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Paper: India's National Large Solar Telescope
Volume: 463, 2nd ATST-EAST Workshop in Solar Physics: Magnetic Fields from the Photosphere to the Corona
Page: 395
Authors: Hasan, S. S.
Abstract: India's 2-m National Large Solar Telescope (NLST) is aimed primarily at carrying out observations of the solar atmosphere with high spatial and spectral resolution. A comprehensive site characterization program, that commenced in 2007, has identified two superb sites in the Himalayan region at altitudes greater than 4000-m that have extremely low water vapor content and are unaffected by monsoons. With an innovative optical design, the NLST is an on-axis Gregorian telescope with a low number of optical elements to reduce the number of reflections and yield a high throughput with low polarization. In addition, it is equipped with a high-order adaptive optics to produce close to diffraction limited performance. To control atmospheric and thermal perturbations of the observations, the telescope will function with a fully open dome, to achieve its full potential atop a 25 m tower. Given its design, NLST can also operate at night, without compromising its solar performance. The post-focus instruments include broad-band and tunable Fabry-Pérot narrow-band imaging instruments; a high resolution spectropolarimeter and an Echelle spectrograph for night time astronomy. This project is led by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics and has national and international partners. Its geographical location will fill the longitudinal gap between Japan and Europe and is expected to be the largest solar telescope with an aperture larger than 1.5 m till the ATST and EST come into operation. An international consortium has been identified to build the NLST. The facility is expected to be commissioned by 2016.
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