The opto-mechanical design of the GMT-Consortium Large Earth Finder (G-CLEF)

Mark Mueller, Andrew Szentgyorgyi, Daniel Baldwin, Sagi Ben-Ami, Jamie Budynkiewicz, Moo Young Chun, Jeffrey D. Crane, Daniel Durusky, Harland Epps, Ian Evans, Janet Evans, Anna Frebel, Tyson Hare, Andres Jordan, Kang Min Kim, Mercedes Lopez-Morales, Kenneth Mccracken, Stuart Mcmuldroch, Joseph Miller, Jae Sok OhCem Onyuksel, Chan Park, Sang Park, Charles Paxson, David Plummer, William Podgorski, Alan Uomoto, Young Sam Yu

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

4 Scopus citations


The GMT-Consortium Large Earth Finder (G-CLEF) will be part of the first generation instrumentation suite for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). G-CLEF is a general purpose echelle spectrograph operating in the optical passband with precision radial velocity (PRV) capability. The measurement precision goal of G-CLEF is 10 cm/sec; necessary for the detection of Earth analogues. This goal imposes challenging stability requirements on the optical mounts and spectrograph support structures especially when considering the instrument's operational environment. G-CLEF's accuracy will be influenced by changes in temperature and ambient air pressure, vibration, and micro gravity-vector variations caused by normal telescope motions. For these reasons we have chosen to enclose G-CLEF's spectrograph in a wellinsulated, vibration-isolated vacuum chamber in a gravity invariant location on GMT's azimuth platform. Additional design constraints posed by the GMT telescope include; a limited space envelope, a thermal leakage ceiling, and a maximum weight allowance. Other factors, such as manufacturability, serviceability, available technology, and budget are also significant design drivers. G-CLEF will complete its Critical Design phase in mid-2018. In this paper, we discuss the design of GCLEF's optical mounts and support structures including the choice of a low-CTE carbon-fiber optical bench. We discuss the vacuum chamber and vacuum systems. We discuss the design of G-CLEF's insulated enclosure and thermal control systems which simultaneously maintain the spectrograph at milli-Kelvin level stability and limit thermal leakage into the telescope dome. Also discussed are micro gravity-vector variations caused by normal telescope slewing, their uncorrected influence on image motion, and how they are dealt with in the design. We discuss G-CLEF's front-end assembly and fiber-feed system as well as other interface, integration and servicing challenges presented by the telescope, enclosure, and neighboring instrumentation. This work has been supported by the GMTO Corporation, a non-profit organization operated on behalf of an international consortium of universities and institutions: Arizona State University, Astronomy Australia Ltd, the Australian National University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Harvard University, the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, the São Paulo Research Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas AM University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Chicago.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII
EditorsLuc Simard, Luc Simard, Christopher J. Evans, Hideki Takami
ISBN (Print)9781510619579
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: 10 Jun 201814 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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