On August 16, 2023, WFST started its engineering commissioning observations. This milestone signifies that the telescope underwent a series of rigorous tests and calibrations prior to its observational mission to ensure a smooth and successful operation upon its first activation.

During this commissioning process, researchers implemented various crucial measures, including the precise measurement of the relative positions between the primary mirror and the main camera using a laser tracker, ensuring the accuracy of the optical system. Additionally, tests were conducted for the installation of lifting equipment and maintenance platforms to verify the stability and reliability of the mechanical structure.

Preparations for the First Observations: Laser Tracker Testing for Large Relative Adjustments between the Main Mirror and Main Focus, Installation of Hoisting and Maintenance Platforms, etc.

One of the images captured during this process reveals the primary mirror of WFST with a diameter of 2.5 meters, covered by an external protective membrane. The unveiling of this membrane signifies the telescope’s readiness for the co-test and calibration of its observational systems, contingent upon suitable weather conditions to ensure the accuracy of these tests.

Within the control room, a variety of instruments and equipment are displayed for conducting the telescope’s commissioning observations. These tests encompass activities such as focus adjustments, phase cross-checks, and preliminary alignment of the telescope’s pointing. Through these tests and adjustments, the image quality of the telescope has been significantly enhanced, guaranteeing optimal performance in its observational capabilities.

Telescope and Camera Co-alignment Testing
Focus Testing, Aberration Correction, Preliminary Pointing Calibration, Image Rotation Function Verification

However, despite achieving some early successes, the telescope’s commissioning work still demands a substantial amount of intensive effort to ensure that its performance aligns with the theoretical design’s highest standards. This process requires a considerable amount of time. Nevertheless, we eagerly anticipate that the WFST will soon unveil the mysteries of the universe and make remarkable contributions to the field of astronomy through its future observations.