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An overview of the NIRSPEC upgrade for the Keck II telescope


NIRSPEC is a 1-5 um echelle spectrograph in use on the Keck II Telescope since 1999. The spectrograph is capable of both moderate (R=λ/Δλ∼2000) and high (R∼25,000) resolution observations and has been a workhorse instrument across many astronomical fields, from planetary science to extragalactic observations. In the latter half of 2018, we will upgrade NIRSPEC to improve the sensitivity and stability of the instrument and increase its lifetime. The major components of the upgrade include replacing the spectrometer and slit-viewing camera detectors with Teledyne H2RG arrays and replacing all transputer-based electronics. We present detailed design, testing, and analysis of the upgraded instrument, including the finalized optomechanical design of the new 1-5 μm slit-viewing camera, detector characterization of the science and Engineering A grade arrays, electronics systems, and updated software design. The optomechanical design of the slit-viewing camera and replacement detector head assembly have both been assembled and cold-tested in our lab. We also show results from the GigE interface to the SAM/ASIC boards to control the H2RG. The upgrade will continue NIRSPEC's legacy as a powerful near-infrared spectrograph behind one of the world's most scientifically productive telescopes.

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