SOAR Telescope Echelle Spectrograph

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Project Overview

     The STELES (SOAR Telescope Echelle Spectrograph) is a Nasmyth fed, two channels, VPH cross-dispersed echelle spectrograph for the SOAR Telescope. Both channels will operate in quasi Littrow mode and in white pupil configuration. Using two independent tunable slits, the object and nearby sky spectrum will be recorded from 300-890nm in one exposure with a resolving power of R=50.000. The bench spectrograph will be permanently mounted on the telescope, for stability and easy access (below the Nasmyth platform), and fed by a fore-optics installed in one of the SOAR ISB ports.

     B.V. Castilho presented a draft proposal for the STELES spectrograph at the SOAR SAC meeting held at the CTIO in October/2001, and the SAC recommended the preparation of a conceptual design study of the instrument. STELES Conceptual Design was reviewed in November 2003 and now we are deteiling the projetc for the Project Design Review.

     The instrument large wavelength coverage with a single configuration, high stability and high resolution, will be a powerful tool, allowing SOAR community to conduct many high impact scientific programs on objects as faint as V=16-17 with high efficiency, and very small impact on SOAR operations.

     STELES as currently planned will be built by a team from Brazilian Institutes, Universities and external consultants, under the coordination of Bruno Vaz Castilho from Laboratório Nacional de Astrofísica / MCT. The current list of Institutions and Collaborators can be found in the Personnel Section.

     The instrument cost, estimated to be about one million US dollars, will be funded mainly by Brazilian Funding Agencies and is planned to be offered to the SOAR community 1.5 to 2 years after the final design review.

     In this page we present the conceptual design of the instrument and its main characteristics and capabilities. A preliminary management plan that defines the main work packages, a preliminary cost estimate, and the current responsibilities within the project are presented as well.



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