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M. Liang (NOAO), L. Seppala (LLNL), D. Sweeney (LSST Corp), LSST Project Team
The 8.4m Large Synoptic Survey Telescope facility will digitally survey the entire visible sky. It will explore the nature of dark matter and dark energy, open the faint optical transient time window and catalog earth-crossing asteroids > 300m diameter. We present the design of an f/1.25 modified Paul-Baker or Laux telescope with etendue (A--\Omega product) of >318m2 deg2 , >50\times beyond any existing facility. The optical design, over a 3.5-degree diameter field of view (9.62 deg2), delivers superb ~0.2 arcsec FWHM images over 6 spectral bands covering 325--1000 nm. The flat focal surface has a plate scale of 51 microns/arcsec, matching the 10 microns pixels of a large 0.65 m diameter mosaic digital detector. The f/1.17 primary can be made using polishing techniques and metrology methods pioneered at the University of Arizona Mirror Lab for the 8.4 m f/1.1 Large Binocular Telescope primaries. The 3.4 m convex secondary is twice the size of the largest convex secondary yet manufactured; the 1.7 m MMT f/5 secondary. We show a fabrication and testing plan for this optic, which has less than 40 microns asphericity from best fit sphere. Five separate null test or alignment tests are built in as part of the optimization of the entire telescope: the three lenses separately, the combination of the first two lenses and the three mirror telescope system, without the camera corrector optics. All five tests help to ensure practicable telescope design.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.