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  • IFU Simulator : A Powerful Alignment and Performance Tool for MUSE instrument

    Florence LAURENT

    MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) is a second generation Very Large Telescope (VLT) integral field spectrograph (1x1arcmin² Field of View) developed for the European Southern Observatory (ESO), operating in the visible wavelength range (0.465-0.93 μm). A consortium of seven institutes is currently commissioning MUSE in the Very Large Telescope for the Preliminary Acceptance in Chile, scheduled for September, 2014.

    MUSE is composed of several subsystems which are under the responsibility of each institute. The Fore Optics derotates and anamorphoses the image at the focal plane. A Splitting and Relay Optics feed the 24 identical Integral Field Units (IFU), that are mounted within a large monolithic instrument mechanical structure. Each IFU incorporates an image slicer, a fully refractive spectrograph with VPH-grating and a detector system connected to a global vacuum and cryogenic system. During 2012 and 2013, all MUSE subsystems were integrated, aligned and tested to the P.I. institute at Lyon. After successful PAE in September 2013, MUSE instrument was shipped to the Very Large Telescope in Chile where that was aligned and tested in ESO integration hall at Paranal. After, MUSE was directly transferred in monolithic way without dismounting onto VLT telescope where the first light was overcame.

    This talk describes the IFU Simulator which is the main alignment and performance tool for MUSE instrument. The IFU Simulator mimics the optomechanical interface between the MUSE pre-optic and the 24 IFUs. The optomechanical design is presented. After, the alignment method of this innovative tool for identifying the pupil and image planes is depicted. At the end, the internal test report is described. The success of the MUSE alignment using the IFU Simulator is demonstrated by the excellent results obtained onto MUSE positioning, image quality and throughput. MUSE commissioning at the VLT is planned for September, 2014.

    Keywords : Optical alignment, Integration, Performances, Simulator, MUSE instrument.

    PDF - 1.5 Mb
    Paper IFU SIM.