9 August 2016 SpUpNIC (Spectrograph Upgrade: Newly Improved Cassegrain) on the South African Astronomical Observatory's 74-inch telescope
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Abstract
SpUpNIC (Spectrograph Upgrade: Newly Improved Cassegrain) is the extensively upgraded Cassegrain Spectrograph on the South African Astronomical Observatory's 74-inch (1.9-m) telescope. The inverse-Cassegrain collimator mirrors and woefully inefficient Maksutov-Cassegrain camera optics have been replaced, along with the CCD and SDSU controller. All moving mechanisms are now governed by a programmable logic controller, allowing remote configuration of the instrument via an intuitive new graphical user interface. The new collimator produces a larger beam to match the optically faster Folded-Schmidt camera design and nine surface-relief diffraction gratings offer various wavelength ranges and resolutions across the optical domain. The new camera optics (a fused silica Schmidt plate, a slotted fold flat and a spherically figured primary mirror, both Zerodur, and a fused silica field-flattener lens forming the cryostat window) reduce the camera’s central obscuration to increase the instrument throughput. The physically larger and more sensitive CCD extends the available wavelength range; weak arc lines are now detectable down to 325 nm and the red end extends beyond one micron. A rear-of-slit viewing camera has streamlined the observing process by enabling accurate target placement on the slit and facilitating telescope focus optimisation. An interactive quick-look data reduction tool further enhances the user-friendliness of SpUpNI
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Lisa A. Crause, Dave Carter, Alroy Daniels, Geoff Evans, Piet Fourie, David Gilbank, Malcolm Hendricks, Willie Koorts, Deon Lategan, Egan Loubser, Sharon Mouries, James E. O'Connor, Darragh E. O'Donoghue, Stephen Potter, Craig Sass, Amanda A. Sickafoose, John Stoffels, Pieter Swanevelder, Keegan Titus, Carel van Gend, Martin Visser, Hannah L. Worters, "SpUpNIC (Spectrograph Upgrade: Newly Improved Cassegrain) on the South African Astronomical Observatory's 74-inch telescope", Proc. SPIE 9908, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI, 990827 (9 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2230818; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2230818
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