Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 April 2016
TAUMOK is a joint project of the Max Planck Institut für Astronomie Heidelberg and the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg. It is based on the concept of the “Spaltspinne” (Pitz 1993) now in operation at the Calar Alto Observatory. A first describtion of the technical concept was given by Pitz et al. (1993). TAUMOK was built at the MPIA Heidelberg in collaboration with astronomers and technicians from Tautenburg. It is now in the test phase and will have its first operation at the Tautenburg telescope in the middle of this year.
The use of a Schmidt telescope gives a very wide field for multi-object spectroscopy (TAUMOK will cover a field of 2.3°) but it also requires a series of special considerations. So, some of the details of the original “Spaltspinne” were modified to meet the site specific peculiarities. The size of the ground plate was minimized and yields a central obscuration of only 60 cm in diameter. The curved field of the Schmidt focus (deviation of up to ±400 µm from the mean focal plane) is flattened by a field lens - a solution alternative to the guiding of the fiber supporting rods on a sphere.