The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to measure the expansion history of the Universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation technique. The spectra of 35 million galaxies and quasars over 14000 sq deg will be measured during the life of the experiment. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5000 fiber optic positioners. The fibers in turn feed ten broad-band spectrographs. We will describe the extensive preparations of the Mayall telescope and its environs for DESI, and will report on progress-to-date of the installation of DESI itself.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to measure the expansion history of the Universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation technique. The spectra of 35 million galaxies and quasars over 14000 square degrees will be measured during the life of the experiment. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5000 fiber optic positioners. The fibers in turn feed ten broad-band spectrographs. We present an overview of the instrumentation, the main technical requirements and challenges, and the current status of the project.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to measure the expansion history of the Universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation technique. The spectra of 40 million galaxies over 14,000 sq. deg. will be measured during the life of the experiment. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5000 fiber optic positioners. The fibers in turn feed ten broad-band spectrographs. We describe the ProtoDESI experiment, planned for installation and commissioning at the Mayall telescope in the fall of 2016, which will test the fiber positioning system for DESI. The ProtoDESI focal plate, consisting of 10 fiber positioners, illuminated fiducials, and a guide, focus and alignment (GFA) sensor module, will be installed behind the existing Mosaic prime focus corrector. A Fiber View Camera (FVC) will be mounted to the lower surface of the primary mirror cell and a subset of the Instrument Control System (ICS) will control the ProtoDESI subsystems, communicate with the Telescope Control System (TCS), and collect instrument monitoring data. Short optical fibers from the positioners will be routed to the back of the focal plane where they will be imaged by the Fiber Photometry Camera (FPC) or back-illuminated by a LED system. Target objects will be identified relative to guide stars, and using the GFA in a control loop with the ICS/TCS system, the guide stars will remain stable on pre-identified GFA pixels. The fiber positioners will then be commanded to the target locations and placed on the targets iteratively, using the FVC to centroid on back-illuminated fibers and fiducials to make corrective delta motions. When the positioners are aligned with the targets on-sky, the FPC will measure the intensities from the positioners’ fibers which can then be dithered to look for intensity changes, indicating how well the fibers were initially positioned on target centers. The final goal is to operate ProtoDESI on the Mayall telescope for a 6-hour period during one night, successfully placing targets on the intended fibers for the duration of a typical DESI science exposure.
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction and will be used to measure the expansion history of the Universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation (BAO) technique and the growth of structure using redshift-space distortions (RSD). The spectra of 30 million galaxies over 14000 sq deg will be measured over the course of the experiment. In order to provide spectroscopic targets for the DESI survey, we are carrying out a three-band (g,r,z ) imaging survey of the sky using the NOAO 4-m telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) and the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory (CTIO). At KPNO, we will use an upgraded version of the Mayall 4m telescope prime focus camera, Mosaic3, to carry out a z-band survey of the Northern Galactic Cap at declinations δ≥+30 degrees. By equipping an existing Dewar with four 4kx4k fully depleted CCDs manufactured by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), we increased the z-band throughput of the system by a factor of 1.6. These devices have the thickest active area fielded at a telescope. The Mosaic3 z-band survey will be complemented by g-band and r-band observations using the Bok telescope and 90 Prime imager on Kitt Peak. We describe the upgrade and performance of the Mosaic3 instrument and the scope of the northern survey.
The Mayall 4-meter telescope recently went through a major modernization of its telescope control system in preparation for DESI. We describe MPK (Mayall Pointing Kernel), our new software for telescope control. MPK outputs a 20Hz position-based trajectory with a velocity component, which feeds into Mayall’s new servo system over a socket. We wrote a simple yet realistic servo simulator that let us develop MPK mostly without access to real hardware, and also lets us provide other teams with a Mayall simulator as test bed for development of new instruments. MPK has a small core comprised of prioritized, soft real-time threads. Access to the core’s services is via MPK’s main thread, a complete, interactive Tcl/Tk shell, which gives us the power and flexibility of a scripting language to add any other features, from GUIs, to modules for interaction with critical subsystems like dome or guider, to an API for networked clients of a new instrument (e.g., DESI). MPK is designed for long term maintainability: it runs on a stock computer and Linux OS, and uses only standard, open source libraries, except for commercial software that comes with source code in ANSI C/C++. We discuss the technical details of how MPK combines the Reflexxes motion library with the TCSpk/TPK pointing library to generically handle any motion requests, from slews to offsets to sidereal or non-sidereal tracking. We show how MPK calculates when the servos have reached a steady state. We also discuss our TPOINT modeling strategy and report performance results.
The KPNO Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter telescope is to be the host facility for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI). DESI will record broadband spectra simultaneously for 5000 objects distributed over a 3-degree diameter field of view; it will record the spectra of approximately 20 million galaxies and quasi-stellar objects during a five-year survey. This survey will improve the combined precision of measurement on the dark energy equation of state today (w0) and its evolution with redshift (wa) by approximately a factor of ten over existing spectroscopy baryon acoustic oscillation surveys (e.g., BOSS1) in both co-moving volume surveyed and number of galaxies mapped. Installation of DESI on the telescope is a complex procedure, involving a complete replacement of the telescope top end, routing of massive fiber cables, and installation of banks of spectrographs in an environmentally-controlled lab area within the dome. Furthermore, assembly of the instrument and major subsystems must be carried out on-site given their size and complexity. A detailed installation plan is being developed early in the project in order to ensure that DESI and its subsystems are designed so they can be safely and efficiently installed, and to ensure that all telescope and facility modifications required to enable installation are identified and completed in time.
High-resolution near-infrared echelle spectrographs require coarse rulings in order to match the free spectral range to the
detector size. Standard near-IR detector arrays typically are 2 K x 2 K or 4 K x 4 K. Detectors of this size combined
with resolutions in the range 30000 to 100000 require grating groove spacings in the range 5 to 20 lines/mm.
Moderately high blaze angles are desirable to reduce instrument size. Echelle gratings with these characteristics have
potential wide application in both ambient temperature and cryogenic astronomical echelle spectrographs. We discuss
optical designs for spectrographs employing immersed and reflective echelle gratings. The optical designs set constraints
on grating characteristics. We report on market choices for obtaining these gratings and review our experiments with
custom diamond turned rulings.
We report on echelle gratings produced by diamond turning with groove spacings coarser than 20 lines per mm. Increasing the groove spacing of an echelle reduces the free spectral range allowing infrared orders to be matched to the detector size. Reflection echelle gratings designed for the near-infrared have potential wide application in both ambient temperature as well as cryogenic astronomical spectrographs. Diamond turned reflection echelle gratings are currently employed in space-based high-resolution spectrographs for 2 – 4 μm planetary spectroscopy. Using a sample diamond turned grating we investigate the suitability of a 15 line/mm R3 echelle for use in ground-based 1 – 5 μm spectroscopy. We find this grating suitable for 3 – 5 μm high signal-to-noise, high-resolution applications. Controlling wavefront errors by an additional factor of two would permit use at high-resolution in the 1.5 – 2.5 μm region.
BigBOSS is a proposed ground-based dark energy experiment to study baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) and the
growth of large scale structure. It consists of a fiber-fed multi-object spectrograph designed to be installed on the Mayall
4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak, Arizona. BigBOSS includes an optical corrector assembly and 5000-fiber-positioner
focal plane assembly that replace the existing Mayall prime focus hardware. 40-meter long optical fiber bundles are
routed from the focal plane, through the telescope declination and right ascension pivots, to spectrographs in the
thermally insulated FTS Laboratory, immediately adjacent to the telescope. Each of the ten spectrographs includes three
separate spectral bands. The FTS Laboratory also houses support electronics, cooling, and vacuum equipment. The
prime focus assembly includes mounts for the existing Mayall f/8 secondary mirror to allow observations with
Cassegrain instruments. We describe the major elements of the BigBOSS instrument, plans for integrating with the
Telescope, and proposed modifications and additions to existing Mayall facilities.
The combination of immersion grating and infrared array detector technologies allows the construction of highresolution
spectrographs in the near-infrared that have capabilities similar to those of optical spectrographs. It is
possible, for instance, to design multi-object spectrographs with very large wavelength coverage and high throughput.
We explored the science and functional drivers for these spectrograph designs. Several key inputs into the design are
reviewed including risk, mechanical-optical trades, and operations. We discuss a design for a fixed configuration
spectrograph with either 1.1 - 2.5 or 3 - 5 μm simultaneous wavelength coverage.
The WIYN High Resolution Infrared Camera (WHIRC) has been a general-use instrument at the WIYN telescope on
Kitt Peak since 2008. WHIRC is a near-infrared (0.8 - 2.5 μm) camera with a filter complement of J, H, Ks broadband
and 10 narrowband filters, utilizing a 2048 × 2048 HgCdTe array from Raytheon's VIRGO line, developed for the
VISTA project. The compact on-axis refractive optical design makes WHIRC the smallest near-IR camera with this
capability. WHIRC is installed on the WIYN Tip-Tilt Module (WTTM) port and can achieve near diffraction-limited
imaging with a FWHM of ~0.25 arcsec at Ks with active WTTM correction and routinely delivers ~0.6 arcsec FWHM
images without WTTM correction. During its first year of general use operation at WIYN, WHIRC has been used for
high definition near-infrared imaging studies of a wide range of astronomical phenomena including star formation
regions, stellar populations and interstellar medium in nearby galaxies, high-z galaxies and transient phenomena. We
discuss performance and data reduction issues such as distortion, pupil ghost, and fringe removal and the development of
new tools for the observing community such as an exposure time calculator and data reduction pipeline.
The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will implement a Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF), which will generate up to nine
Na laser beams in at least four distinct asterisms. The TMT LGSF conceptual design is based upon three 50W solid state,
continuous wave, sum frequency 589 nm lasers and conventional beam transport optics. In this paper, we provide an
update to the TMT LGSF conceptual design. The LGSF top end and the beam transfer optics have been significantly
redesigned to compensate for the TMT telescope top end flexure, to adapt for the new TMT Ritchey-Chretien optical
design, to reduce the number of optical surfaces and to reduce the mass and volume. Finally, the laser service enclosure
has been relocated within the telescope azimuth structure. This will permit the lasers to operate with a fixed gravity
vector, but also requires further changes in the beam transport optical path.
The combination of immersion grating and infrared array detector technologies now allows the construction
of high-resolution spectrographs in the near-infrared that have capabilities approaching those of optical
spectrographs. It is possible, for instance, to design multi-object spectrographs with very large wavelength
coverage and high throughput. However, infrared spectrographs must be cryogenic and the cost of
complexity can be large. We investigate lower cost design options for single-object high-resolution
spectrographs. The trade-off in these designs is between the size/number of infrared arrays and the
inclusion of moving parts. We present a design for a no moving parts spectrograph with either 1.1-2.5 or 3-
5 μm simultaneous wavelength coverage. The design was undertaken with attention to cost as well as
scientific merit. Here we review the science drivers and key functional requirements. We present a general
overview of the instrument and estimate the limiting performance. The performance is compared with that
of medium-resolution infrared spectrographs as well as other high-resolution infrared spectrographs.
Atmospheric turbulence compensation via adaptive optics (AO) will be essential for achieving most objectives of the
TMT science case. The performance requirements for the initial implementation of the observatory's facility AO system
include diffraction-limited performance in the near IR with 50 per cent sky coverage at the galactic pole. This capability
will be achieved via an order 60x60 multi-conjugate AO system (NFIRAOS) with two deformable mirrors optically
conjugate to ranges of 0 and 12 km, six high-order wavefront sensors observing laser guide stars in the mesospheric
sodium layer, and up to three low-order, IR, natural guide star wavefront sensors located within each client instrument.
The associated laser guide star facility (LGSF) will consist of 3 50W class, solid state, sum frequency lasers,
conventional beam transport optics, and a launch telescope located behind the TMT secondary mirror.
In this paper, we report on the progress made in designing, modeling, and validating these systems and their components
over the last two years. This includes work on the overall layout and detailed opto-mechanical designs of NFIRAOS and
the LGSF; reliable wavefront sensing methods for use with elongated and time-varying sodium laser guide stars;
developing and validating a robust tip/tilt control architecture and its components; computationally efficient algorithms
for very high order wavefront control; detailed AO system modeling and performance optimization incorporating all of
these effects; and a range of supporting lab/field tests and component prototyping activities at TMT partners. Further
details may be found in the additional papers on each of the above topics.
The High-resolution Near-infrared Spectrograph (HRNIRS) concept for the Gemini telescopes combines a seeing-limited R ~ 70000 cross-dispersed mode and a MCAO-fed near diffraction-limited R ~ 20000 multi-object mode into a single compact instrument operating over the 0.9-5.5μm range. We describe the mechanical design, emphasizing the challenging design requirements and how they were met. The approach of developing the optical and mechanical designs in concert and utilizing proven working concepts from the Gemini Near Infra-Red Spectrograph were key elements of the design philosophy. Liang, et al. provides a detailed discussion of the optical design, Hinkle, et al. describes the science cases and requirements as well as a general overview, and Eikenberry, et al. describes the systems engineering and performance aspects of HRNIRS.
The Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS) supports a variety of observing modes over the 1-5 μm wavelength
region, matched to the infrared-optimized performance of the Gemini 8-m telescopes. We describe the optical,
mechanical, and thermal design of the instrument, with an emphasis on challenging design requirements and how they
were met. We also discuss the integration and test procedures used.
HRNIRS is an extremely versatile high-resolution infrared facility spectrograph designed for the Gemini South telescope. Operating over the 1.05 - 5.5 micron wavelength range, it has the capability to carry out a wide range of scientific programs by incorporating two separate modes of operation. The first is a conventional single slit cross-dispersed mode providing spectral resolution R ~ 70000 with a 0.4 arcsec slit over as much as an octave in wavelength, thus covering most of the JHK or LM windows in a single observation. In this mode the spectrograph accepts the Gemini seeing-limited f/16 input over a small field. A built-in modulator and polarizer allow HRNIRS to measure both linear and circular polarization. The second mode is a moderately-high resolution (R ~ 30000) spectrograph observing multiple objects simultaneously within a 2 arcmin field fed by the f/33.2 Gemini MCAO beam. In this paper, we discuss the optical design considerations, present the resulting design and show that the predicted performance meets the design requirements.
The High-Resolution Near-InfraRed Spectrograph (HRNIRS) concept for the Gemini telescopes combines a seeing limited R ~ 70000 cross-dispersed mode and an MCAO-fed near diffraction-limited R ~ 30000 multi-object mode into a single compact instrument operating over the 1 - 5 μm range. The HRNIRS concept was developed in response to proposals issued through the Aspen instrument process by Gemini. Here we review the science drivers and key functional requirements. We present a general overview of the instrument and estimate the limiting performance.
The High-resolution Near-infrared Spectrograph (HRNIRS) concept for the Gemini telescopes combines a seeing-limited R ~ 7000 cross-dispersed mode and an MCAO-fed near diffraction-limited R ~ 20000 multi-object mode into a single compact instrument operating over the 0.9 - 5.5 μm range. We describe the systems engineering and performance modeling aspects of this study, emphasizing simulations of high-precision radial verlocity measurements in the Gemini Cassegrain-focus instrument environment.
The Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS) has been in successful use on the Gemini South 8-m telescope for over two years. We describe the performance of the instrument and discuss how it matches the expectations from the design. We also examine the lessons to be learned regarding the design and operation of similar large cryogenic facility instruments.
The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will utilize adaptive optics to achieve near diffraction-limited images in the near-infrared using both natural and laser guide stars. The Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF) will project up to eight Na laser beacons to generate guide stars in the Earth's Na layer at 90 - 110 km altitude. The LGSF will generate at least four distinct laser guide star patterns (asterisms) of different geometry and angular diameter to meet the requirements of the specific adaptive optics modules for the TMT instruments. We describe the baseline concept for this facility, which draws on the heritage from the systems being installed at the Gemini telescopes. Major subsystems include the laser itself and its enclosure, the optics for transferring the laser beams up the telescope structure and the asterism generator and launch telescope, both mounted behind the TMT secondary mirror. We also discuss operational issues, particularly the required safety interlocks, and potential future upgrades to higher laser powers and precompensation of the projected laser beacons using an uplink adaptive optics system.
In this paper, we provide an overview of the adaptive optics (AO) program for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project, including an update on requirements; the philosophical approach to developing an overall AO system architecture; the recently completed conceptual designs for facility and instrument AO systems; anticipated first light capabilities and upgrade options; and the hardware, software, and controls interfaces with the remainder of the observatory. Supporting work in AO component development, lab and field tests, and simulation and analysis is also discussed. Further detail on all of these subjects may be found in additional papers in this conference.
We present case studies on the application of passive compensation in two large astronomical instruments: the Gemini Near Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS), including actual performance, and the NOAO Extremely Wide Field Infrared Mosaic (NEWFIRM) camera. Image motion due to gravity flexure is a problem in large astronomical instruments. We present solutions for two different cases using passive mechanical compensation of the optical train. For the Gemini Near Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS), articulation of a single sensitive optic is used. Adjustable cantilevered weights, designed to respond to specific gravity components, are employed to drive tilt flexures connected to the collimator mirror. An additional requirement is that cryocooler vibration must not dynamically excite this mirror. Performance testing of the complete instrument shows that image motion has been satisfactorily compensated. Some image blur due to dynamic excitation by the cryocoolers was noted. A successful damping scheme has been developed experimentally. For the NOAO Extremely Wide Field Infrared Mosaic camera (NEWFIRM), the entire optical support structure is mechanically tuned to deflect and rotate precisely as a rigid body relative to the telescope focal plane. This causes the optical train to remain pointed at a fixed position in the focal plane, minimizing image motion on the science detector. This instrument is still in fabrication.
Phoenix, a high resolution near-infrared spectrograph build by NOAO, was first used on the Gemini South telescope in December 2001. Previously on the Kitt Peak 2.1 and 4 meter telescopes, Phoenix received a new detector, as well as modified refrigeration, mounting, and handling equipment, prior to being sent to Gemini South. Using a two-pixel slit the resolution is ~75,000, making Phoenix the highest resolution infrared spectrograph available on a 6-10 meter class telescope at the current time. Modifications to and performance of the instrument are discussed. Some results on Magellanic cloud stars, brown dwarf stars, premain-sequence objects, and stellar exotica are reviewed briefly.
At the 1998 SPIE meeting we described a cryogenic, high- resolution spectrograph for use in the 1-5 micrometers region. At that time Phoenix had been used at Kitt Peak for about a year. In the intervening two years we have worked extensively with the instrument and have modified a few aspects of the design to bring the operational characteristics more closely into agreement with the original specifications. Changes to the instrument since 1998 that resulted in significant improvements in performance will be discussed. We will review the current operational characteristics of the spectrograph. Phoenix is a facility instrument of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory with use planned at Gemini South and CTIO.
Large astronomical spectrographs designed for use in the visible for use in the visible can operate efficiently well beyond the long wavelength cutoff of CCD detectors. Given the expense and complexity of constructing IR-optimized high resolution or multi-object spectrographs, it is prudent to explore the range of scientific programs possible utilizing modern near-IR arrays at the focal plane of historically visible wavelength instruments. For the past three years, we have used the NICMASS camera, a 256 by 256 HgCdTe imager developed at the University of Massachusetts, at the camera 5 focus of the Coude Feed Spectrograph on Kitt Peak for moderate and high resolution IR spectroscopy in the 1-1.8 micrometers range. This configuration has been used at a spectral resolution 7200 using a 316 1/mm grating an extremely stable platform permitting radial velocity determinations to better than 1 km-s -1. We will discuss some scientific results obtained with this novel configuration and the performance limitations imposed by the ambient temperature spectrograph beyond a wavelength of 1 micrometers . We also discuss plans to evaluate the suitability of NICMASS for multi- object near-IR spectroscopy on the Hydra Bench Spectrograph at the WIYN telescope on Kitt Peak.
We describe a cryogenic, high-resolution spectrograph (Phoenix) for the 1-5 micrometers region. Phoenix is an echelle spectrograph of the near-Littrow over-under configuration without cross dispersion. The foreoptics include Lyot re- imaging, discrete and circular variable order sorting filters, a selection of slits, and optics for post-slit and Lyot imaging. The entire instrument is cooled to 50 K using two closed cycle coolers. The detector is a Hughes-Santa Barbara 512 X 1024 InSb array. Resolution of 65,000 has been obtained. Throughput without slit losses is 13 percent at 2.3 micrometers . Recent results are discussed. Phoenix is a facility instrument of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories and will be available at CTIO, KPNO, and Gemini.
The Cryogenic Spectrometer (CRSP) is a longslit astronomical spectrograph which has been in service at Kitt Peak National Observatory since 1988, utilizing a 58 x 62 Santa Barbara Research Corporation InSb array in the dispersive focal plane. We have recently completed an extensive upgrade to the instrument which includes: installation of a SBRC 256 x 256 InSb array in the focal plane. CRSP is thus the first astronomical IR spectrograph to utilize the new 256 x 256 InSb focal plane. By comparison to the 62 x 58 focal plane, the 256 x 256 array has significantly less dark current (<1 e/s vs 50 e/s) and lower read noise (30 vs 350 electrons for a single read), resulting in improved performance for low background observations. In addition, the smaller pixels yield plate scales which are well- suited to sampling the typical seeing at Kitt Peak. This yields significant gains in the reduction of systematic errors associated with the extraction of point-source spectra against the challenging background of the IR night sky, which is dominated by emission lines of OH and by thermal emission from telluric absorption lines at wavelengths > 2.3 micrometers .
The Hughes 20 x 64 Si:As impurity band conduction arrays designed for ground-based and spaceborne astronomy observations is described together with experiments performed at NOAO to test these arrays. Special attention is given to the design and the characteristics of the test system and to the test methods. The initial tests on two columns of one array indicate that the array is easy to operate and performed satisfactorily.