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16 August 2000 Conceptual design for a NIR prime focus camera for the ESO 3.6
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We present in this paper a preliminary design of a near IR wide field imager for the prime focus of the ESO 3.6 meter telescope. Such a design was developed in response to the increasing demand in the astronomical community for a fast and efficient Near IR survey facility taking profit of the small pitch 1k2 and 2k2 Hybrid Focal Plane Arrays recently made available. The prime focus is a privileged location for high throughput instrument since it allows to design imagers with a relatively small amount of optical elements . At the prime focus however the plate scale is constrained to a narrow range of possibility by the F/number of primary mirror since the need to correct for aberrations does not leave much freedom for focal elongation. The ESO 3.6 telescope has a F/3 primary mirror. Unlike most of the new technology telescope of the same size, e.g. NTT or TNG, that have F/2.2 primaries, the longer focal length of the ESO 3.6 allows to reach plate scales of the order of about 15.2 as/mm, matching the scientific requirement for wide field NIR surveys. The Camera consist in a prime focus corrector made of 4 spherical lenses in fused silica providing a corrected field of 45 arcmin 0. The limited number of optical elements maximizes the throughput but does not allow to re-image the telescope pupil to position a cold stop. Therefore a detailed mode of the telescope thermal background has been sued to optimized the baffling system. Only a non-contiguous fraction of the corrected field is covered by 4 Rockwell HAWAII II 2k2 HgCdTe chips.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Filippo Maria Zerbi, Fabio Bortoletto, Paolo Conconi, Daniele Gardiol, Emilio Molinari, Claudio Pernechele, and Dario Rizzoli "Conceptual design for a NIR prime focus camera for the ESO 3.6", Proc. SPIE 4008, Optical and IR Telescope Instrumentation and Detectors, (16 August 2000);

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