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New advances in optical design for astronomical spectrographs

Radley, Alan Stuart; (1996) New advances in optical design for astronomical spectrographs. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The successful commissioning in 1992 of the Keck telescope heralded a new era in very large telescope construction. The Keck has a 10 metre collecting aperture, and today other projects to build very large telescopes are now underway. The Gemini project aims to build twin 8m telescopes, one for each hemisphere of the earth. The thesis work presented here deals with the optical design of high resolution spectrographs for telescopes of this size. Several different aspects of optical spectrograph design are investigated, including dioptric and catadioptric collimators and mosaic cross-dispersing prisms. Thesis content begins with a brief overview of some historical aspects of spectrograph system design. Subsequent work looks at techniques for establishing the optical feasibility of new generation spectrographs, and is largely concerned with finding viable camera arrangements. Towards this aim the author developed Inter-Opt, a new kind of optical ray tracing program. The Inter-Opt program comprises a user-interface that facilitates an interactive approach to the optimization of camera systems. This user-interface uses a new conceptual design methodology that enhances the efficiency of the dialogue between user and computer during camera design. Chapter 2 details the specific advantages of the new optimization techniques that the user-interface facilitates. Later Chapters deal with the optical design of a number of different spectrograph cameras for the Gemini High Resolution Optical/UV Spectrograph (HROS). Application of the Inter-Opt program to this camera study has demonstrated the feasibility of a camera for HROS at resolution 120,000. Additionally, in Chapter 6 the optical testing and commissioning results for a Short Schmidt camera are presented. Finally we conclude by looking forward to likely developments in optical spectrograph design in the future.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: New advances in optical design for astronomical spectrographs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Pure sciences; Optical spectrograph; Telescopes
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097338
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