The WISDOM instrument concept was developed at MIT as part of a NASA-NSF funded study to equip the 3.5m WIYN telescope with an extremely precise radial velocity spectrometer. The spectrograph employs an asymmetric white pupil optical design, where the instrument is split into two nearly identical “Short” (380 to 750 nm) and “Long”" (750 to 1300 nm) wavelength channels. The echelle grating and beam sizes are R3.75/125mm and R6/80mm in the short and long channels respectively. Together with the pupil slicer, and octagonal to rectangular fibre coupling, this permits resolving powers over R = 120k with a 1.2” diameter fibre on the sky. A factor of two reduction in the focal length between the main collimator OAP and the transfer collimator ensures a very compact instrument, with a small white pupil footprint, thereby enabling small cross-dispersing and camera elements. A dichroic is used near the white pupil to split each of the long and short channels into two, so that the final spectrograph has 4 channels; namely “Blue,” “Green,” “Red” and “NIR.” Each of these channels has an anamorphic VPH grism for cross-dispersion, and a fully dioptric all-spherical camera objective. The spectral footprints cover 4k×4k and 6k×6k CCDs with 15 µm pixels in the short “Blue” and “Green” wavelength channels, respectively. A 4k×4k CCD with 15 μm pixels is used in the long “Red” channel, with a HgCdTe 1.7 μm cutoff 4k×4k detector with 10um pixels is to be used in the long "NIR" channel. The white pupil relay includes a Mangin mirror very close to the intermediate focus to correct the white pupil relay Petzval curvature before it is swept into a cylinder by the cross-dispersers. This design decision allows each of the dioptric cameras to be fully optimised and tested independently of the rest of the spectrograph. The baseline design for the cameras also ensures that the highest possible (diffraction limited) image quality is achieved across all wavelengths, while also ensuring insensitivity of spot centroid locations to variations in the pupil illumination. This insensitivity is proven to remain even in the presence of reasonable manufacturing and alignment tolerances. Fully ray-traced simulations of the spectral formats are used to demonstrate the optical performance, as well as to provide pre-first-light data that can be used to optimise the data reduction pipeline.
We describe the design of the fiber-optic coupling and light transfer system of the WISDOM (WIYN Spectrograph for DOppler Monitoring) instrument. As a next-generation Precision Radial Velocity (PRV) spectrometer, WISDOM incorporates lessons learned from HARPS about thermal, pressure, and gravity control, but also takes new measures to stabilize the spectrograph illumination, a subject that has been overlooked until recently. While fiber optic links provide more even illumination than a conventional slit, careful engineering of the interface is required to realize their full potential. Conventional round fiber core geometries have been used successfully in conjunction with optical double scramblers, but such systems still retain a memory of the input illumination that is visible in systems seeking sub-m/s PRV precision. Noncircular fibers, along with advanced optical scramblers, and careful optimization of the spectrograph optical system itself are therefore necessary to study Earth-sized planets. For WISDOM, we have developed such a state-of-the-art fiber link concept. Its design is driven primarily by PRV requirements, but it also manages to preserve high overall throughput. Light from the telescope is coupled into a set of six, 32 μm diameter octagonal core fibers, as high resolution is achieved via pupil slicing. The low-OH, step index, fused silica, FBPI-type fibers are custom designed for their numerical aperture that matches the convergence of the feeding beam and thus minimizes focal ratio degradation at the output. Given the demanding environment at the telescope the fiber end tips are mounted in a custom fused silica holder, providing a perfect thermal match. We used a novel process, chemically assisted photo etching, to manufacture this glass fiber holder. A single ball-lens scrambler is inserted into the 25m long fibers. Employing an anti-reflection (AR) coated, high index, cubic-zirconia ball lens the alignment of the scrambler components are straightforward, as the fiber end tips (also AR coated) by design touch the ball lens and thus eliminate spacing tolerances. A clever and simple opto-mechanical design and assembly process assures micron-level self-alignment, yielding a ~87% throughput and a scrambling gain of >20,000. To mitigate modal noise the individual fibers then subsequently combined into a pair of rectangular fibers, providing a much larger modal area thanks to the 34x106 micron diameter. To minimize slit height, and thus better utilize detector area, the octagonal cores are brought very close together in this transition. The two outer fibers are side polished at one side, into a D-shaped cladding, while the central fiber has a dual side polish. These tapered, side-flattening operations are executed with precise alignment to the octagonal core. Thus the cores of the 3 fibers are brought together and aligned within few microns of each other before spliced onto the rectangular fiber. Overall throughput kept high and FRD at bay by careful management of fiber mounting, vacuum feed-through, application of efficient AR coatings, and implementation of thermal breaks that allow for independent expansion of the fibers and the protective tubing.
The Kepler mission highlighted that precision radial velocity (PRV) follow-up is a real bottleneck in supporting transiting exoplanet surveys. The limited availability of PRV instruments, and the desire to break the “1 m/s” precision barrier, prompted the formation of a NASA-NSF collaboration ‘NN-EXPLORE’ to call for proposals designing a new Extreme Precision Doppler Spectrograph (EPDS). By securing a significant fraction of telescope time on the 3.5m WIYN at Kitt Peak, and aiming for unprecedented long-term precision, the EPDS instrument will provide a unique tool for U.S. astronomers in characterizing exoplanet candidates identified by TESS. One of the two funded instrument concept studies is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in consortium with Lincoln Laboratories, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Carnegie Observatories. This paper describes the instrument concept WISDOM (WIYN Spectrograph for DOppler Monitoring) prepared by this team. WISDOM is a fiber fed, environmentally controlled, high resolution (R=110k), asymmetric white-pupil echelle spectrograph, covering a wide 380-1300nm wavelength region. Its R4 and R6 echelle gratings provide the main dispersion, symmetrically mounted on either side of a vertically aligned, vacuum-enclosed carbon fiber optical bench. Each grating feeds two cameras and thus the resulting wavelength range per camera is narrow enough that the VPHG cross-dispersers and employed anti-reflection coatings are highly efficient. The instrument operates near room temperature, and so thermal background for the near-infrared arm is mitigated by thermal blocking filters and a short (1.7μm) cutoff HgCdTe detector. To achieve high resolution while maintaining small overall instrument size (100/125mm beam diameter), imposed by the limited available space within the observatory building, we chose to slice the telescope pupil 6 ways before coupling light into fibers. An atmospheric dispersion corrector and fast tip-tilt system assures maximal light gathering within the 1.2″ entrance aperture. The six octagonal fibers corresponding to each slice of the pupil employ ball-lens double scramblers to stabilize the near- and far-fields. Three apiece are coupled into each of two rectangular fibers, to mitigate modal nose and present a rectilinear illumination pattern at the spectrograph's slit plane. Wavelength solutions are derived from ThAr lamps and an extremely wide coverage dual-channel laser frequency comb. Data is reduced on the fly for evaluation by a custom pipeline, while daily archives and extended scope data reduction products are stored on NExScI servers, also managing archives and access privileges for GTO and GO programs. Note: individual papers, submitted along this main paper, describe the details of subsystems such as the optical design (Barnes et al., 9908-247), the fiber link design (Fűrész et al., 9908-281), and the pupil slicer (Egan et al., 9912-183).
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, a NASA Explorer-class mission in development, will discover planets around
nearby stars, most notably Earth-like planets with potential for follow up characterization. The all-sky survey requires a
suite of four wide field-of-view cameras with sensitivity across a broad spectrum. Deep depletion CCDs with a silicon
layer of 100 μm thickness serve as the camera detectors, providing enhanced performance in the red wavelengths for
sensitivity to cooler stars. The performance of the camera is critical for the mission objectives, with both the optical
system and the CCD detectors contributing to the realized image quality. Expectations for image quality are studied
using a combination of optical ray tracing in Zemax and simulations in Matlab to account for the interaction of the
incoming photons with the 100 μm silicon layer. The simulations include a probabilistic model to determine the depth of
travel in the silicon before the photons are converted to photo-electrons, and a Monte Carlo approach to charge diffusion.
The charge diffusion model varies with the remaining depth for the photo-electron to traverse and the strength of the
intermediate electric field. The simulations are compared with laboratory measurements acquired by an engineering unit
camera with the TESS optical design and deep depletion CCDs. In this paper we describe the performance simulations
and the corresponding measurements taken with the engineering unit camera, and discuss where the models agree well in
predicted trends and where there are differences compared to observations.
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is an Explorer-class mission dedicated to finding planets
around bright, nearby stars so that more detailed follow-up studies can be done. TESS is due to launch in
2017 and careful characterization of the detectors will need to be completed on ground before then to
ensure that the cameras will be within their photometric requirement of 60ppm/hr. TESS will fly MITLincoln
Laboratories CCID-80s as the main scientific detector for its four cameras. They are 100μm deep
depletion devices which have low dark current noise levels and can operate at low light levels at room
temperature. They also each have a frame store region, which reduces smearing during readout and allows
for near continuous integration. This paper describes the hardware and methodology that were developed
for testing and characterizing individual CCID-80s. A dark system with no stimuli was used to measure the
dark current. Fe55 and Cd109 X-ray sources were used to establish gain at low signal levels and its
temperature dependence. An LED system that generates a programmable series of pulses was used in
conjunction with an integrating sphere to measure pixel response non-uniformity (PRNU) and gain at
higher signal levels. The same LED system was used with a pinhole system to evaluate the linearity and
charge conservation capability of the CCID-80s.
The Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) is a three-mirror Mersenne-Schmidt telescope with a 3.5 m primary mirror that is designed for deep, wide-area sky surveys. The SST design incorporates a camera with charge-coupled devices (CCDs) on a curved substrate to match the telescope’s inherent field curvature, capturing a large field-of-view (6 square degree) with good optical performance across the focal surface. The unique design enables a compact mount construction for agile pointing, contributing to survey efficiency. However, the optical properties make the focus and alignment challenging due to an inherently small depth of focus and the additional degrees of freedom that result from having a powered tertiary mirror. Adding to the challenge, the optical focus and alignment of the mirrors must be accomplished without a dedicated wavefront sensor.
Procedures created or adapted for use at the SST have enabled a successful campaign for focus and alignment, based on a five-step iterative process to (1) position the tertiary mirror along the optical axis to reduce defocus; (2) reduce spherical aberration by a coordinate move of the tertiary and secondary mirrors; (3) measure the higher order aberrations including astigmatism and coma; (4) associate the measured aberrations with the predictions of optical ray-tracing analysis; and (5) apply the mirror corrections and repeat steps 1-4 until optimal performance is achieved (Woods et al. 2013). A set of predicted mirror motions are used to maintain system performance across changes in telescope elevation pointing and in temperature conditions, both nightly and seasonally. This paper will provide an overview of the alignment procedure developed for the SST and will report on the focus performance through the telescope’s second year, including lessons learned over the course of operation.
The Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) is a three-mirror Mersenne-Schmidt telescope with a 3.5 m primary mirror. It is designed to rapidly scan for space objects, particularly along the geosynchronous belt, approximately 36,000 km above the Earth. The SST has an unusually short focal ratio of F/1.0 and employs a camera composed of curved charge-coupled devices to match the telescope’s inherent field curvature. The field-of-view of the system is 6 square degrees. While the unique system design is advantageous for space surveillance capabilities, it presents a challenge to alignment due to an inherently small depth of focus and the additional degrees of freedom introduced with a powered tertiary mirror. The alignment procedure developed for the SST at zenith pointing is discussed, as well as the maintenance of focus and alignment of the system across a range of elevation and temperature conditions. Quantitative performance metrics demonstrate the success of the system alignment during the telescope’s first year of operation.
The f/5 instrumentation suite for the Clay telescope was developed to provide the Magellan Consortium observer community with wide field optical imaging and multislit NIR spectroscopy capability. The instrument suite consists of several major subsystems including two focal plane instruments. These instruments are Megacam and MMIRS. Megacam is a panoramic, square format CCD mosaic imager, 0.4° on a side. It is instrumented with a full set of Sloan filters. MMIRS is a multislit NIR spectrograph that operates in Y through K band and has long slit and imaging capability as well. These two instruments can operate both at Magellan and the MMT. Megacam requires a wide field refractive corrector and a Topbox to support shutter and filter selection functions, as well as to perform wavefront sensing for primary mirror figure correction. Both the corrector and Topbox designs were modeled on previous designs for MMT, however features of the Magellan telescope required considerable revision of these designs. In this paper we discuss the optomechanical, electrical, software and structural design of these subsystems, as well as operational considerations that attended delivery of the instrument suite to first light.
In 2003, the converted MMT’s wide-field f/5 focus was commissioned. A 1.7-m diameter secondary and a large refractive corrector offer a 1° diameter field of view for spectroscopy and a 0.5° diameter field of view for imaging. Stellar images during excellent seeing are smaller than 0.5" FWHM across the spectroscopic field of view, and smaller than 0.4" across the imaging field of view. Three wide-field f/5 instruments are now in routine operation: Hectospec (an R~1000 optical spectrograph fed by 300 robotically-positioned optical fibers), Hectochelle (an R~40,000 optical spectrograph fed by the same fibers), and Megacam (a 340 megapixel, 36 CCD optical imager covering a 25' by 25' format).