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Published June 1, 1994 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

The Palomar 200-inch f/9 Cassegrain CCD camera


This article describes the design and construction of a CCD camera for the f/9 Cassegrain focus of the 200-inch (5m) Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory. This instrument utilizes a set of 18-inch (0.45m) diameter lenses to change the Cassegrain focal ratio from f/16 to f/9, and the optical design prescription of these lenses is reported. For CCDs having 24 micrometers pixels, the f/9 focus gives a reciprocal plate scale of 9 pixels per arcsecond, which is well suited to precision photometry as well as future application to adaptive optics. In addition to the CCD and shutter, the instrument also incorporates an offset guider and an 8-position filter wheel.

Additional Information

© 1994 The International Society for Optical Engineering, SPIE. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the dedication and skilled fabrication work of Gaston Araya Machining on the 200-inch f/9 Cassegrain CCD Camera, the drafting services of Ms. Kathy Smart, and the contributions of the Palomar engineering staff, particularly Hal Petrie, Bill Douglas, Ernest Croner, John Cromer, and Mike Carr. The preliminary raytrace analysis with Code V was conducted by Caltech graduate student Todd Hunter, whose help is much appreciated. The author wishes to thank Manfred and Mark Grindel at Continental Optical for their multi-layer AR-coating work on the 18-inch diameter lenses; J.K.M. is also grateful for AR-coating funding support provided by Palomar Observatory. Lastly, the help of the Palomar Observatory staff Bob Thicksten, Dave Tennant, Mike Doyle, John Henning, and others in the refurbishment and commissioning of the 200-inch f/9 Cassegrain CCD Camera is most gratefully acknowledged.

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August 20, 2023