7 March 2003 A Wide-Field Infrared Camera for the Palomar 200-inch Telescope
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Abstract
The availability of both large aperture telescopes and large format near-infrared (NIR) detectors are making wide-field NIR imaging a reality. We describe the Wide-field Infrared Camera (WIRC), a newly commissioned instrument that provides the Palomar 200-inch telescope with such an imaging capability. WIRC features a field-of-view (FOV) of 4.33 arcminutes on a side with its currently installed 1024-square Rockwell Hawaii-I NIR detector. A 2048-square Rockwell Hawaii-II NIR detector will be installed and commissioned later this year, in collaboration with Caltech, to give WIRC an 8.7 arcminute FOV on a side. WIRC mounts at the telescope's f/3.3 prime focus. The instrument's seeing-limited optical design, optimized for the JHK atmospheric bands, includes a 4-element refractive collimator, two 7-position filter wheels that straddle a Lyot stop, and a 5-element refractive f/3 camera. Typical seeing-limited point spread functions are slightly oversampled with a 0.25 arcsec per pixel plate scale at the detector. The entire optical train is contained within a cryogenic dewar with a 2.5 day hold-time. Entrance hatches at the top of the dewar allow access to the detector without disruption of the optics and optical alignment. The optical, mechanical, cryogenic, and electronic design of the instrument are described, a commissioning science image and performance analyses are presented.
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John C. Wilson, John C. Wilson, Stephen S. Eikenberry, Stephen S. Eikenberry, Charles P. Henderson, Charles P. Henderson, Thomas L. Hayward, Thomas L. Hayward, Joseph Coler Carson, Joseph Coler Carson, Bruce Pirger, Bruce Pirger, Donald J. Barry, Donald J. Barry, Bernhard Rainer Brandl, Bernhard Rainer Brandl, James R. Houck, James R. Houck, Gregory J. Fitzgerald, Gregory J. Fitzgerald, T. M. Stolberg, T. M. Stolberg, } "A Wide-Field Infrared Camera for the Palomar 200-inch Telescope", Proc. SPIE 4841, Instrument Design and Performance for Optical/Infrared Ground-based Telescopes, (7 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.460336; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.460336
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