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Advanced detector and control systems for optical astronomy

Fish, Adrian Charles; (1990) Advanced detector and control systems for optical astronomy. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Since the late 1920's, the concept of large optical telescopes for optical astronomy has been much discussed. Ever since the construction of the Hale 200" Telescope at Palomar, no new developments have appeared during the intervening fifty years, despite a clear need for such facilities. Only recently have renewed attempts been made at very large telescopes using new ideas and advanced concepts in telescope construction. Nevertheless optical astronomy has advanced tremendously due to huge improvements in instrumentation. The advent of computers and electronic detectors gave the astronomer new and powerful tools for reaching deeper into the cosmos in much more detail. These new developments in instrumentation have been most dramatic in the past fifteen years with the development of the Charge-Coupled-Device (CCD) and Image Photon Counting Systems (IPCS) together with improvements in spectrograph design. With the new, very large telescopes under construction now and the continued improvements in instrumentation, the future for optical astronomy is bound to be very exciting. This thesis involves work carried out by the author at University College London that includes the development of a common user CCD camera for the South African Astronomical Observatory, the control system for a new generation echelle spectrograph recently commissioned at the Anglo-Australian Telescope, and the development of a new concept in CCD detectors involving the assembly of large focal plane arrays of CCDs, thereby providing the astronomer with a detector able to fully utilise the capabilities of the new generation of very large telescopes and their associated instrumentation. This work is described within a framework that begins with a brief introduction and overview of some of the recent advances in optical instrumentation for astronomy. The main body of the thesis illustrates the work carried out during the course of study including commissioning data and results. The thesis is concluded with a brief look to the future for instrumentation in ground-based optical astronomy.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Advanced detector and control systems for optical astronomy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Pure sciences; Charge coupled devices
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107352
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