New techniques of multiple integral field spectroscopy
The work of this thesis is to investigate new techniques for Integral Field Spectroscopy (IPS) to make the most efficient use of modem large telescopes. Most of the work described is aimed at the FMOS for the SUBARU 8m telescope. Although this is primarily a system for Multiple Object Spectroscopy (MOS) employing single fibres, there is an option to include a multiple-IFS (MIPS) system. Much of this thesis is therefore aimed at the design and prototyping of critical systems for both the IPS and MOS modes of this instrument. The basic theory of IFU design is discussed first. Some particular problems are described and their soludons presented. The design of the MIPS system is described together with the construction and testing of a prototype deployable IFU. The assembly of the pickoff/fore-optics, microlens array and fibre bundle and their testing are described in detail. The estimated performance of the complete module is presented together with suggestions for improving the system efficiency which is currently limited by the performance of the microlens array. The prototyping of the MIPS system is supported by an extensive programme of testing of candidate microlens arrays. Another critical aspect of the instrument is the ability to disconnect the (IPS and MOS) fibre input which is installed on a removable prime focus top-end ring from the spectrographs which are mounted elsewhere on the telescope. This requires high-performance multiple fibre connectors. The designs of connectors for the MOS and IPS modes are described. Results from the testing of a prototype for the MOS mode are presented. This work is supported by a mathematical model of the coupling efficiency which takes into account optical aberrations and alignment errors. The final critical aspect of FMOS which has been investigated is the design of the spectrographs. The baseline system operates in the near-infrared (NIR) but an additional visible channel is an option. Efficient designs for both the visible and NIR systems are presented. The design of the NIR spectrograph presents challenges in the choice of materials for the doublet and triplet lenses employed. The choice of material and the combinations in which they can be used are described. This thesis shows that all these critical aspects of FMOS have good solutions that will result in good performance of the whole instrument. For the multiple IFU system, the prototype demonstrates acceptable performance which can be made excellent by the use of a better microlens array. The multiple fibre connector prototype already indicates excellent performance. Finally, the spectrograph designs presented should result in high efficiency and good image quality.