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17 September 2012 Development of the Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph (CHESS)
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A key astrophysical theme that will drive future UV/optical space missions is the life cycle of cosmic matter, from the flow of intergalactic gas into galaxies to the formation and evolution of exoplanetary systems. Spectroscopic systems capable of delivering high resolution with low backgrounds will be essential to addressing these topics. Towards this end, we are developing a rocket-borne instrument that will serve as a pathfinder for future high-sensitivity, highresolution UV spectrographs. The Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph (CHESS) will provide 2 km s-1 velocity resolution (R = 150,000) over the 100 - 160 nm bandpass that includes key atomic and molecular spectral diagnostics for the intergalactic medium (H I Lyman-series, O VI, N V, and C IV), exoplanetary atmospheres (H I Lyman-alpha, O I, and C II), and protoplanetary disks (H2 and CO electronic band systems). CHESS uses a novel mechanical collimator comprised of an array of 10 mm x 10 mm stainless steel tubes to feed a low-scatter, 69 grooves mm-1 echelle grating. The cross-disperser is a holographically ruled toroid, with 351 grooves mm-1. The spectral orders can be recorded with either a 40 mm cross-strip microchannel plate detector or a 3.5k x 3.5k δ-doped CCD. The microchannel plate will deliver 30 μm spatial resolution and employs new 64 amp/axis electronics to accommodate high count rate observations of local OB stars. CHESS is scheduled to be launched aboard a NASA Terrier/Black Brant IX sounding rocket from White Sands Missile Range in the summer of 2013.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Kevin France, Matthew Beasley, Robert Kane, Nicholas Nell, Eric B. Burgh, and James C. Green "Development of the Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph (CHESS)", Proc. SPIE 8443, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 844305 (17 September 2012);


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