Daniel Fabricant
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO)
A member of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA)

Hectochelle Status

August 15, 2001. The Hectochelle team has mounted the 1 meter diameter camera mirror, and is working on mounting the 0.7 meter corrector lenses. The Hectochelle CCDs have been mounted in the dewar and tested with X-rays. The noise level is about 3.5 electrons RMS. The shutter (also used for Hectospec), the focus stages, the filter selector, and the grating rotator have been operated successfully, and software development is well underway. The mounting nubs have been bonded to the gratings (a mosaic of two is used). The fixturing for aligning the gratings on the Zerodur metering structure is nearly complete. The order separating filter contracts have been let.

August 26, 2002. The Hectochelle components were shipped to Arizona along with the Hectospec bench spectrograph components following optical tests at the CfA.

September 19, 2002. The Hectochelle camera mirror and corrector were craned into the MMT building, followed by the Hectochelle and Hectospec optical benches. Thanks to the MMT staff led by J.T. Williams for their careful work.

March 1, 2003. Optical alignment of the Hectochelle bench spectrograph is nearly complete, and work has started on the Hectochelle/Hectospec dark tent.

December 31, 2003. The Hectochelle spectrograph was commisssioned in a four day run in early December, and high-quality first light spectra were obtained.