Completion and performance of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope wide field upgrade

Gary J. Hill, Niv Drory, John M. Good, Hanshin Lee, Brian L. Vattiat, Herman Kriel, Jason Ramsey, Randy Bryant, Jim Fowler, Martin Landriau, Ron Leck, Emily Mrozinski, Stephen Odewahn, Matthew Shetrone, Amy Westfall, Eusebio Terrazas, Edmundo Balderrama, Emily Bevins, Brent Buetow, John CaldwellGeorge Damm, Phillip MacQueen, Jerry Martin, Amanda Martin, Justin Pautzke, Katie Smither, Sergey Rostopchin, Greg Smith, Renny Spencer, Taft Armandroff, Karl Gebhardt, Lawrence W. Ramsey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

18 Scopus citations


The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) is an innovative large telescope with 10 meter aperture, located in West Texas at the McDonald Observatory. The HET operates with a fixed segmented primary and has a tracker, which moves the fourmirror corrector and prime focus instrument package to track the sidereal and non-sidereal motions of objects. We have completed a major multi-year upgrade of the HET that has substantially increased the field of view to 22 arcminutes by replacing the optical corrector, tracker, and prime focus instrument package and by developing a new telescope control system. The upgrade has replaced all hardware and systems except for the structure, enclosure, and primary mirror. The new, reinvented wide-field HET feeds the revolutionary Visible Integral-field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS‡), fed by 35,000 fibers, in support of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX§), a new low resolution spectrograph (LRS2), the Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF), and the upgraded high resolution spectrograph (HRS2). The HET Wide Field Upgrade has now been commissioned and has been in science operations since mid 2016 and in full science operations from mid 2018. This paper reviews and summarizes the upgrade, lessons learned, and the operational performance of the new HET.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes VII
EditorsHeather K. Marshall, Jason Spyromilio
ISBN (Electronic)9781510619531
StatePublished - 2018
EventGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes VII 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2018Jun 15 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes VII 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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