Telescope Project Selects Optical Surfaces to Supply High Precision Spectrograph Optics

Topics Covered

Overview
Description of the ESPaDOnS
About Optical Surfaces Ltd.

Overview

French-Canadian telescope project opts for Optical Surfaces to supply high precision optics.

The internationally renowned Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (Toulouse, France) has selected Optical Surfaces (Kenley, UK) to supply a series of optics to be used in the ESPaDOnS project at the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope (CFHT).

Funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the CFHT Corporation, Optical Surfaces components will form the core elements of a new bright time instrument for general community use at the CFHT. The new instrument will be able to capture all polarisation components of stellar light across a complete optical spectrum (370 to 1000nm) in a single exposure with a resolving power of about 70,000.

Description of the ESPaDOnS

Combining a polarimeter and cross-dispersed echelle spectrograph, the Echelle SpectroPolarimetric Device for the Observation of Stars (ESPaDOnS) will provide a unique opportunity for studying with unprecedented accuracy stellar magnetic fields, stellar surfaces, stellar interiors, and investigating stellar atmospheres and extrasolar planets.

Optical layout for Espadons spectrograph

Having supplied similar optics in 1999 for the successful FEROS project, (see New Star Found) we have a proven record in manufacturing, mounting and testing precision optics for astrophysics projects.

For The ESPaDOnS instrument we produced two matching off-axis parabolic mirrors from a single f 2.2 Zerodur parent of 680-mm diameter. A uniform lambda/15 was achieved over the whole working area to ensure the required high throughput and ultra-low dispersion on all components.

About Optical Surfaces Ltd.

Optical Surfaces Ltd., has been producing optical components and systems for more than 30 years and is now accepted as one of Europe's leading manufacturers of high-precision optics.

The main workshops and test facilities are deep underground in a series of tunnels excavated in solid chalk where temperature remains constant and vibration is practically non-existent.

With such stable conditions testing particularly with long path lengths become quantifiable and reliable. Working with these natural advantages is a highly skilled team of craftsmen with a commitment to excellence in both product quality and customer service.

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