The fibre resolved opticAl and near-ultraviolet Czerny–Turner imaging spectropolarimeter (FRANCIS)

David B. Jess*, Samuel D.T. Grant, William Bate, Jiajia Liu, Shahin Jafarzadeh, Peter H. Keys, Luís E. A. Vieira, Alisson Dal Lago, Fernando L. Guarnieri, Damian J. Christian, Doug Gilliam, Dipankar Banerjee

*Corresponding author for this work

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The solar physics community is entering a golden era that is ripe with next-generation ground- and space-based facilities, advanced spectral inversion techniques, and realistic simulations that are becoming more computationally streamlined and efficient. With ever-increasing resolving power stemming from the newest observational telescopes, it become smore challenging to obtain (near-)simultaneous measurements at high spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions, while operating at the diffraction limit of these new facilities. Hence, in recent years there has been increased interest in the capabilities integral field units (IFUs)offer towards obtaining the trifecta of high spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions contemporaneously. To date, IFUs developed for solar physics research have focused on mid-optical and infrared measurements. Here, we present an IFU prototype that has been designed for operation within the near-ultraviolet to mid-optical wavelength range, which enables key spectral lines (e.g., Ca II H/K, Hβ, Sr II, Na I D1/D2, etc.) to be studied, hence providing additional spectral coverage to the instrument suites developed to date. The IFU was constructed as a low-budget proof-of-concept for the upcoming 2 m class Indian National Large Solar Telescope and employs circular cross-section fibres to guide light into a Czerny–Turner configuration spectrograph, with the resulting spectra captured using a high quantum efficiency scientific CMOS camera. Mapping of each input fibre allows for the reconstruction of two-dimensional spectral images, with frame rates exceeding 20 s−1 possible while operating in a non-polarimetric configuration. Initial commissioning of the instrument was performed at the Dunn Solar Telescope, USA, during August 2022. The science verification data presented here highlights the suitability of fibre-fed IFUs operating at near-ultraviolet wavelengths for solar physics research. Importantly, the successful demonstration of this type of instrument paves the way for further technological developments to make a future variant suitable for upcoming ground-based and space-borne telescope facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number146
Number of pages47
JournalSolar Physics
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2023


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