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Session 41 - Visible & UV Telescopes.
Display session, Thursday, January 08
Exhibit Hall,

[41.06] Concept for a Novel Multi-Object Spectrograph using MEMS Technology

J. W. MacKenty (STScI)

We present a conceptual design for a multi-object spectrograph using an an array of small scale mirrors implemented on a silicon chip. The placement of switchable mirrors in the focal plane permits the custom definition of slits with arbitrarily small separations. Unlike punch plate spectrographs, the use of microelectronic devices permits very rapid configuration of the slits and avoids the use of consumable materials. The enabling Micro-Electronics Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology promises a broader availability of optical/mechanical devices with electronic interfaces. One example of such a MEMS device is the Texas Instruments Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) a 600 x 800 array of 16 micron square mirrors used in projection television displays. We have experimented with the DMD and discuss its potential application to astronomical spectrographs.

Program listing for Thursday