We investigate an image slicer module for an optical multiobject spectrograph, wide-field optical spectrograph (WFOS), which is one of the first-light instruments of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). The image slicer divides the target image into three slices, thus providing a one-third narrower slit width. By positioning a suite of such modules at the telescope focal surface, multiobject spectroscopy with high spectral resolution can be achieved. Three optical designs are developed: a two-mirror design, a four-mirror design, and a flat-mirror design. Comparing them, the flat-mirror design is found to be the most preferable for WFOS. From a tolerance analysis, the tolerances of manufacturing and assembling appear challenging but not insurmountable. We describe how the steep field curvature of TMT requires at least nine module variants, tuned to reduce defocus in specific focal surface zones. Finally, we introduce a viable mechanical packaging concept.
Ground-layer adaptive optics (GLAO) systems offer the possibility of improving the ”seeing” of large ground-based telescopes and increasing the efficiency and sensitivity of observations over a wide field-of-view. We explore the utility and feasibility of deploying a GLAO system at the W. M. Keck Observatory in order to feed existing and future multi-object spectrographs and wide-field imagers. We also briefly summarize science cases spanning exoplanets to high-redshift galaxy evolution that would benefit from a Keck GLAO system. Initial simulations indicate that a Keck GLAO system would deliver a 1.5x and 2x improvement in FWHM at optical (500 nm) and infrared (1.5
μm), respectively. The infrared instrument, MOSFIRE, is ideally suited for a Keck GLAO feed in that it has excellent image quality and is on the telescope’s optical axis. However, it lacks an atmospheric dispersion compensator, which would limit the minimum usable slit size for long-exposure science cases. Similarly, while LRIS and DEIMOS may be able to accept a GLAO feed based on their internal image quality, they lack either an atmospheric dispersion compensator (DEIMOS) or flexure compensation (LRIS) to utilize narrower slits matched to the GLAO image quality. However, some science cases needing shorter exposures may still benefit from Keck GLAO and we will investigate the possibility of installing an ADC.
The Wide Field Optical Spectrometer (WFOS) is a seeing limited, multi-object spectrograph and first light instrument for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) scheduled for first observations in 2027. The spectrograph will deliver a minimum resolution of R~5,000 over a simultaneous wavelength range of 310 nm to 1,000 nm with a multiplexing goal of between 20 and 700 targets. The WFOS team consisting of partners in China, India, Japan, and the United States has completed a trade study of two competing concepts intended to meet the design requirements derived from the WFOS detailed science case. The first of these design concepts is a traditional slit mask instrument capable of delivering R~1,000 for up to 100 simultaneous targets using 1 x 7 arc second slits, and a novel focal plane slicing method for R~5,000 on up to 20 simultaneous targets can be achieved by reformatting the 1 arc-second wide slits into three 0.3 arc-second slits projected next to each other in the spatial direction. The second concept under consideration is a highly multiplexed fiber based system utilizing a robotic fiber positioning system at the focal plane containing 700 individual collectors, and a cluster of up to 12 replicated spectrographs with a minimum resolution of R~5,000 over the full pass band. Each collecting element will contain a bundle of 19 fibers coupled to micro-lens arrays that allow for contiguous coverage of targets and adaptation of the f/15 telescope beam to f/3.2 for feeding the fiber system. This report describes the baseline WFOS design, provides an overview of the two trade study concepts, and the process used to down-select between the two options. Also included is a risk assessment regarding the known technical challenges in the selected design concept.