The Dragonfly Spectral Line Mapper: Design and First Light


The Dragonfly Spectral Line Mapper (DSLM) is the latest evolution of the Dragonfly Telephoto Array, which turns it into the world’s most powerful wide-field spectral line imager. The DSLM will be the equivalent of a 1.6m aperture f/0.26 refractor with a built-in Integral Field Spectrometer, covering a five square degree field of view. The new telescope is designed to carry out ultra-narrow bandpass imaging of the low surface brightness universe with exquisite control over systematic errors, including real-time calibration of atmospheric variations in airglow. The key to Dragonfly’s transformation is the “Filter-Tilter”, a mechanical assembly which holds ultra-narrow bandpass interference filters in front of each lens in the array and tilts them to smoothly shift their central wavelength. Here we describe our development process based on rapid prototyping, iterative design, and mass production. This process has resulted in numerous improvements to the design of the DSLM from the initial pathfinder instrument, including changes to narrower bandpass filters and the addition of a suite of calibration filters for continuum light subtraction and sky line monitoring. Improvements have also been made to the electronics and hardware of the array, which improve tilting accuracy, rigidity and light baffling. Here we present laboratory and on-sky measurements from the deployment of the first bank of lenses in May 2022, and a progress report on the completion of the full array in early 2023.

Keywords: Low surface brightness imaging, narrowband interference filters

DYNAMIXEL USED: X-Series / XL430-W250-T

All credit goes to: Seery Chen & Team/ University of Toronto

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