34th Solar Physics Division Meeting, June 2003
Session 20 Instrumentation
Poster, Wednesday, June 18, 2003, 3:30-5:00pm, Mezzanine

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[20.17] A Concept for Optical and Mechanical Design for a New Off-Axis 1.7 m Solar Telescope (NST) at Big Bear

L.V. Didkovsky (Big Bear Solar Observatory), BBSO/NJIT Team, Mees Solar Obs./U. Hawaii Team

We are replacing the 65 cm vacuum telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) with a modern, open, off-axis, 1.6 m clear aperture solar telescope -- the NST (New Solar Telescope). The NST will use the pedestal of the 65 cm instrument. First light will be in late 2005, with full operation early in 2006. The NST will utilize the current and planned complement of BBSO instrumentation. This includes visible and infrared (IR) Fabry-Perot-based polarimeters and real-time phase-diversity speckle imaging instrumentation. A high-order Adaptive Optics (AO) system, which is now under development, will deliver light to each of these instruments. The key to many of the most intriguing scientific questions lies in observations with the highest possible contrast and spatial resolution. Not only does one require a large aperture telescope and a site, like BBSO, where adaptive optics can correct images to the diffraction limit, but we also need a high order adaptive optics system, which will fully utilize the optical and dynamic range advantages of the NSTs unobstructed (off-axis) pupil. Together with the National Solar Observatory, we are constructing and implementating a high order system (97 actuators), which will be used for the current 65 cm telescope, and modified for the NST.

This work is supported by NASA grant NAG5-12782 and NSF grant ATM-0086999.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: leonid@bbso.njit.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #3
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.