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7 March 2003 SALTICAM: $0.5M acquisition camera: every big telescope should have one
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The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) is a 10-m class telescope presently under construction at Sutherland in South Africa. It is designed along the lines of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at McDonald Observatory in West Texas. SALTICAM will be the Acquisition Camera and simple Science Imager (ACSI) for this telescope. It will also function as the Verification Instrument (VI) to check the performance of the telescope during commissioning. In VI mode, SALTICAM will comprise a filter unit, shutter and cryostat with a 2x1 mosaic of 2k x 4k x 15 micron pixel CCDs. It will be mounted at the f/4.2 corrected prime focus of the telescope. In ACSI mode it will be fed by a folding flat located close to the exit pupil of the telescope. ACSI mode will have the same functional components as VI mode but it will in addition be garnished with focal conversion lenses to re-image the corrected prime focal plane at f/2. The lenses will be made from UV transmitting crystals as the wavelength range for which the instrument is designed will span 320 to 950 nm. In addition to acting as Verification Instrument and Acquisition Camera, SALTICAM will perform simple science imaging in support of other instruments, but will also have a high time resolution capability which is not widely available on large telescopes. This paper will describe the design of the instrument, emphasizing features of particular interest.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Darragh O'Donoghue, Etienne Bauermeister, David B. Carter, Geoffrey P. Evans, Willie P. Koorts, James O'Connor, Faranah Osman, Stan van der Merwe, and Bruce C. Bigelow "SALTICAM: $0.5M acquisition camera: every big telescope should have one", Proc. SPIE 4841, Instrument Design and Performance for Optical/Infrared Ground-based Telescopes, (7 March 2003);


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