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17 September 2012 SALT's transition to science operations
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The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) began its re-commissioning phase in April 2011 following the completion of remedial engineering work on the telescope and the major science instrument, the Robert Stobie Spectrograph (RSS). The engineering work required modifications to the spherical aberration corrector, in order to improve the telescope’s image quality, and RSS, to improve its throughput. Positive test results included delivery of sub-arcsecond images, essentially meeting the original telescope image quality specifications and exhibiting none of the previous field-dependent aberrations, while the RSS has shown greatly improved efficiency performance. SALT has since transitioned to science operations, as from 1 September 2011, following the first open call for charged science proposals from the SALT partners. This paper discusses the current performance of SALT and it First Generation instruments, some initial science results, the proposal process and the operational model for the telescope.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David A. H. Buckley, J. C. Coetzee, Steven M. Crawford, Kenneth H. Nordsieck, Darragh O'Donoghue, and Theodore B. Williams "SALT's transition to science operations", Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84442W (17 September 2012);

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