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CUBES phase a design overview

Zanutta, Alessio and Cristiani, Stefano and Atkinson, David and Baldini, Veronica and Balestra, Andrea and Barbuy, Beatriz and Macanhan, Vanessa Bawden P. and Calcines, Ariadna and Calderone, Giorgio and Case, Scott and Castilho, Bruno V. and Cescutti, Gabriele and Cirami, Roberto and Coretti, Igor and Covino, Stefano and Cupani, Guido and De Caprio, Vincenzo and Dekker, Hans and Di Marcantonio, Paolo and D’Odorico, Valentina and Ernandes, Heitor and Evans, Chris and Feger, Tobias and Feiz, Carmen and Franchini, Mariagrazia and Genoni, Matteo and Gneiding, Clemens D. and Kałuszyński, Mikołaj and Landoni, Marco and Lawrence, Jon and Lunney, David and Miller, Chris and Molaverdikhani, Karan and Opitom, Cyrielle and Pariani, Giorgio and Piranomonte, Silvia and Quirrenbach, Andreas and Redaelli, Edoardo Maria Alberto and Riva, Marco and Robertson, David and Rossi, Silvia and Rothmaier, Florian and Seifert, Walter and Smiljanic, Rodolfo and Stürmer, Julian and Stilz, Ingo and Trost, Andrea and Verducci, Orlando and Waring, Chris and Watson, Stephen and Wells, Martyn and Xu, Wenli and Zafar, Tayyaba and Zorba, Sonia (2022) 'CUBES phase a design overview.', Experimental astronomy. .


We present the baseline conceptual design of the Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph (CUBES) for the Very Large Telescope. CUBES will provide unprecedented sensitivity for spectroscopy on a 8 – 10 m class telescope in the ground ultraviolet (UV), spanning a bandwidth of ≥ 100 nm that starts at 300 nm, the shortest wavelength accessible from the ground. The design has been optimized for end-to-end efficiency and provides a spectral resolving power of R≥ 20000, that will unlock a broad range of new topics across solar system, Galactic and extraglactic astronomy. The design also features a second, lower-resolution (R ∼ 7000) mode and has the option of a fiberlink to the UVES instrument for simultaneous observations at longer wavelengths. Here we present the optical, mechanical and software design of the various subsystems of the instrument after the Phase A study of the project. We discuss the expected performances for the layout choices and highlight some of the performance trade-offs considered to best meet the instrument top-level requirements. We also introduce the model-based system engineering approach used to organize and manage the project activities and interfaces, in the context that it is increasingly necessary to integrate such tools in the development of complex astronomical projects.

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Date accepted:07 February 2022
Date deposited:29 September 2022
Date of first online publication:24 May 2022
Date first made open access:29 September 2022

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