20 July 2010 First light results from PARAS: the PRL Echelle Spectrograph
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We present the first light commissioning results from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) optical fiber-fed high resolution cross-dispersed Echelle Spectrograph. It is capable of a single- shot spectral coverage of 3700A to 8600A at R ~ 63,000 and is under very stable conditions of temperature (0.04°C at 23°C). In the very near future pressure control will also be achieved by enclosing the entire spectrograph in a low-pressure vacuum chamber (~0.01mbar). It is attached to a 1.2m telescope using two 50micron core optical fibers (one for the star and another for simultaneous Th-Ar spectral calibration). The 1.2m telescope is located at Mt. Abu, India, and we are guaranteed about 80 to 100 nights a year for observations with the spectrograph. The instrument will be ultimately used for radial-velocity searches of exoplanets around 1000 dwarf stars, brighter than 10th magnitude, for the next 5 years with a precision of 3 to 5m/s using the simultaneous Th-Ar spectral lamp reference technique. The spectrograph has already achieved a stability of 3.7m/s in short-term time scale and in the near future we expect the stability to be at 1m/s once we install the spectrograph inside the vacuum chamber.
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Abhijit Chakraborty, Suvrath Mahadevan, Arpita Roy, Fazalahmed M. Pathan, Vishal Shah, Eric H. Richardson, Girish Ubale, Rajesh Shah, "First light results from PARAS: the PRL Echelle Spectrograph", Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77354N (20 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856555; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.856555

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