27 July 2016 SHARK-NIR: from K-band to a key instrument, a status update
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Abstract
SHARK-NIR channel is one of the two coronagraphic instruments proposed for the Large Binocular Telescope, in the framework of the call for second generation instruments, issued in 2014. Together with the SHARK-VIS channel, it will offer a few observing modes (direct imaging, coronagraphic imaging and coronagraphic low resolution spectroscopy) covering a wide wavelength domain, going from 0.5μm to 1.7μm.

Initially proposed as an instrument covering also the K-band, the current design foresees a camera working from Y to H bands, exploiting in this way the synergy with other LBT instruments such as LBTI, which is actually covering wavelengths greater than L' band, and it will be soon upgraded to work also in K band. SHARK-NIR has been undergoing the conceptual design review at the end of 2015 and it has been approved to proceed to the final design phase, receiving the green light for successive construction and installation at LBT.

The current design is significantly more flexible than the previous one, having an additional intermediate pupil plane that will allow the usage of coronagraphic techniques very efficient in term of contrast and vicinity to the star, increasing the instrument coronagraphic performance. The latter is necessary to properly exploit the search of giant exo-planets, which is the main science case and the driver for the technical choices of SHARK-NIR. We also emphasize that the LBT AO SOUL upgrade will further improve the AO performance, making possible to extend the exo-planet search to target fainter than normally achieved by other 8-m class telescopes, and opening in this way to other very interesting scientific scenarios, such as the characterization of AGN and Quasars (normally too faint to be observed) and increasing considerably the sample of disks and jets to be studied.

Finally, we emphasize that SHARK-NIR will offer XAO direct imaging capability on a FoV of about 15"x15", and a simple coronagraphic spectroscopic mode offering spectral resolution ranging from few hundreds to few thousands. This article presents the current instrument design, together with the milestones for its installation at LBT.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jacopo Farinato, Francesca Bacciotti, Carlo Baffa, Andrea Baruffolo, Maria Bergomi, Angela Bongiorno, Luca Carbonaro, Elena Carolo, Alexis Carlotti, Mauro Centrone, Laird Close, Marco De Pascale, Marco Dima, Valentina D'Orazi, Simone Esposito, Daniela Fantinel, Giancarlo Farisato, Wolfgang Gaessler, Emanuele Giallongo, Davide Greggio, Olivier Guyon, Philip Hinz, Franco Lisi, Demetrio Magrin, Luca Marafatto, Lars Mohr, Manny Montoya, Fernando Pedichini, Enrico Pinna, Alfio Puglisi, Roberto Ragazzoni, Bernardo Salasnich, Marco Stangalini, Daniele Vassallo, Christophe Verinaud, Valentina Viotto, "SHARK-NIR: from K-band to a key instrument, a status update", Proc. SPIE 9909, Adaptive Optics Systems V, 990931 (27 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233545; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2233545
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