24 July 2014 Performance of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS)
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Abstract
The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS) is a fibre-fed R4 échelle spectrograph employing a white pupil design with red and blue channels for wavelength coverage from 370–890nm. The instrument has four modes, each with object and sky fibres: Low (R~15000), Medium (R~40000) and High Resolution (R~65000), as well as a High Stability mode for enhanced radial velocity precision at R~65000. The High Stability mode contains a fibre double-scrambler and offers optional simultaneous Th-Ar arc injection, or the inclusion of an iodine cell in the beam. The LR mode has unsliced 500μm fibres and makes provision for nod-and-shuffle for improved background subtraction. The MR mode also uses 500μm fibres, while the HR and HS fibres are 350μm. The latter three modes employ modified Bowen-Walraven image-slicers to subdivide each fibre into three slices. All but the High Stability bench is sealed within a vacuum tank, which itself is enclosed in an interlocking Styrostone enclosure, to insulate the spectrograph against temperature and atmospheric pressure variations. The Fibre Instrument Feed (FIF) couples the four pairs of fibres to the telescope focal plane and allows the selection of the appropriate fibre pair for a given mode, and adjustment of the fibre separation to optimally position the sky fibre. The HRS employs a photomultiplier tube for an exposure meter and has a dedicated auto-guider attached to the FIF. We report here on the commissioning results and overall instrument performance since achieving first light on 28 September 2013.
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Lisa A. Crause, Ray M. Sharples, David G. Bramall, Jürgen Schmoll, Paul Clark, Eddy J. Younger, Luke M. G. Tyas, Sean G. Ryan, Janus D. Brink, Ockert J. Strydom, David A. H. Buckley, Martin Wilkinson, Steven M. Crawford, Éric Depagne, "Performance of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS)", Proc. SPIE 9147, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V, 91476T (24 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2055635; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2055635
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