Current Status of the Facility Instrumentation Suite at The Large Binocular Telescope Observatory

29 Jul 2016  ·  Rothberg Barry, Kuhn Olga, Edwards Michelle L., Hill John M., Thompson David, Veillet Christian, Wagner R. Mark ·

We review the current status of the facility instrumentation for the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). The LBT has 2x 8.4m primary mirrors on a single mount with an effective collecting area of 11.8m or 23m when interferometrically combined... The facility instruments are: 1) the Large Binocular Cameras (LBCs), each with a 23'x25' field of view (FOV). The blue and red optimized optical LBCs are mounted at the prime focus of the left and right primary mirrors, respectively. The filter suite of the two LBCs covers 0.3-1.1{\mu}m, including the new TiO (0.78{\mu}m) and CN (0.82{\mu}m) filters; 2) the Multi-Object Double Spectrograph (MODS), two identical optical spectrographs each mounted at a straight through f/15 Gregorian mount. MODS-1 & -2 can do imaging with Sloan filters and medium resolution (R~2000) spectroscopy, each with 24 interchangeable masks (multi-object or longslit) over a 6'x6' FOV. Each MODS is capable of blue (0.32-0.6{\mu}m) and red (0.5-1.05{\mu}m) wavelength only coverage or, using a dichroic, 0.32-1.05{\mu}m coverage; and 3) the two LBT Utility Camera in the Infrared instruments (LUCIs), each mounted at a bent-front Gregorian f/15 port. LUCI-1 & 2 are designed for seeing-limited (4'x4'FOV) and AO (0.5'x0.5' FOV) imaging & spectroscopy over 0.95-2.5{\mu}m with spectroscopic resolutions of R~400-11000, including 32 interchangeable cryogenically cooled masks. All facility instruments are on the LBT and, for the first time, have been on-sky for science. We also report on the first science use of "mixed-mode" (differently paired instruments). While both primary mirrors reside on a single fixed mount, they are capable of operating independently within a defined "co-pointing" limit. This provides users with the additional capability to independently dither each mirror or center observations on two different sets of spatial coordinates within this limit. (ABRIDGED) read more

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Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics Astrophysics of Galaxies