• S. Sriram

Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

• High resolution stellar spectroscopy with VBT echelle spectrometer

The optical design and performance of the recently commissioned fiber fed echelle spectrometer of 2.34 meter Vainu Bappu Telescope are described. The use of it for stellar spectroscopic studies is discussed.

• In-orbit Performance of UVIT and First Results

The performance of the ultraviolet telescope (UVIT) on-board AstroSat is reported. The performance in orbit is also compared with estimates made from the calibrations done on the ground. The sensitivity is found to be within ∼15% of the estimates, and the spatial resolution in the NUV is found to exceed significantly the design value of 1.8′′ and it is marginally better in the FUV. Images obtained from UVIT are presented to illustrate the details revealed by the high spatial resolution. The potential of multi-band observations in the ultraviolet with high spatial resolution is illustrated by some results.

• In-orbit performance of UVIT over the past 5 years

Over the last 5 years, UVIT has completed observations of more than 500 proposals with $\sim$800 unique pointings. In addition, regular planned monitoring observations have been made and from their analysis various key parameters related to in orbit performance of UVIT have been quantified. The sensitivities of the UV channels have remained steady indicating no effect of potential molecular contamination confirming the adequacy of all the protocols implemented for avoiding contamination. The quality of the PSF through the years confirms adequacy of thermal control measures. The early calibrations obtained during the Performance Verification (PV) phase have been further revised for more subtle effects. These include flat fields and detector distortions with greater precision. The operations of UVIT have also evolved through inorbit experience, e.g. tweaking of operational sequencing, protocol for recovery from bright object detection (BOD) shutdowns, parameters for BOD thresholds, etc. Finally, some effects of charged particle hits on electronics led to optimised strategy for regular resetting. The Near-UV channel was lost in one of suchoperations. All the above in-orbit experiences are presented here.

• Contamination control of UVIT

Ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) is one of the 5 instruments on AstroSat satellite, which was launched on September 28, 2015. UVIT was designed to make images with a resolution of <1:8$''$, simultaneously in two ultraviolet channels: Far Ultraviolet (130–180 nm) and Near Ultraviolet (200–300 nm). Images are also made in visible region (320–550 nm) for tracking drifts in pointing. The shortest wavelengths to be observed with UVIT can be heavily absorbed by mono-molecular deposits/contamination on the optical surfaces.Keeping contamination under control in UVIT was a major challenge and it required a variety of actions: (i) strict control of the payload materials and process, (ii) mechanical configuration, (iii) baking of all the parts to release all the adsorbed molecules etc., (iv) assembly in ultra cleanrooms, (v) pre-inspection and auditing of all the areas, in which UVIT was placed, for any potential for contamination, (vi) continuous purging, with ultrapure nitrogen gas, till a few days before the launch, etc. In order to minimise any possible cross contaminationsfrom the other payloads/satellite, the doors of UVIT were opened 2 months after the launch. The high performance in the orbit and high stability of the sensitivity over 4 years in the orbit shows that the contamination was negligible. This paper presents the processes and protocols followed during the integration and testingphase to minimise the contamination in order to prevent any performance degradation.

• A 10-m class national large optical-IR telescope

An observatory class national large optical-IR telescope (NLOT), is proposed to be built and located in the country. The telescope consists of a 10–12 m segmented primary. In order to cater to a diversity of observational programs, the telescope is designed with high throughput in both the optical and IRregions (0.3–5 $\mu$m). It should perform reasonably well up to 30 $\mu$m. The telescope and instruments should have remote operations capability, allowing for the queue as well as classical scheduling and high reliability and robustness. This article provides a brief description of the science cases that drive the telescope requirements, activities related to optics design and some thoughts on the instruments.

• India-TMT project—science instrumentation program

The future of astronomy in the coming decades will be shaped by the upcoming three extremely large optical telescopes, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) and the European Large Telescope (ELT). The USA astronomy and astrophysics 2020 decadal survey and the Canadian long-range plan for astronomy have recently recommended these large observatories as a top priority for ground-based astronomy for the upcoming decade. India is a 10% partner in one of these large observatories, the TMT, which is jointly funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). Here, we highlight India’s contributions to the development of the telescope and science instruments. The size of back-end science instruments scale with telescope aperture, hence, science instruments for TMT will be the biggest ever built for any telescope. Designing and building them requires broad collaboration within India, across TMT partnership and industries. India contributes >30% of the work share towards the development of wide field optical spectrometer (WFOS). India is part of the development of other first-light instruments, the infrared imaging spectrograph (IRIS) and multi-object diffraction-limited high-resolution infrared spectrograph (MODHIS). Infrared guide star catalog is an important contribution from India to these adaptive optics (AO)-assisted instruments. India leads the development of high-resolution optical spectrograph (HROS), a major workhorse among the first decade instruments of TMT. India is also part of the instrument development team of other first-decade instruments. Concerted efforts have been made to contribute to some of the TMT precursor instruments that will help us to maximize the scientific productivity when TMT is operational, especially in the area of exoplanet science and observations that require AO. India-TMT is part of the science team for the Keck high-resolution infrared spectrograph for exoplanet characterization (HISPEC), a precursor instrument to TMT-MODHIS. In addition, Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) is participating in the science and development of Santa Cruz array of lenslets for exoplanet spectroscopy (SCALES) project for Keck, which is a direct imaging spectrograph for exoplanet studies and a precursor to the TMT planetary system imager.

• # Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

Volume 44, 2023
All articles
Continuous Article Publishing mode

• # Continuous Article Publication

Posted on January 27, 2016

Since January 2016, the Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy has moved to Continuous Article Publishing (CAP) mode. This means that each accepted article is being published immediately online with DOI and article citation ID with starting page number 1. Articles are also visible in Web of Science immediately. All these have helped shorten the publication time and have improved the visibility of the articles.

• # Editorial Note on Continuous Article Publication

Posted on July 25, 2019

Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode

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