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17 September 2010 Manufacturing and integration of the IRDIS dual imaging camera and spectrograph for SPHERE
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SPHERE is a planet hunting instrument for the VLT 8m telescope in Chile whose prime objective is the discovery and characterization of young Jupiter-sized planets outside of the solar system. It is a complex instrument, consisting of an extreme Adaptive Optics System (SAXO), various coronagraphs, an infrared differential imaging camera (IRDIS), an infrared integral field spectrograph (IFS) and a visible differential polarimeter (ZIMPOL). The performance of the IRDIS camera is directly related to various wavefront error budgets of the instrument, in particular the differential aberrations occurring after separation of the two image beams. We report on the ongoing integration and testing activities in terms of optical, mechanical, and cryo-vacuum instrument parts. In particular, we show results of component level tests of the optics and indicate expected overall performance in comparison with design-level budgets. We also describe the plans for instrumental performance and science testing of the instrument, foreseen to be conducted during coming months.
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