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27 June 2006 Status of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) first-generation instruments
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Abstract
"First light" of the Southern African Large Telescope was declared on 1 Sep 2005 and the first scientific programs have now begun. This paper discusses the completion and commissioning of the first-light instruments: the UV-visible imaging camera, SALTICAM, and the prime focus imaging spectrograph, the Robert Stobie Spectrograph (RSS). The innovative aspects and tight constraints on the design of these prime focus instruments are described, as well as the first scientific results. These instruments, which are all seeing limited, operate in the UV-visible region (320 - 900 nm), and will provide capabilities for broad and narrow band imaging, long-slit and multi-object spectroscopy (R ~ 6000 for seeing limit), spectropolarimetry and Fabry-Perot imaging spectroscopy (R ~ 320-9,000). Time resolved studies are an important aspect of the overall SALT science drivers and special efforts were made to ensure an ability to run at ~10 Hz, with minimal dead time, by employing frame transfer CCDs. Finally, we present the design and status of the fiber-fed high resolution echelle spectrograph, SALTHRS, the last of the "first generation" SALT instruments.
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D. A. H. Buckley, E. B. Burgh, P. L. Cottrell, K. H. Nordsieck, D. O'Donoghue, and T. B. Williams "Status of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) first-generation instruments", Proc. SPIE 6269, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy, 62690A (27 June 2006); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.673838
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