Design of the CHIRON high-resolution spectrometer at CTIO

Christian Schwab*, Julien F P Spronck, Andrei Tokovinin, Debra A. Fischer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Small telescopes coupled to high resolution spectrometers are powerful tools for Doppler planet searches. They allow for high cadence observations and flexible scheduling; yet there are few such facilities. We present an innovative and inexpensive design for CHIRON, a high resolution (R∼80.000) Echelle spectrometer for the 1.5m telescope at CTIO. Performance and throughput are very good, over the whole spectral range from 410 to 870nm, with a peak efficiency of 15% in the iodine absorption region. The spectrograph will be fibre-fed, and use an iodine cell for wavelength calibration. An image slicer permits a moderate beam size. We use commercially available, high performance optical components, which is key for quick and efficient implementation. We discuss the optical design, opto-mechanical tolerances and resulting image quality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III
EditorsIan S. McLean, Suzanne K. Ramsay, Hideki Takami
Place of PublicationWashington, DC
Number of pages7
EditionPART 1
ISBN (Print)9780819482259
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 27 Jun 20102 Jul 2010


OtherGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Echelle
  • high resolution spectrograph
  • Iodine cell technique
  • Spectrometer design


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