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The Brazilian tunable filter imager for SOAR: phase 1

Abstract

We propose to build a highly versatile, new technology, optical imaging interferometer to be used both in wide-field, seeing-limited mode and narrow-field, high spatial resolution mode on the SOAR telescope. Such an instrument opens up important new science capabilities for the Brazilian astronomical community from studies of nearby galaxies and the ISM to statistical cosmological investigations. The instrument concept takes advantage of two new technologies that have been successfully demonstrated in the laboratory environment but have yet to be deployed in any astronomical instrument. The iBTF (imaging Bragg Tunable Filter) concept utilizes a Volume Phase Holographic (or Bragg Diffraction) Grating (VPHG) in double-pass configuration while the new Fabry-Perot concept involves the use of commercially available technology allowing a single etalon to act over a very large range of interference orders. The combination of both technologies allows for a compact, low-cost but highly versatile instrument which can be designed and constructed over a relatively short time-scale. (AU)

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