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ESPRESSO Coudé-Train: complexities of a simultaneous optical feeding from the four VLT unit telescopes

A. Cabral, M. Abreu, J. Coelho, R. Gomes, M. A. Monteiro, A. Oliveira, P. Santos, G. Avila, B. Delabre, M. Riva, P. Di Marcantonio, I. Coretti, N. C. Santos, F. M. Zerbi, D. Mégevand

ESPRESSO is a fibre-fed, cross-dispersed, high-resolution, echelle spectrograph. Being the first purpose of ESPRESSO to develop a competitive and innovative high-resolution spectrograph to fully exploit the VLT (Very Large Telescope), and allow new science, it is important to develop the VLT array concept bearing in mind the need to obtain the highest stability, while preserving its best efficiency. This high-resolution ultra-stable spectrograph will be installed in the VLT at the Combined Coudé Laboratory (CCL), fed by four Coudé Trains, which brings the light from the Nasmyth platforms of the four VLT Unit Telescopes to the CCL. ESPRESSO will combine the efficiency of modern echelle spectrograph with extreme radial-velocity precision. It will achieve a gain of two magnitudes with respect to its predecessor HARPS, and the instrumental radial-velocity precision will be improved to reach cm/s level. Thanks to its ability of combining incoherently the light of the 4 UTs, ESPRESSO will offer new possibilities in various fields of astronomy. The Coudé Train is composed of a set of prisms, mirrors and lenses to deliver a pupil and an image in the CCL, including an Atmospheric Dispersion Compensator. The use of mainly refractive optics, and Total Internal Reflection, has the advantage of the inherent higher throughput, especially in the blue region of the spectrum. In this paper, we present the design of the Coudé Train, the evolution of the concept towards the manufacturing phase, its main characteristics and performances, and detail its subsystems: optical, mechanical and control electronics and software.

Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V
S. K. Ramsay, I. S. McLean, H. Takami

Volume 9147, Page 91478Q
2014 July

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia