We present a description of a new instrument development, HARPS3, planned to be installed on an upgraded and roboticized Isaac Newton Telescope by end-2018. HARPS3 will be a high resolution (R≃115,000) echelle spectrograph with a wavelength range from 380-690 nm. It is being built as part of the Terra Hunting Experiment - a future 10- year radial velocity measurement programme to discover Earth-like exoplanets. The instrument design is based on the successful HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6m ESO telescope and HARPS-N on the TNG telescope. The main changes to the design in HARPS3 will be: a customised fibre adapter at the Cassegrain focus providing a stabilised beam feed and on-sky fibre diameter ≈1:4 arcsec, the implementation of a new continuous ow cryostat to keep the CCD temperature very stable, detailed characterisation of the HARPS3 CCD to map the effective pixel positions and thus provide an improved accuracy wavelength solution, an optimised integrated polarimeter and the instrument integrated into a robotic operation. The robotic operation will optimise our programme which requires our target stars to be measured on a nightly basis. We present an overview of the entire project, including a description of our anticipated robotic operation.
We present preliminary results from an experiment designed to measure the effective pixel positions of a CCD to sub-pixel precision. This technique will be used to characterise the 4k x 4k CCD destined for the HARPS-3 spectrograph. The principle of coherent beam interference is used to create intensity fringes along one axis of the CCD. By sweeping the physical parameters of the experiment, the geometry of the fringes can be altered which is used to probe the pixel structure. We also present the limitations of the current experimental set-up and suggest what will be implemented in the future to vastly improve the precision of the measurements.