8 August 2016 Status and imaging performance of Lowell Observatory's Discovery Channel Telescope in its first year of full science operations
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Abstract
Lowell Observatory's Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) is a 4.3-m telescope designed and constructed for optical and near infrared astronomical observation. The DCT is equipped with a cube capable of carrying five instruments along with the wave front sensing and guider systems at the f/6.1 RC focus. The facility formally finished commissioning at the end of 2014. In 2015 the DCT ran in full science operations mode. This report recaps recent progress on the operations and instrument fronts, and then concentrates on the delivered image quality as measured with science imaging data. The system is delivering image quality at or better than the system top level requirements for open loop operations. Corrected to the zenith, the median seeing in the science images from 2015 was 0."93; first quartile seeing was 0.0074. The open loop site contribution to the seeing is roughly 0."40, which is better than the requirements of < 0."47. The FWHM degrades with wind speed at the rate of roughly 0."10/(m/s), and the seeing degrades more with wind speed when the wind is from the East.
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Stephen E. Levine, William T. DeGroff, "Status and imaging performance of Lowell Observatory's Discovery Channel Telescope in its first year of full science operations", Proc. SPIE 9906, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI, 990621 (8 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232732; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2232732
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