Improved High-resolution Fast Imager

Denker, Carsten; Verma, Meetu; Wiśniewska, Aneta; Kamlah, Robert; Kontogiannis, Ioannis; Dineva, Ekaterina; Rendtel, Jürgen; Bauer, Svend-Marian; Dionies, Mario; Önel, Hakan; Woche, Manfred; Kuckein, Christoph; Seelemann, Thomas; Pal, Partha S.
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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems

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The improved High-resolution Fast Imager (HiFI+) is a multiwavelength imaging filtergraph, which was commissioned at the GREGOR solar telescope at Observatorio del Teide, Izaña, Tenerife, Spain, in March 2022 - followed by science verification in April 2022, after which it entered routine observations. Three camera control computers with two synchronized sCMOS and CMOS cameras each provide near diffraction-limited imaging at high cadence in six wavelength bands (Ca II H at 396.8 nm, G-band at 430.7 nm, blue continuum at 450.6 nm, narrow- and broad-band Hα at 656.3 nm, and TiO bandhead at 705.8 nm). This unique combination of photospheric and chromospheric images provides "tomographic" access to the dynamic Sun and complements spectropolarimetric observations at the GREGOR telescope. High image acquisition rates of 50 and 100 Hz facilitate image restoration, where time series of restored images have a typical cadence of 6 and 12 s, which is sufficient to resolve the dynamics of the solar photosphere and chromosphere. In principle, all imaging channels can be restored individually using the speckle masking technique or multiframe blind deconvolution (MFBD). However, images recorded strictly simultaneously in the narrow-/broad-band Hα and the G-band/blue continuum channels can be pairwise subjected to multiobject multiframe deconvolution (MOMFBD) expanding the science capabilities of HiFI+. For example, the narrow-band (FWHM = 60 nm) Halle Hα Lyot filter isolates the Hα line core, which facilitates matching chromospheric fibrils and filamentary structures to photospheric bright points. Likewise, dividing G-band by blue continuum images enhances small-scale brightenings, which are often related to small-scale magnetic fields so that their evolution can be tracked in time. A detailed description of the improved high-cadence, large-format imaging system is presented and its performance is assessed based on first-light observations.
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