14 July 2010 VIRUS: a massively replicated 33k fiber integral field spectrograph for the upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope
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The Visible Integral-field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS) consists of a baseline build of 150 identical spectrographs (arrayed as 75 units, each with a pair of spectrographs) fed by 33,600 fibers, each 1.5 arcsec diameter, deployed over the 22 arcminute field of the upgraded 10 m Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET). The goal is to deploy 96 units. VIRUS has a fixed bandpass of 350-550 nm and resolving power R~700. VIRUS is the first example of industrial-scale replication applied to optical astronomy and is capable of spectral surveys of large areas of sky. The method of industrial replication, in which a relatively simple, inexpensive, unit spectrograph is copied in large numbers, offers significant savings of engineering effort, cost, and schedule when compared to traditional instruments. The main motivator for VIRUS is to map the evolution of dark energy for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX+) using 0.8M Lyman-α emitting galaxies as tracers. The full VIRUS array is due to be deployed in late 2011 and will provide a powerful new facility instrument for the HET, well suited to the survey niche of the telescope. VIRUS and HET will open up wide field surveys of the emission-line universe for the first time. We present the design, cost, and current status of VIRUS as it enters production, and review performance results from the VIRUS prototype. We also present lessons learned from our experience designing for volume production and look forward to the application of the VIRUS concept on future extremely large telescopes (ELTs).
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Gary J. Hill, Gary J. Hill, Hanshin Lee, Hanshin Lee, Brian L. Vattiat, Brian L. Vattiat, Joshua J. Adams, Joshua J. Adams, J. L. Marshall, J. L. Marshall, Niv Drory, Niv Drory, D. L. DePoy, D. L. DePoy, Guillermo Blanc, Guillermo Blanc, Ralf Bender, Ralf Bender, John A. Booth, John A. Booth, Taylor Chonis, Taylor Chonis, Mark E. Cornell, Mark E. Cornell, Karl Gebhardt, Karl Gebhardt, John Good, John Good, Frank Grupp, Frank Grupp, Roger Haynes, Roger Haynes, Andreas Kelz, Andreas Kelz, Phillip J. MacQueen, Phillip J. MacQueen, Nick Mollison, Nick Mollison, J. D. Murphy, J. D. Murphy, M. D. Rafal, M. D. Rafal, W. N. Rambold, W. N. Rambold, M. M. Roth, M. M. Roth, R. Savage, R. Savage, M. P. Smith, M. P. Smith, } "VIRUS: a massively replicated 33k fiber integral field spectrograph for the upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope", Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77350L (14 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857808; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.857808

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