A Caltech Library Service

The SOAR optical imager: status and first results

Schwarz, Hugo E. and Ashe, Michael and Boccas, Maxime and Bonati, Marco and Delgado, Francisco and Gálvez, Ramón and Martinez, Manuel and Schurter, Patricio and Schmidt, Ricardo and Tighe, Roberto and Walker, Alistair (2004) The SOAR optical imager: status and first results. In: Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy. Proceedings of SPIE. No.5492. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, pp. 564-573. ISBN 9780819454249.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We briefly describe the SOAR Optical Imager (SOI), the first light instrument for the 4.1m SOuthern Astronomical Research (SOAR) telescope now being commissioned on Cerro Pachón in the mountains of northern Chile. The SOI has a mini-mosaic of 2 2kx4k CCDs at its focal plane, a focal reducer camera, two filter cartridges, and a linear ADC. The instrument was designed to produce precision photometry and to fully exploit the expected superb image quality of the SOAR telescope over a 5.5x5.5 arcmin2 field with high throughput down to the atmospheric cut-off, and close reproduction of photometric pass-bands throughout 310-1050 nm. During early engineering runs in April 2004, we used the SOI to take images as part of the test program for the actively controlled primary mirror of the SOAR telescope, one of which we show in this paper. Taken just three months after the arrival of the optics in Chile, we show that the stellar images have the same diameter of 0.74" as the simultaneously measured seeing disk at the time of observation. We call our image "Engineering 1st Light" and in the near future expect to be able to produce images with diameters down to 0.3" in the R band over a 5.5' field during about 20% of the observing time, using the tip-tilt adaptive corrector we are implementing.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:© 2004 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We would like to thank Tom Ingerson, Roger Smith, and Gilberto Moretto for important contributions to the SOI design. Gerald Cecil and Steve Heathcote, in their respective capacities of SOAR Project Scientist and SOAR Director have provided sage advice. CTIO draftsmen, technicians and instrument makers are thanked for their skill and dedication, without which this instrument could not have been turned from design into reality. NOAO is operated by AURA under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Gemini Observatory is operated by AURA under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the NSF (United States), the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (United Kingdom), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), CNPq (Brazil) and CONICET (Argentina).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)UNSPECIFIED
Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)UNSPECIFIED
National Research Council of CanadaUNSPECIFIED
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)UNSPECIFIED
Australian Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)UNSPECIFIED
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Instrumentation, imaging, CCDs, linear ADC
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:5492
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190221-110526141
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Hugo E. Schwarz, Michael C. Ashe, Maxime Boccas, Marco Bonati, Francisco Delgado, Ramon Gavez, Manuel Martinez, Patricio Schurter, Ricardo Schmidt, Roberto Tighe, and Alistair R. Walker "The SOAR optical imager: status and first results", Proc. SPIE 5492, Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy, (30 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.553185;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:93128
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:22 Feb 2019 18:05
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 16:55

Repository Staff Only: item control page