Current Science at NOAO

New Optical Imager Planned For The WIYN 3.5-M Telescope

The WIYN telescope building against a sunset sky, with interior light on the telescope

June, 1999  |  The WIYN Consortium has started construction on a new optical imaging camera (known as the WTTM for the "WIYN Tip-Tilt Module") for the 3.5-m WIYN Telescope. The new camera will use a fast tip-tilt feature to correct for the blurriness that the Earth's atmosphere introduces into images made with the telescope. With the new tip-tilt imager, astronomers can expect to have stable images on the order of 0.6" FWHM under median conditions and 0.30" in 10 percentile case. In addition to the fast tilt corrections, the new Tip Tilt Module will also provide moderate speed (once per second) focus corrections.

The WTTM is currently undergoing final design and detailing in preparation for cutting metal. A detailed finite element analysis model of the WTTM was developed to use in the design of the new imager, to assure that the mechanical design minimizes flexure and mechanical resonances that have compromised other, similar systems. The new imaging camera is expected to arrive at the telescope for testing in March, 2001.

For more information see:
   NOAO Newsletter
   WIYN Tip Tilt page

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