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WHT Quality Control

The aim of the WHT quality-control programme is to characterise and monitor all aspects of telescope performance, in order to detect as early as possible any potential problems (thereby maximising S:N for observers, and minimising downtime).

Before-and-after performance characterisation is of particular importance in connection with two major changes planned at the WHT over the next few years: commissioning of a major new instrument (WEAVE multi-object spectrograph) at prime focus in 2018, and commissioning of a new telescope control system in 2016-17.

Key performance-characterisation results are summarised below, with links to additional quality-control and performance information.

Optical performance:

  • Optical quality (aberrations): FWHM < 0.3 arcsec at all focal stations
  • Dome seeing: negligible when the primary mirror is less than 3 degC warmer than the air in the dome (> 80% of nights)
  • Mirror reflectivity: typically 0.82 - 0.87, depending on when the mirror was last aluminised

Pointing and tracking performance:

Use of telescope time:

ING support astronomers can find a list of pending on-sky tests on a separate page.

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Contact:  (WHT Manager)
Last modified: 03 August 2016