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6 July 2018 IGRINS at the Discovery Channel Telescope and Gemini South
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The Immersion GRating INfrared Spectrometer (IGRINS) was designed for high-throughput with the expectation of being a visitor instrument at progressively larger observing facilities. IGRINS achieves R∼45000 and > 20,000 resolution elements spanning the H and K bands (1.45-2.5μm) by employing a silicon immersion grating as the primary disperser and volume-phase holographic gratings as cross-dispersers. After commissioning on the 2.7 meter Harlan J. Smith Telescope at McDonald Observatory, the instrument had more than 350 scheduled nights in the first two years. With a fixed format echellogram and no cryogenic mechanisms, spectra produced by IGRINS at different facilities have nearly identical formats. The first host facility for IGRINS was Lowell Observatory’s 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT). For the DCT a three-element fore-optic assembly was designed to be mounted in front of the cryostat window and convert the f/6.1 telescope beam to the f/8.8 beam required by the default IGRINS input optics. The larger collecting area and more reliable pointing and tracking of the DCT improved the faint limit of IGRINS, relative to the McDonald 2.7-meter, by ∼1 magnitude. The Gemini South 8.1-meter telescope was the second facility for IGRINS to visit. The focal ratio for Gemini is f/16, which required a swap of the four-element input optics assembly inside the IGRINS cryostat. At Gemini, observers have access to many southern-sky targets and an additional gain of ∼1.5 magnitudes compared to IGRINS at the DCT. Additional adjustments to IGRINS include instrument mounts for each facility, a glycol cooled electronics rack, and software modifications. Here we present instrument modifications, report on the success and challenges of being a visitor instrument, and highlight the science output of the instrument after four years and 699 nights on sky. The successful design and adaptation of IGRINS for various facilities make it a reliable forerunner for GMTNIRS, which we now anticipate commissioning on one of the 6.5 meter Magellan telescopes prior to the completion of the Giant Magellan Telescope.
Conference Presentation
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