Shipping out!

After a successful pre-shipment review last Friday, the Instrument and Science Teams of APOGEE have been given approval to ship the nearly-completed spectrograph to the Apache Point Observatory in three weeks. This approval was based upon completion of planned laboratory integration and testing to demonstrate that the instrument will ultimately meet science requirements; a list of open items and on-site commissioning activities remain to be completed before the instrument is fully ready for the “official” start of survey operations. The most critical identified open items are fine-tuning detector focus and correcting some astigmatism identified during lab testing. Additional integration challenges await the Teams when the instrument begins on-sky commissioning. First Light on the Sloan 2.5m telescope is anticipated 2-3 weeks after the instrument is shipped. Stay tuned.

APOGEE Spectrograph nears end of integration and testing.

Red, Green, and Blue Detectors recording infrared sunlight on 300 individual fibers. The spectra cover from 1.69 to 1.51microns (left to right).

Full suite of fibers installed for current round of testing. Each white bundle contains 30 fibers and terminates in a polished v-groove block (at lower right) where starlight enters the instrument.

APOGEE, the survey, coming soon!

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