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22 July 2008 VIRUS-P: camera design and performance
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We present the design and performance of the prototype Visible Integral-field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS-P) camera. Commissioned in 2007, VIRUS-P is the prototype for 150+ identical fiber-fed integral field spectrographs for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment. With minimal complexity, the gimbal mounted, double-Schmidt design achieves high on-sky throughput, image quality, contrast, and stability with novel optics, coatings, baffling, and minimization of obscuration. The system corrector working for both the collimator and f / 1.33 vacuum Schmidt camera serves as the cryostat window while a 49 mm square aspheric field flattener sets the central obscuration. The mount, electronics, and cooling of the 2k × 2k, Fairchild Imaging CCD3041-BI fit in the field-flattener footprint. Ultra-black knife edge baffles at the corrector, spider, and adjustable mirror, and a detector mask, match the optical footprints at each location and help maximize the 94% contrast between 245 spectra. An optimally stiff and light symmetric four vane stainless steel spider supports the CCD which is thermally isolated with an equally stiff Ultem-1000 structure. The detector/field flattener spacing is maintained to 1 μm for all camera orientations and repeatably reassembled to 12 μm. Invar rods in tension hold the camera focus to ±4 μm over a -5-25 °C temperature range. Delivering a read noise of 4.2 e- RMS, sCTE of 1-10-5 , and pCTE of 1-10-6 at 100 kpix/s, the McDonald V2 controller also helps to achieve a 38 hr hold time with 3 L of LN2 while maintaining the detector temperature setpoint to 150 μK (5σ RMS).
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Joseph R. Tufts, Phillip J. MacQueen, Michael P. Smith, Pedro R. Segura, Gary J. Hill, and Robert D. Edmonston "VIRUS-P: camera design and performance", Proc. SPIE 7021, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy III, 702109 (22 July 2008);

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