The Hobby-Eberly telescope completion project

John A. Booth, Marsha J. Wolf, James R. Fowler, Mark T. Adams, John M. Good, Phillip W. Kelton, Edwin S. Barker, Povilas Palunas, Frank N. Bash, Lawrence William Ramsey, Gary J. Hill, Phillip J. MacQueen, Mark E. Cornell, Edward L. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) is a fixed-elevation, 9.2-m telescope with a spherical primary mirror and a tracker at prime focus to follow astronomical objects. The telescope was constructed for $13.9M over the period 1994-1997. A number of telescope performance deficiencies were identified and corrected following construction. Remaining problems included: 1) Dome seeing, 2) inadequate initial mirror segment alignment accuracy, and 3) mirror segment misalignment with time. The HET Completion Project was created in May 2001 to attack these problems and to identify and solve the next tier of problems. To address dome seeing, large louvers were installed and in operation by May 2002. Efforts are also underway to eliminate or suppress heat sources within the dome environment. To address segment alignment accuracy, a prototype Shack-Hartmann device, the Mirror Alignment Recovery System (MARS), was built and is in routine use at HET. The Segment Alignment Maintenance System (SAMS) is in early operation and has markedly improved telescope performance. Two Differential Image Motion Monitor (DIMM) telescopes were brought into regular operation in July 2001 to quantify atmospheric seeing at HET. As these improvements have been implemented, telescope image quality has improved significantly. Plans are in place to address additional performance issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-933
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
EventLarge Ground-based Telescopes - Waikoloa, HI, United States
Duration: Aug 22 2002Aug 26 2002

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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