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NOAO Newsletter - National Solar Observatory - March 2000 - Number 61


SOLIS

Jack Harvey

The SOLIS project is now about one year away from first light. Emphasis is on the highest priority observations, namely those from the vector spectromagnetograph (VSM) instrument. The manufacturer is on schedule and on budget. The mounting will soon be ready for its first powered movement tests. A SOLIS test area is under construction at the GONG prototype site about 5 km from the Tucson headquarters, and the mount will be installed there in March for a period of about one year. Almost all the optics for the VSM are either in hand or being fabricated or ordered. For example, the 50-cm primary mirror of the VSM is being aspherized as of late January. Order-sorting filters for the spectrograph with transmissions exceeding 80% were recently received. Mechanical activities are on schedule. Electronics activities were set back by the departure of a senior electronics engineer, which will cause a delay in the data acquisition system fabrication; however, the position has been filled. A focal plane guider system operating in a feedback loop with the agile secondary mirror significantly beats the required 40 Hz bandwidth. Software activities are progressing well with the development of engineering GUIs, and GUI-to-instrument-and-back testing is in progress. The software group has obtained first data from the integrated sunlight spectrometer CCD camera.


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