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10 July 2014 VIRUS: production and deployment of a massively replicated fiber integral field spectrograph for the upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope
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Abstract
The Visible Integral-field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS) consists of a baseline build of 150 identical spectrographs (arrayed as 75 unit pairs) fed by 33,600 fibers, each 1.5 arcsec diameter, at the focus of the upgraded 10 m Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET). 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 surveying large areas of sky, spectrally. The VIRUS concept 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 starting at the end of 2014 and will provide a powerful new facility instrument for the HET, well suited to the survey niche of the telescope, and will open up large area surveys of the emission line universe for the first time. VIRUS is in full production, and we are about half way through. We review the production design, lessons learned in reaching volume production, and preparation for deployment of this massive instrument. We also discuss the application of the replicated spectrograph concept to next generation instrumentation on ELTs.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
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