AuthorHILL, JOHN MILTON.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation describes the techniques involved in using a fiber optic coupled spectrometer to do multiple object spectroscopy of astronomical objects. The Medusa spectrograph, with optical fibers fixed in a focal plane aperture plate, was used to study clusters of galaxies via velocity distributions. Some relevant problems in the study of the structure and dynamics of clusters of galaxies are outlined as motivation for building a multiple fiber spectrometer. The history of fiber optic spectroscopy in astronomy is presented along with an outlook for the future. The results and experience gained from the Medusa spectrograph are used to design a second generation instrument. The MX Spectrometer uses optical fibers which are positioned remotely under computer control. These fibers are optically matched to the telescope and spectrograph optics to achieve optimum performance. The transmission, flexibility, and image scrambling properties of step-index silica fibers allow efficient reformatting of multiple objects into the spectrometer entrance aperature. By allowing spectra of 32 objects to be obtained simultaneously, the MX Spectrometer will make an order of magnitude increase in the quantity of spectroscopic data that can be recorded with a large telescope. Mechanical, control, and optical elements of the MX design are discussed. Telescope and fiber parameters influencing the design of the fishermen-around-the-pond mobile fiber head are detailed. Results of testing the stepper motor driven fiber positioner probes are described. The algorithm for controlling the motion of 32 positioners in the telescope focal plane without collisions is outlined. Detector performance and spectrometer efficiency are considered for both the Medusa and MX systems. The use of a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) array detector provides increased quantum efficiency, dynamic range, and stability, as well as allowing digital sky subtraction. Microlenses and their use in correctly coupling optical fibers to the telescope and spectrograph are discussed. In particular, the pupil-imaging technique for microlens matching to fibers is introduced.