Scientific instrumentation for the 1.6 m new solar telescope in big bear

Wenda Cao, N. Gorceix, R. Coulter, K. Ahn, T. R. Rimmele, P. R. Goode

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203 Scopus citations


The NST (New Solar Telescope), a 1.6 m clear aperture, off-axis telescope, is in its commissioning phase at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO). It will be the most capable, largest aperture solar telescope in the US until the 4 m ATST (Advanced Technology Solar Telescope) comes on-line late in the next decade. The NST will be outfitted with state-of-the-art scientific instruments at the Nasmyth focus on the telescope floor and in the Coudé Lab beneath the telescope. At the Nasmyth focus, several filtergraphs already in routine operation have offered high spatial resolution photometry in TiO 706 nm, Hα 656 nm, G-band 430 nm and the near infrared (NIR), with the aid of a correlation tracker and image reconstruction system. Also, a Cryogenic Infrared Spectrograph (CYRA) is being developed to supply high signal-to-noise-ratio spectrometry and polarimetry spanning 1.0 to 5.0 μm. The Coudé Lab instrumentation will include Adaptive Optics (AO), InfraRed Imaging Magnetograph (IRIM), Visible Imaging Magnetograph (VIM), and Fast Imaging Solar Spectrograph (FISS). A 308 sub-aperture (349-actuator deformable mirror) AO system will enable nearly diffraction limited observations over the NST's principal operating wavelengths from 0.4 μm through 1.7 μm. IRIM and VIM are Fabry-Pérot based narrow-band tunable filters, which provide high resolution two-dimensional spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging in the NIR and visible respectively. FISS is a collaboration between BBSO and Seoul National University focussing on chromosphere dynamics. This paper reports the up-to-date progress on these instruments including an overview of each instrument and details of the current state of design, integration, calibration and setup/testing on the NST.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-639
Number of pages4
JournalAstronomische Nachrichten
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Instrumentation: adaptive optics
  • Instrumentation: polarimeters
  • Instrumentation: spectrographs
  • Telescopes


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