FIRE (the Folded-port InfraRed Echellette) is a prism cross-dispersed infrared spectrometer, designed to deliver singleobject
R=6000 spectra over the 0.8-2.5 micron range, simultaneously. It will be installed at one of the auxiliary
Nasmyth foci of the Magellan 6.5-meter telescopes. FIRE employs a network of ZnSe and Infrasil prisms, coupled with
an R1 reflection grating, to image 21 diffraction orders onto a 2048 × 2048, HAWAII-2RG focal plane array.
Optionally, a user-controlled turret may be rotated to replace the reflection grating with a mirror, resulting in a singleorder,
longslit spectrum with R ~ 1000. A separate, cold infrared sensor will be used for object acquisition and guiding.
Both detectors will be controlled by cryogenically mounted SIDECAR ASICs. The availability of low-noise detectors
motivates our choice of spectral resolution, which was expressly optimized for Magellan by balancing the scientific
demand for increased R with practical limits on exposure times (taking into account statistics on seeing conditions).
This contribution describes that analysis, as well as FIRE's optical and opto-mechanical design, and the design and
implementation of cryogenic mechanisms. Finally, we will discuss our data-flow model, and outline strategies we are
putting in place to facilitate data reduction and analysis.