tilt and piston (focus), feedback mechanisms for structural thermo-mechanical effects, careful timing of the active thermal control for the primary mirror, damping of structural vibrations, and the implementation of a closed-loop focus sensor. WIYN is also developing an adaptive optics tip-tilt system which is described elsewhere in this conference.
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David G. Sawyer, Charles Corson, Abhijit Saha, "Optimizing the delivered image quality at the WIYN 3.5-m Telescope", Proc. SPIE 4004, Telescope Structures, Enclosures, Controls, Assembly/Integration/Validation, and Commissioning, (2 August 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.393896; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.393896
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