We have developed a generic physical modeling scheme for high resolution spectroscopy based on simple optical principles. This model predicts the position of centroids for a given set of spectral features with high accuracy. It considers off-plane grating equations and rotations of the different optical elements in order to properly account for tilts in the spectral lines and order curvature. In this way any astronomical spectrograph can be modeled and controlled without the need of commercial ray tracing software. The computations are based on direct ray tracing applying exact corrections to certain surfaces types. This allows us to compute the position on the detector of any spectral feature with high reliability. The parameters of this model, which describe the physical properties of the spectrograph, are continuously optimized to ensure the best possible fit to the observed spectral line positions. We present the physical modeling of CARMENES as a case study. We show that our results are in agreement with commercial ray tracing software. The model prediction matches the observations at a pixel size level, providing an efficient tool in the design, construction and data reduction of high resolution spectrographs.
Hanle echelle spectrograph (HESP) is a high resolution, bench mounted, fiber-fed spectrograph at visible wavelengths. The instrument was recently installed at the 2m Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT), located at Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO), Hanle at an altitude of 4500m. The telescope and the spectrograph are operated remotely from Bangalore,(∼ 3200km from Hanle), through a dedicated satellite link. HESP was designed and built by Kiwi Star Optics, Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand. The spectrograph has two spectral resolution modes (R=30000 and 60000). The low resolution mode uses a 100 micron fiber as a input slit and the high resolution mode is achieved using an image slicer. An R2 echelle grating, along with two cross dispersing prisms provide a continuous wavelength coverage between 350-1000nm. The spectrograph is enclosed in a thermally controlled environment and provides a stability of 200m/s during a night. A simultaneous thorium-argon calibration provides a radial velocity precision of 20m/s. Here, we present a design overview, performance and commissioning of the spectrograph.