Sunday, July 21, 2013

First Light for the FIF!!

Unrelenting humidity kept SALT closed last night, but today the weather's been perfect so it was Game On for on-sky testing of the FIF...  The image below shows the FIF acquisition camera view of the first out-of-focus star observed through this system! :)

First starlight into the FIF system!
Changing the telescope focus (rather than manually adjusting the FIF's position in the payload - a job for another day - revealed that the bright star was in fact a double (upper right panel in the pic below).  Once the star was centred up & the FIF stage moved to the appropriate station, the image dutifully landed on the star fibre (lower left panel)!

Light focused onto the test star fibre.
Then the sky fibre stage position was selected & the starlight again appeared as required :)  Janus tweaked the software to refine the centroiding & the stage moves, but everything really did just work Beautifully, first time!  Very Well Done guys, especially to Janus & Ockert :)

A stage move & then the light falls on the test sky fibre...
We even caught a glimpse of SALT dancing a celebratory jig as progressively fainter stars were observed to guage the sensitivity of the FIF's acquisition camera...

SALTICAM captures the excitement of the moment!
The fact that the little Lodestar camera works brilliantly bodes well for the FIF autoguider which will also use one of these.  & since we already have a bunch of them lined up for various applications (both on SALT & the SAAO telescopes), this really is great news!

One of the Starlight Xpress Lodestar cameras in our collection.

No comments:

Post a Comment