The 4MOST Facility is a high-multiplex, wide-field, brief-fed spectrograph system for the ESO VISTA telescope. It aims to create a world-class spectroscopic survey facility unique in its combination of wide-field multiplex, spectral resolution, spectral coverage, and sensitivity. At the end of 2014, after a successful concept optimization design phase, 4MOST entered into its Preliminary Design Phase. Here we present the process and tools adopted during the Preliminary Design Phase to define the subsystems specifications, coordinate the interface control documents and draft the system verification procedures.
Atmospheric emission from OH molecules is a long standing problem for near-infrared astronomy. PRAXIS is a unique spectrograph, currently in the build-phase, which is fed by a fibre array that removes the OH background. The OH suppression is achieved with fibre Bragg gratings, which were tested successfully on the GNOSIS instrument. PRAXIS will use the same fibre Bragg gratings as GNOSIS in the first implementation, and new, less expensive and more efficient, multicore fibre Bragg gratings in the second implementation. The OH lines are suppressed by a factor of ~1000, and the expected increase in the signal-to-noise in the interline regions compared to GNOSIS is a factor of ~ 9 with the GNOSIS gratings and a factor of ~ 17 with the new gratings. PRAXIS will enable the full exploitation of OH suppression for the first time, which was not achieved by GNOSIS due to high thermal emission, low spectrograph transmission, and detector noise. PRAXIS will have extremely low thermal emission, through the cooling of all significantly emitting parts, including the fore-optics, the fibre Bragg gratings, a long length of fibre, and a fibre slit, and an optical design that minimises leaks of thermal emission from outside the spectrograph. PRAXIS will achieve low detector noise through the use of a Hawaii-2RG detector, and a high throughput through an efficient VPH based spectrograph. The scientific aims of the instrument are to determine the absolute level of the interline continuum and to enable observations of individual objects via an IFU. PRAXIS will first be installed on the AAT, then later on an 8m class telescope.
We present an overview of the 4MOST project at the Preliminary Design Review. 4MOST is a major new wide-field, high-multiplex spectroscopic survey facility under development for the VISTA telescope of ESO. 4MOST has a broad range of science goals ranging from Galactic Archaeology and stellar physics to the high-energy physics, galaxy evolution, and cosmology. Starting in 2021, 4MOST will deploy 2436 fibres in a 4.1 square degree field-of-view using a positioner based on the tilting spine principle. The fibres will feed one high-resolution (R~20,000) and two medium resolution (R~5000) spectrographs with fixed 3-channel designs and identical 6k x 6k CCD detectors. 4MOST will have a unique operations concept in which 5-year public surveys from both the consortium and the ESO community will be combined and observed in parallel during each exposure. The 4MOST Facility Simulator (4FS) was developed to demonstrate the feasibility of this observing concept, showing that we can expect to observe more than 25 million objects in each 5-year survey period and will eventually be used to plan and conduct the actual survey.
We present a new type of multicore fiber (MCF) and photonic lantern that consists of 511 individual cores designed to operate over a broadband visible wavelength range (380-860nm). It combines the coupling efficiency of a multimode fiber with modal stability intrinsic to a single mode fibre. It is designed to provide phase and amplitude scrambling to achieve a stable near field and far field illumination pattern during input coupling variations; it also has low modal noise for increased photometric stability. Preliminary results are presented for the new MCF as well as current state of the art octagonal fiber for comparison.