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Proceedings Paper

Wide-field infrared camera for the Palomar 200-in. telescope
Author(s): John C. Wilson; Stephen S. Eikenberry; Charles P. Henderson; Thomas L. Hayward; Joseph Coler Carson; Bruce Pirger; Donald J. Barry; Bernhard Rainer Brandl; James R. Houck; Gregory J. Fitzgerald; T. M. Stolberg
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Paper 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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 March 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4841, Instrument Design and Performance for Optical/Infrared Ground-based Telescopes, (7 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.460336
Show Author Affiliations
John C. Wilson, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Stephen S. Eikenberry, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Charles P. Henderson, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Thomas L. Hayward, Gemini Observotory (Chile)
Joseph Coler Carson, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Bruce Pirger, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Donald J. Barry, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Bernhard Rainer Brandl, Cornell Univ. (United States)
James R. Houck, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Gregory J. Fitzgerald, Telic Optics, Inc. (United States)
T. M. Stolberg, Telic Optics, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4841:
Instrument Design and Performance for Optical/Infrared Ground-based Telescopes
Masanori Iye; Alan F. M. Moorwood, Editor(s)

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