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9 July 2008 Instrumentation at the W. M. Keck Observatory
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Developing new instruments and upgrading existing systems continues to be an important part of our science driven strategic plan at the W. M. Keck Observatory, now in its 14th year of operation. Our emphasis remains on high angular resolution astronomy and faint-object spectroscopy. The instrument development program is now in its third generation. The first of these, OSIRIS, was delivered in February 2005 and together with NIRC2 is now in routine operation with the laser guide star adaptive optics (LGS AO) system on the Keck II telescope. During 2007 new wave front controllers were installed in the Keck I and Keck II AO systems and over 70 nights per semester are now allocated to AO science. WMKO is collaborating with the Gemini Observatory on the development of a solid state laser for the Keck I telescope. The V2 mode of the Keck Interferometer is offered for routine observing and the 10 micron Nuller is now being used for the NASA exo-zodiacal dust survey key project. The atmospheric dispersion corrector (ADC) for the Cassegrain focus of the Keck I telescope was installed in 2007 and is now in routine use. In addition, a detector upgrade is under way for the red channel of the LRIS instrument on Keck I. Our next third generation instrument will be MOSFIRE, a near-IR multi-object spectrograph, which is currently in the fabrication phase. A Visitor Port on Keck I is now ready to receive instruments, with the first one expected to be NIRES, a cross-dispersed echellette instrument for the near-infrared. Deployment of a large suite of new acquisition, guiding and image quality monitoring systems to replace all the existing CCD guiders and acquisition cameras at the Observatory is also under way. The first system has been retro-fitted to NIRSPEC. Finally, studies are in progress on the development of a next generation AO system and an associated suite of instruments, and there has been a recent call for concepts for new seeing-limited instruments.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ian S. McLean and Sean M. Adkins "Instrumentation at the W. M. Keck Observatory", Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 701402 (9 July 2008);


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