Mass production of volume phase holographic gratings for the VIRUS spectrograph array
Additional Document Info
2014 SPIE. The Visible Integral-field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS) is a baseline array of 150 copies of a simple, fiber-fed integral field spectrograph that will be deployed on the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET). VIRUS is the first optical astronomical instrument to be replicated on an industrial scale, and represents a relatively inexpensive solution for carrying out large-area spectroscopic surveys, such as the HET Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). Each spectrograph contains a volume phase holographic (VPH) grating with a 138 mm diameter clear aperture as its dispersing element. The instrument utilizes the grating in first-order for 350 < (nm) < 550. Including witness samples, a suite of 170 VPH gratings has been mass produced for VIRUS. Here, we present the design of the VIRUS VPH gratings and a discussion of their mass production. We additionally present the design and functionality of a custom apparatus that has been used to rapidly test the first-order diffraction efficiency of the gratings for various discrete wavelengths within the VIRUS spectral range. This device has been used to perform both in-situ tests to monitor the effects of adjustments to the production prescription as well as to carry out the final acceptance tests of the gratings' diffraction efficiency. Finally, we present the as-built performance results for the entire suite of VPH gratings.
name of conference
Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation