Major Projects


Initial on-sky tests using a TCS IV control loop in mid June were very successful. The process showed the effect of Declination creep with HA to be a result of Dec encoder interactions with structural flexure of telescope. Switching the TCS IV in and out took roughly 5 minutes each way. A further single daytime set of dome-closed tests was used to characterize incremental vs absolute encoder responses. The resulting data have helped clarify the rather complex relation between these data sources.

As part of the TCS -IV design process, a set of forum meetings between the TCS and Software groups explored options for data connections between data acquisition systems and the TCS.

An initial (updated and consolidated) version of the TCS IV software system design notebook was issued inside the TCS-IV group. The document is the touchstone for future developments and implementations.

A TCS IV design review with 3 external referees and several in-house staff in October provided a useful reference on what we are doing and how well we are doing it. At this writing the summary report from the referees has not been received, but in summary they don't feel that we are doing anything greatly wrong but have several good suggestions worth considering for the direction and focus of the project.


Apart from the specific items listed above which are included in the New Imaging Plan, the following actions have taken place.


A meeting between CEA project staff and Waimea management/engineers took place in Waimea in late September. Discussions included an exploration of the scope of the project and initial agreements on which agency would take responsibility for the various parts of the project.

Costing / Feasibility Studies

In response to SAC's request at the May, 1996 meeting, CFHT engaged several optical designers to provide initial designs and costing estimates for a Prime Focus Wide Field Corrector capable of producing excellent image quality over a 1.4° field. The results of the feasibility study have been forwarded to SAC under separate cover. In brief, there appears to be no problem at the design level. However, as expected, such a corrector will be expensive ($1 to $1.3M US) and will require a major rebuild of the Prime Focus Environment.

Costing for the rebuilding of the Prime Focus Environment was handled separately with the Canadian firm ASA, located just outside Victoria B.C. Since this study was instigated only after the range of likely prime focus corrector designs became clear, the study results will be arriving at CFHT only just by the start of the upcoming SAC meeting. However, given the scale of the most promising optical design, the scale of required PF environment rebuilds will be large, with little of the existing equipment likely to be used.


Staff safety has been an issue which has been addressed with considerable effort this semester. In brief, safety actions have included :
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