Optical system of the Three Antarctic Survey Telescopes

Authors

  • Xiangyan Yuan,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Astronomical Observatories/Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 188 Bancang Street, Nanjing 210042, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
    3. Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy, China
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  • Ding-qiang Su

    1. National Astronomical Observatories/Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 188 Bancang Street, Nanjing 210042, China
    2. Department of Astronomy, Nanjing University, 22 Hankou Road, Nanjing 210093, China
    3. Key Laboratory of Modern Astronomy and Astrophysics (Nanjing University), Ministry of Education, China
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E-mail: xyyuan@niaot.ac.cn

ABSTRACT

Dome A is the highest point on the Antarctic Plateau, and the Chinese Expedition Team first arrived here in 2005 January. It is an excellent site for astronomical observations. The first-generation Chinese Antarctic optical telescope CSTAR has been operating on Dome A since 2008 January. The second-generation Chinese telescopes known as the Three Antarctic Survey Telescopes (AST3) are currently being developed. AST3 includes three telescopes matched respectively with G-, R- and I-band filters. Each telescope is a catadioptric optical telescope with an entrance pupil diameter of 500 mm, an f-ratio of 3.73 and a field of view of 4bsl0006414. The optical system of the AST3 consists of a transparent aspherical plate, an aspherical primary mirror and a spherical refractive corrector with a filter before the focal plane. The main features of the AST3 are the following: good image quality, a planar focal plane, reduced atmospheric dispersion, an absence of distortion and a compact structure. The main scientific goal of the AST3 is to survey the sky. In 2012 January, the first telescope of the AST3 was successfully installed on Dome A.

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