First Observations with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT)

Type Conference Paper
Names E. Romero-Colmenero, D. Buckley, A. Kniazev, P. Vaisanen, N. Loaring, M. Still, Y. Hashimoto, S. Potter, D. O'Donoghue, K. Nordsieck, E. Burgh, T. Williams, R. Sanchez, N. Rangwala
Proceedings Title ASP Conference Series
Conference Name The Central Engine of Active Galactic Nuclei; Proceedings of the Conference Held 16-21 October, 2006 at Xi'an Jioatong University, Xi'an, China.
Place San Francisco, CA
Publisher Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Volume 373
Pages 717
Series ASP Conference Series
Date October 1, 2007
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) was completed in 2005 and began initial scientific operations in August of that year. Built in just under 6 years and on budget (US 19.7M), SALT has been a good example of a successfully managed telescope project where systems engineering disciplines were applied to good effect. First Light was announced on 1 September 2005 following the installation of the last of the primary mirror segments and the commissioning of the UV-visible imager, SALTICAM, the first science instrument. This was followed by the first scientific observations and the beginning of the commissioning phase for the active optics. The second of the first generation instruments, the Robert Stobie Spectrograph (RSS), was installed in October 2005 and is currently being commissioned. SALT is still undergoing engineering and performance testing, although 70% of nights are now being used for scientific observations. We present SALT's unique capabilities, which are ideally suited to the field of AGN research.
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