FLEX: the first light explorer. A fully OH-suppressed near-infrared integral field spectrograph

Simon C. Ellis, Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Anthony Horton, Roger Haynes, Andrew McGrath

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

Abstract

FLEX is a concept for a fully OH suppressed near infrared integral field spectrograph, being developed at the AAO.FLEX will be the first instrument to employ fibre Bragg gratings for OH suppression, a radical new technology which cleanly suppresses the atmospheric OH emission lines at 30dB whilst maintaining a high overall throughout of ~90%. In this paper we simulate the expected performance of FLEX, and discuss its impact on the science case. FLEX will effectively make the near-infrared sky 4 mags fainter in the H band and 3 mags fainter in the J band, offering unprecedentedly deep views of the near-infrared Universe. The FLEX concept is optimised for the identification of the sources of first light in the Universe - high redshift galaxies or quasars identified through Lyman-alpha emission or a Lyman break in the continuum spectrum. As such it will consist of a 2x2" integral field unit, composed of a 61 lenslet hexagonal array, feeding an existing moderate spectral resolution spectrograph, via an OH-suppression unit. We have simulated the performance of FLEX and show that it can provide robust identification of galaxies at the epoch of reionisation. A FLEX-like instrument on an ELT could measure the ionisation and enrichment of the inter-galactic medium beyond a redshift of 7 via metal absorption lines.

LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II
EditorsIan S. McLean, Mark M. Casali
PublisherSPIE
Pages1-10
Number of pages10
Volume7014
ISBN (Electronic)9780819472243
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II - Marseille, France
Duration: 23 Jun 200828 Jun 2008

Conference

ConferenceGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II
CountryFrance
CityMarseille
Period23/06/0828/06/08

Fingerprint

Spectrographs
Spectrograph
spectrographs
Infrared
Galaxies
universe
retarding
galaxies
Infrared radiation
intergalactic media
spectral resolution
Integral Field Unit
quasars
Bragg gratings
Quasars
sky
Line
Spectral resolution
Spectral Resolution
time measurement

Cite this

Ellis, S. C., Bland-Hawthorn, J., Horton, A., Haynes, R., & McGrath, A. (2008). FLEX: the first light explorer. A fully OH-suppressed near-infrared integral field spectrograph. In I. S. McLean, & M. M. Casali (Eds.), Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II (Vol. 7014, pp. 1-10). [701421] SPIE. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.788527
Ellis, Simon C. ; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss ; Horton, Anthony ; Haynes, Roger ; McGrath, Andrew. / FLEX : the first light explorer. A fully OH-suppressed near-infrared integral field spectrograph. Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II. editor / Ian S. McLean ; Mark M. Casali. Vol. 7014 SPIE, 2008. pp. 1-10
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Ellis, SC, Bland-Hawthorn, J, Horton, A, Haynes, R & McGrath, A 2008, FLEX: the first light explorer. A fully OH-suppressed near-infrared integral field spectrograph. in IS McLean & MM Casali (eds), Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II. vol. 7014, 701421, SPIE, pp. 1-10, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, Marseille, France, 23/06/08. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.788527

FLEX : the first light explorer. A fully OH-suppressed near-infrared integral field spectrograph. / Ellis, Simon C.; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Horton, Anthony; Haynes, Roger; McGrath, Andrew.

Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II. ed. / Ian S. McLean; Mark M. Casali. Vol. 7014 SPIE, 2008. p. 1-10 701421.

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

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T2 - the first light explorer. A fully OH-suppressed near-infrared integral field spectrograph

AU - Ellis,Simon C.

AU - Bland-Hawthorn,Joss

AU - Horton,Anthony

AU - Haynes,Roger

AU - McGrath,Andrew

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N2 - FLEX is a concept for a fully OH suppressed near infrared integral field spectrograph, being developed at the AAO.FLEX will be the first instrument to employ fibre Bragg gratings for OH suppression, a radical new technology which cleanly suppresses the atmospheric OH emission lines at 30dB whilst maintaining a high overall throughout of ~90%. In this paper we simulate the expected performance of FLEX, and discuss its impact on the science case. FLEX will effectively make the near-infrared sky 4 mags fainter in the H band and 3 mags fainter in the J band, offering unprecedentedly deep views of the near-infrared Universe. The FLEX concept is optimised for the identification of the sources of first light in the Universe - high redshift galaxies or quasars identified through Lyman-alpha emission or a Lyman break in the continuum spectrum. As such it will consist of a 2x2" integral field unit, composed of a 61 lenslet hexagonal array, feeding an existing moderate spectral resolution spectrograph, via an OH-suppression unit. We have simulated the performance of FLEX and show that it can provide robust identification of galaxies at the epoch of reionisation. A FLEX-like instrument on an ELT could measure the ionisation and enrichment of the inter-galactic medium beyond a redshift of 7 via metal absorption lines.

AB - FLEX is a concept for a fully OH suppressed near infrared integral field spectrograph, being developed at the AAO.FLEX will be the first instrument to employ fibre Bragg gratings for OH suppression, a radical new technology which cleanly suppresses the atmospheric OH emission lines at 30dB whilst maintaining a high overall throughout of ~90%. In this paper we simulate the expected performance of FLEX, and discuss its impact on the science case. FLEX will effectively make the near-infrared sky 4 mags fainter in the H band and 3 mags fainter in the J band, offering unprecedentedly deep views of the near-infrared Universe. The FLEX concept is optimised for the identification of the sources of first light in the Universe - high redshift galaxies or quasars identified through Lyman-alpha emission or a Lyman break in the continuum spectrum. As such it will consist of a 2x2" integral field unit, composed of a 61 lenslet hexagonal array, feeding an existing moderate spectral resolution spectrograph, via an OH-suppression unit. We have simulated the performance of FLEX and show that it can provide robust identification of galaxies at the epoch of reionisation. A FLEX-like instrument on an ELT could measure the ionisation and enrichment of the inter-galactic medium beyond a redshift of 7 via metal absorption lines.

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KW - Photonics

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M3 - Conference proceeding contribution

VL - 7014

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BT - Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II

PB - SPIE

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Ellis SC, Bland-Hawthorn J, Horton A, Haynes R, McGrath A. FLEX: the first light explorer. A fully OH-suppressed near-infrared integral field spectrograph. In McLean IS, Casali MM, editors, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II. Vol. 7014. SPIE. 2008. p. 1-10. 701421 https://doi.org/10.1117/12.788527