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Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for EUR ING Paul Clark

Barnes, S.I., Cottrell, P.L., Albrow, M.D., Frost, N., Graham, G., Kershaw, G., Ritchie, R., Jones, D., Sharples, R., Bramall, D., Schmoll, J., Luke, P., Clark, P., Tyas, L., Buckley, D.A.H. & Brink, J. (2008), The optical design of the Southern African Large Telescope high resolution spectrograph: SALT HRS, in McLean, Ian S. & Casali, Mark M. eds, Proceedings of SPIE 7014: Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II. Marseille, France, SPIE, Washington, 70140K

Author(s) from Durham


SALT HRS is a fiber-fed cross-dispersed echelle spectrograph designed for high resolution and high efficiency seeing-limited spectroscopy on the Southern African Large Telescope. The spectrograph, which has a dual channel white pupil design, uses a single R4 echelle grating, a dichroic beam-splitter, and volume phase holographic gratings as cross-dispersers. The echelle grating has 41.6 grooves/mm and is illuminated with a 200mm diameter beam. This allows R = 16,000 with a 2.2" fiber and complete wavelength coverage from 370 nm to 890 nm. Resolving powers of R ≈ 37,000 and 67,000 are obtained using image slicers. The dichroic beam-splitter is used to split the wavelength coverage between two fully dioptric cameras. The white pupil transfer optics are used to demagnify the pupil to 111mm which ensures that the camera dimensions are kept reasonable whilst also allowing the efficient use of VPH gratings. The spectrograph optics are enclosed inside a vacuum tank to ensure immunity to atmospheric pressure and temperature changes. The entire spectrograph is mechanically and thermally insulated. Construction of SALT HRS began at Durham University's Centre for Advanced Instrumentation in August 2007 and is expected to be complete in 2009. The spectrograph optical design is largely based on work completed at the University of Canterbury's Department of Physics and Astronomy.