Abstract As a facility used for astronomical research, the Lijiang 2.4-m telescope of Yunnan Astronomical Observatories, requires the ability to change one auxiliary instrument with another in as short a time as possible. This arises from the need to quickly respond to scientific programs (e.g. transient observation, time domain studies) and changes in observation conditions (e.g. seeing and weather conditions). In this paper, we describe the design, construction and test of hardware and software in the rapid instrument exchange system (RIES) for the Cassegrain focal station of this telescope, which enables instruments to be quickly changed at night without much loss of observing time. Tests in the laboratory and at the telescope show that the image quality and pointing accuracy of RIES are satisfactory. With RIES, we observed the same Landolt standard stars almost at the same time with the Princeton Instruments VersArray 1300B Camera (PICCD) and the Yunnan Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (YFOSC), while both were mounted at the Cassegrain focus. A quasi-simultaneous comparison shows that the image quality of the optical system inside the YFOSC is comparable with that provided by the PICCD.
Keywords telescopes: Lijiang 2.4-m Telescope — instrumentation: photometers — instrumentation: spectrographs — telescopes: automation
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