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29 June 2006 Design of the TMT mid-infrared echelle: science drivers and design overview
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We present a discussion of the science drivers and design approach for a high-resolution, mid-infrared spectrograph for the Thirty-Meter Telescope. The instrument will be integrated with an adaptive optics system optimized for the midinfrared; as a consequence it is not significantly larger or more complex than similar instruments designed for use on smaller telescopes. The high spatial and spectral resolution possible with such a design provides a unique scientific capability. The design provides spectral resolution of up to 120,000 for the 4.5-25 μm region in a cross-dispersed format that provides continuous spectral coverage of up to 2% to 14 μm. The basic concept is derived from the successful TEXES mid-infrared spectrograph. To facilitate operation, there are separate imaging channels for the near-infrared and the mid-infrared; both can be used for acquisition and the mid-infrared imaging mode can be used for science imaging and for guiding. Because the spectrograph is matched to the diffraction limit of a 30-m telescope, gains in sensitivity are roughly proportional to the square of the telescope diameter, opening up a volume within the Galaxy a thousand times greater than existing instruments.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
J. H. Elias, J. S. Carr, M. J. Richter, J. Najita, M. R. Chun, A. T. Tokunaga, M. Liu, J. Lacy, S. Strom, M. Liang, and T. W. Bond "Design of the TMT mid-infrared echelle: science drivers and design overview", Proc. SPIE 6269, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy, 62693U (29 June 2006);


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