24 July 2014 The assembly, calibration, and preliminary results from the Colorado high-resolution Echelle stellar spectrograph (CHESS)
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Abstract
The Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph (CHESS) is a far ultraviolet (FUV) rocket-borne experiment designed to study the atomic-to-molecular transitions within translucent interstellar clouds. CHESS is an objective echelle spectrograph operating at f/12.4 and resolving power of 120,000 over a band pass of 100 – 160 nm. The echelle flight grating is the product of a research and development project with LightSmyth Inc. and was coated at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) with Al+LiF. It has an empirically-determined groove density of 71.67 grooves/mm. At the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA) at the University of Colorado (CU), we measured the efficiencies of the peak and adjacent dispersion orders throughout the 90 – 165 nm band pass to characterize the behavior of the grating for pre-flight calibrations and to assess the scattered-light behavior. The crossdispersing grating, developed and ruled by Horiba Jobin-Yvon, is a holographically-ruled, low line density (351 grooves/mm), powered optic with a toroidal surface curvature. The CHESS cross-disperser was also coated at GSFC; Cr+Al+LiF was deposited to enhance far-UV efficiency. Results from final efficiency and reflectivity measurements of both optics are presented. We utilize a cross-strip anode microchannel plate (MCP) detector built by Sensor Sciences to achieve high resolution (25 μm spatial resolution) and data collection rates (~ 106 photons/second) over a large format (40mm round, digitized to 8k x 8k) for the first time in an astronomical sounding rocket flight. The CHESS instrument was successfully launched from White Sands Missile Range on 24 May 2014. We present pre-flight sensitivity, effective area calculations, lab spectra and calibration results, and touch on first results and post-flight calibration plans.
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Keri Hoadley, Keri Hoadley, Kevin France, Kevin France, Nicholas Nell, Nicholas Nell, Robert Kane, Robert Kane, Ted Schultz, Ted Schultz, Matthew Beasley, Matthew Beasley, James Green, James Green, Jen Kulow, Jen Kulow, Eliot Kersgaard, Eliot Kersgaard, Brian Fleming, Brian Fleming, } "The assembly, calibration, and preliminary results from the Colorado high-resolution Echelle stellar spectrograph (CHESS)", Proc. SPIE 9144, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 914406 (24 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2055661; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2055661
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