23 June 2006 The GTC project: preparing the first light
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Abstract
The GTC (Gran Telescopio Canarias) is a 10,4 meter segmented telescope, whose integration is currently being completed at the ORM in La Palma, Spain. The GTC is a partnership between Spain, Mexico and the University of Florida. Main science drivers for the GTC are image quality, operational efficiency and reliability. First light is planned for late-2006. The GTC Project, initiated in 1996, is nearly complete in its integration. Groundbreaking was done in 2000. The telescope building and dome were finished by end 2002. The telescope structure was complete in early 2005. Since then this structure is being completed with the rest of the parts, i.e. M1 mirror subcells, M3 tower, main axes encoders and motors, cables, pipes and cable-rotators, electronic cabinets, etc. The mirrors will be installed at the telescope, just before First Light. All the optical elements have been finished and are being prepared to be installed. Three science instruments are being completed to be installed as first generation instruments. Two second-generation instruments, including one exploiting the future Adaptive Optics capabilities of the GTC, are under development.
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P. Alvarez, P. Alvarez, J. Castro López-Tarruella, J. Castro López-Tarruella, J. M. Rodriguez-Espinosa, J. M. Rodriguez-Espinosa, } "The GTC project: preparing the first light", Proc. SPIE 6267, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes, 626708 (23 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.671821; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.671821
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