For the first time in the history of ground-based x-ray astronomy, the on-axis performance of the dual mirror, aspheric, aplanatic Schwarzschild-Couder optical system has been demonstrated in a 9:7-m aperture imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope. The novel design of the prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (pSCT) is motivated by the need of the next-generation Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) observatory to have the ability to perform wide (≥8°) field-of-view observations simultaneously with superior imaging of atmospheric cascades (resolution of 0:067 per pixel or better). The pSCT design, if implemented in the CTA installation, has the potential to improve significantly both the x-ray angular resolution and the off-axis sensitivity of the observatory, reaching nearly the theoretical limit of the technique and thereby making a major impact on the CTA observatory sky survey programs, follow-up observations of multi-messenger transients with poorly known initial localization, as well as on the spatially resolved spectroscopic studies of extended x-ray sources. This contribution reports on the initial alignment procedures and point-spread-function results for the challenging segmented aspheric primary and secondary mirrors of the pSCT.
OSIRIS (Optical System for Imaging and low Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy) was the optical Day One instrument
for the 10.4m Spanish telescope GTC. It is installed at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos (La Palma, Spain).
This instrument has been operational since March-2009 and covers from 360 to 1000 nm. OSIRIS observing modes
include direct imaging with tunable and conventional filters, long slit and low resolution spectroscopy. OSIRIS wide
field of view and high efficiency provide a powerful tool for the scientific exploitation of GTC. OSIRIS was developed
by a Consortium formed by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Instituto de Astronomía de la
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IA-UNAM). The latter was in charge of the optical design, the manufacture
of the camera and collaboration in the assembly, integration and verification process. The IAC was responsible for the
remaining design of the instrument and it was the project leader. The present paper considers the development of the
instrument from its design to its present situation in which is in used by the scientific community.
HAWC (High Altitude Water Cherenkov), is a gamma ray (γ) large aperture observatory with high sensitivity that will
be able to continuously monitor the sky for transient sources of photons with energies between 100 GeV and 100 TeV.
HAWC is under construction in Sierra Negra, Puebla, Mexico, which is located at a high altitude of 4100m. HAWC will
be an array of 300 Cherenkov detectors each one with 200,000 liters of highly pure water.
The sensitivity of the instrument depends strongly on the water quality. We present the design and construction of the
HAWC water quality monitoring system. We seek monitor the transparency in violet-blue range to achieve and
maintain the required water transparency quality in each detector. The system is robust and user friendly. The
measurements are reproducible. Also we present some results from the monitoring the water from the VAMOS detector
tanks and of the filtering system.
ESOPO will be a spectrograph of medium resolution for the 2.1 m telescope of the National Observatory at San
Pedro Martir, Baja California, Mexico. It has been developed by the Instituto de Astronomia of the Universidad
Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (IA-UNAM). The main goal of this instrument is to modernize the capabilities
of making science with that particular telescope. It is planned to achieve a spectral resolution between 500 and
5000. ESOPO is split into two arms; each one specialized in a specific wavelength range covering together all the
visible light. A very important issue in spectrographs is to avoid inside thermal gradients. Different temperatures
in the optical elements produce mechanical movements and image quality degradation during an exposition. The
error budget analysis developed for ESOPO allows establishing the required limits for temperature gradients. In
this paper is described the thermal analysis of the spectrograph, including specifications, finite element models,
thermal equations and expected thermal gradients.
The integration of software which requires different operating system platforms to run, is a common challenge that has
to be overcome by astronomical software developers. In recent years, the possibility to execute different operating
systems (OS) and programs at the same time, on a single computer by means of virtual machines, known as
virtualization, has emerged as a novel tool to integrate software from different platforms. In this paper, we share our
virtualization experiences and how virtualization has improved the software integration of two astronomical software
projects developed at the Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (IAUNAM).
We describe progress in the construction of an adaptive optics system for the 2.1 meter telescope of the Observatorio
Astronomico Nacional on Sierra San Pedro Martir, in Baja California, Mexico. The system will use a 19
element bimorph deformable mirror mounted on an articulated platform and a curvature wavefront sensor with
natural guide stars. It will have two modes of operation. In adaptive optics mode, it is expected to give excellent
correction above 1.0 μm and good correction down to 0.6-0.9 μm, depending on the seeing, although the sky
coverage will be limited. In fast guiding mode, the system should give images at or better than the excellent
natural seeing of the site and have much greater sky coverage. The system is currently undergoing laboratory
This work presents the specifications, requirements, design, finite element analysis and results of the assembled
subsystems: slit-mask, and the acquisition and guiding zone mechanisms of the ESOPO spectrograph. This spectrograph
is a project of the Institute of Astronomy, National University of Mexico.
The structure of the spectrograph ESOPO is the stiff mount that will maintain fixed all optics elements, electronics and
mechanical subsystems. The ESOPO spectrograph is a project of the "Instituto de Astronomia de la Universidad
Nacional Autonoma de Mexico" (IAUNAM) to upgrade its 2.1m telescope as a competitive facility for the next decade.
The scientific purpose is to obtain a modern high efficient intermediate-low dispersion spectrograph optimized for the
3500 - 9000 Å spectral interval with a spectral resolution of 500 ≤ R ≤ 5000. It is to be used at the cassegrain f/7.5 focus
of the 2.1 m telescope for general astronomical purposes. This work presents the mechanical design process and the form
in which the structure was verified to comply with the ESOPO's top level image quality and stability requirements. The
latter was not a lineal process. The way we resolved it is to run FEAs on the complete system and with the instrument in
different operation positions during a normal cycle of observations. These results are validated through the error budget
of the ESOPO. The structure is currently under construction.
In this paper we present the Medium Resolution Spectrograph ESOPO, an instrument designed and built for the 2.1m
Telescope at the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional at San Pedro Mártir. We discuss the Scientific Goals and the High
Level Requirements necessary to translate these goals to optical, mechanical and control specifications. We make an
introduction to its conceptual dual-arm design. The optical design is based on a non-classical configuration. The gratings
are illuminated in a conical mode working in a quasi Littrow configuration which has the advantage of optimizing the
efficiency and the pupil area on the grating. We show here the results of an experimental evaluation of the concept. The
optical design, mechanical structure, slit-mask and acquisition system, control systems, and a study of thermal
compensators, are discussed briefly, references to more extended contributions in these proceedings are made. The
management schematics of the project are briefly discussed.
In the last two years the National Observatory at Tonantzintla Puebla, México (OAN Tonantzintla), has been undergoing
several facilities upgrades in order to bring to the observatory suitable conditions to operate as a modern Observational
Astronomy Teaching Laboratory. In this paper, we present the management, requirement definition and project
advances. We made a quantitative diagnosis about of the functionality of the Tonantzintla Observatory (mainly based in
the 1m f/15 telescope) to take aim to educational objectives. Through this project we are taking the steps to correct, to
actualize and to optimize the observatory astronomical instrumentation according to modern techniques of observation.
We present the design and the first actions in order to get a better and efficient use of the main astronomical
instrumentation, as well as, the telescope itself, for the undergraduate, postgraduate levels Observacional Astronomy
students and outreach publics programs for elementary school. The project includes the development of software and
hardware components based in as a common framework for the project management. The Observatory is located at 150
km away from the headquarters at the Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IAUNAM),
and one of the goals is use this infrastructure for a Remote Observatory System.
We have designed and installed a new active remote observing system for the 1-m, f/15 telescope at the Tonantzintla
Observatory. This remote system is operated in real-time through the Internet, allowing an observer to control the
building, the telescope (pointing, guiding and focusing) and the CCD image acquisition at the main and finder
telescopes from the Instituto de Astronomia headquarters in Mexico City (150 KM away). The whole system was
modeled within the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and the design has proved to be versatile enough for a variety
of astronomical instruments. We describe the system architecture and how different subsystems (telescope control, main
telescope and finder image acquisition, weather station, videoconference, etc.) that are based on different operative
system platforms (Linux, Windows, uIP) have been integrated. We present the first results of an IPv6 over IPv4 tunnel.
Recent remote direct imaging and spectroscopic observations have been used to test the astronomical site. We conclude
that this remote system is an excellent tool for supporting research and graduated observational astronomy programs.
In March 2004, the Commissioning Instrument (CI) for the GTC was accepted in the site of The Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) located in La Palma Island, Spain. During the GTC integration phase, the CI will be a diagnostic tool for performance verification. The CI features four operation modes-imaging, pupil imaging, Curvature Wave-front sensing (WFS), and high resolution Shack-Hartmann WFS. The imaging mode permits to qualify the GTC image quality. The Pupil Mode permits estimate the GTC stray light. The segments figure, alignment and cophasing verifications are made with both WFS modes. In this work we describe the Commissioning Instrument and show some tests results obtained during the site acceptance process at the GTC site.
In March 2004 was accepted in the site of Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) in La Palma Island, Spain, the Commissioning Instrument (CI) for the GTC. During the GTC integration phase, the CI will be a diagnostic tool for performance verification. The CI features four operation modes-imaging, pupil imaging, Curvature Wave-front sensing (WFS), and high resolution Shack-Hartmann WFS. This instrument was built by the Instituto de Astronomia UNAM in Mexico City and the Centro de Ingenieria y Desarrollo Industrial (CIDESI) in Queretaro, Qro under a GRANTECAN contract after an international public bid. Some optical components were built by Centro de Investigaciones en Optica (CIO) in Leon Gto and the biggest mechanical parts were manufactured by Vatech in Morelia Mich. In this paper we made a general description of the CI and we relate how this instrument, build under international standards, was entirely made in Mexico.
The Observatorio Astronomico Nacional at San Pedro Martir is situated on the summit of the San Pedro Martir Sierra in the Baja California peninsula of Mexico, at 2800m above sea level. For as long as three decades, a number of groups and individuals have gathered extremely valuable data leading to the site characterization for astronomical observations. Here we present a summary of the most important results obtained so far. The aspects covered are: weather, cloud coverage, local meteorology, atmospheric optical extinction, millimetric opacity, geotechnical studies, seeing, optical turbulence profiles, wind profiles and 3D simulations of atmospheric turbulence. The results place San Pedro Martir among the most favorable sites in the world for astronomical observations. It seems to be particularly well-suited for extremely large telescopes because of the excellent turbulence and local wind conditions, to mention but two characteristics. Long-term monitoring of some parameters still have to be undertaken. The National University of Mexico (UNAM) and other international institutions are putting a considerable effort in that sense.
We present the dual IR camera CID for the 2.12 m telescope of the
Observatorio Astronomico Nacional de Mexico, IA-UNAM. The system
consists of two separate cameras/spectrographs that operate in
different regions of the IR spectrum. In the near IR, CID comprises a direct imaging camera with wide band filters, a CVF, and a low resolution spectrograph employing an InSb 256 x 256 detector. In the mid IR, CID uses a BIB 128 x 128 detector for direct imaging in 10 and 20 microns. Optics and mechanics of CID were developed at IR-Labs
(Tucson). The electronics was developed by R. Leach (S. Diego). General design, construction of auxiliary optics (oscillating
secondary mirror), necessary modifications and optimization of
the electronics, and acquisition software were carried out at OAN/
UNAM. The compact design of the instruments allow them to share
a single dewar and the cryogenics system.
During the GTC integration phase, the Commissioning Instrument (CI) will be a diagnostic tool for performance verification. The CI features four operation modes-imaging, pupil imaging, Curvature WFS, and high resolution Shack-Hartmann WFS. After the GTC Commissioning we also plan to install a Pyramid WFS. This instrument can therefore serve as a test bench for comparing co-phasing methods for ELTs on a real segmented telescope. In this paper we made a general instrument overview.
The applicability of the curvature method for co-phasing of segmented mirrors is investigated by means of simulations for the case of strongly defocused images. The simulations are performed for both the monochromatic and the white light as well. A simple wavefront reconstruction from curvature signal was made. The reconstruction quality of the piston modes and the aberrations up to the fourth order is analyzed. The dependence of the Central Intensity Ratio for a segmented mirror as a function of the rms segment's aberrations is presented. The effect of turbulence-induced distortions on the quality of mirror co-phasing is analyzed. It is shown that the local pistons and the local tip-tilts can be measured directly from the curvature signal without any phase recovering procedure. The results obtained show that, even in the presence of the atmospheric turbulence, the curvature method is sensitive enough to detect the errors of segmented mirrors.
We have obtained the curvature signal from defocused images before and after the pupil image for a simplified segmented mirror model. We used white light interferometry in order to calibrate the relative piston difference between the segments. The first results of applying the Curvature Sensing method to measure this relative piston difference are presented.
We demonstrate that the curvature equation can be modified using some properties of Distributions theory for segmented mirror techniques. It is shown that, additionally to the individual segment aberrations, the modified equation contains the information about the relative pistons and tip- tilts among the segments. The validity of the equation is verified by numerical simulations and by a laboratory experiment as well.
The performance of adaptive optics systems not only depends on its number of actuators and optics quality but also on the performance of the controller used to compensate the wave- front distortions. Due to the temporal bandwidth required to realize a suitable tracking of the atmospheric turbulence dynamics it is necessary that the controller have a short time delay and high stability and robustness indices. A fuzzy logic controller, a technique related with Artificial Intelligence, accomplish all the characteristics aforementioned. In this paper, we present some laboratory tests with the LOLA adaptive optics tip-tilt system in closed loop with a fuzzy controller. In addition, we present some results obtained with LOLA and fuzzy control at the 1 meter Telescope of the Observatorio Astronomico Nacional in Tonantzintla, Peubla, Mexico. We analyze these results with a signal analysis approach such as the power spectrum of the image centroid motion and its correspondent residual variance.
We describe different works conducing to the adaptive optics system for the TIM 6.5m telescope. We show turbulence profiles result at our San Pedro Martir Observatory in Baja using the Generalized SCIDAR. We can conclude that the turbulence conditions in this site are comparable to the major observatories in the world. From these results and taken in account curvature AO simulations it is possible to predict the performances in limiting magnitude and sky coverage of different AO systems and telescopes in our observatory. We can also define the degree of the AO system for the TIM 6.5m telescope. We made a short description of our LOLA tip-tilt corrector system and the GUIELOA 19 elements curvature AO system. The calculation of the optics quality for the TIM 6.5m is briefly mentioned. Studies about the influence of the finite outerscale on the optical quality of AO corrected images are described.
At the INSTITUTO DE ASTRONOMIA we developed an adaptive optics system for the correction of the two first orders of the Zernike polynomials measuring the image controid. Here we discus the two system modalities based in two different control strategies and we present simulations comparing the systems. For the classic control system we present telescope results.
We are developing an instrument to study the morphology and kinematics of the molecular gas and its interrelationship with the ionized gas in star forming regions, planetary nebulae and supernova remnants in our Galaxy and other galaxies, as well as the kinematics of the IR emitting gas in starburst and interacting galaxies. This instrument consists of a water-free fused silica scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer optimized in the spectral range from 1.5 to 2.4 micrometers with high spectral resolution. It will be installed in the collimated beam of a nearly 2:1 focal reducer, designed for the Cassegrain focus of the 2.1 m telescope of the San Pedro Martir National Astronomical Observatory. Mexico, in its f/7.5 configuration, yielding a field of view of 11.6 arc-min. It will provide direct images as well as interferograms to be focused on a 1024 X 1024 HAWAII array, covering a spectral range from 0.9 to 2.5 micrometers .
The kinematics of the interstellar medium may be studied by means of a scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer (SFPI). This allows the coverage of a wider field of view with higher spatial and spectral resolution than when a high-dispersion classical spectrograph is used. The system called PUMA consists of a focal reducer and a SFPI installed in the 2.1 m telescope of the San Pedro Martir National Astronomical Observatory (SPM), Mexico, in its f/7.5 configuration. It covers a field of view of 10 arcmin providing direct images as well as interferograms which are focused on a 1024 X 1024 Tektronix CCD, covering a wide spectral range. It is considered the integration of other optical elements for further developments. The optomechanical system and the developed software allow exact, remote positioning of all movable parts and control the FPI scanning and data acquisition. The parallelism of the interferometer plates is automatically achieved by a custom method. The PUMA provides spectral resolutions of 0.414 Angstrom and a free spectral range of 19.8 Angstrom. Results of high quality that compete with those obtained by similar systems in bigger telescopes, are presented.
The system called PUMA is an instrument consisting of a focal reducer coupled to a scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer (SFPI), which is being developed for the Observatorio Astronomicao Nacional at San Pedro Martir, B.C. It will be installed at the 2.0 m Ritchey-Chretien telescope with a focal ratio of F/7.9. It has interference filters, a calibration system, and field diaphragms. The SFPI can be moved out of the optical path in order to acquire direct images. The images produced by this instrument will be focused on an optoelectronic detector, a CCD, or a Mepsicron, depending on the spectral range used.