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21 March 1997 Progress of the UKIRT Upgrades Program
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Proceedings Volume 2871, Optical Telescopes of Today and Tomorrow; (1997)
Event: Optical Telescopes of Today and Tomorrow, 1996, Landskrona/Hven, Sweden
The 3.8 m UK infrared telescope (UKIRT) is currently the focus of an upgrades program to improve its imaging performance, ideally to approach its diffraction limit in the near-IR at 2.2 micrometer, with FWHM approximately 0.'12. This program is now in its late stages. All the new systems have been designed, most have been manufacture and many have been installed. A new top end carries an adaptive tip-tilt secondary mirror with active precision alignment, which, with low-order active control of the primary mirror, should provide the desired intrinsic optical performance. The adaptive tip- tilt system will correct image motion from telescope vibrations and drive errors and from atmospheric wavefront tilt; delivered images are expected regularly to be less than 0.'5 over wide fields, and within a factor 2 or so of the diffraction limit, at least inside an isoplanatic patch of order an arcmin radius. To reduce facility seeing the primary mirror has been equipped with a ventilation system and will receive a 5 kW cooling system; the dome is being equipped with sixteen closable apertures to permit natural wind flushing, which can be assisted by the building air handling system in low winds. It is hoped that facility seeing -- excluding boundary layer effects -- will be imperceptible during approximately 85% of observable time. The upgraded UKIRT should be well capable of exploiting fully the very best conditions on Mauna Kea.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.


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