You are in: Instruments> NIFS   

NIFS Introduction  

NIFS, Gemini's Near-infrared Integral Field Spectrometer, was built by the Australian National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. NIFS was delivered to Gemini in July 2005 and successfully commissioned in November 2005. System Verification observation were obtained in January & February 2006. The observing modes of NIFS are briefly described below.

NIFS obtains 3D imaging spectroscopy with spectral resolving power (lambda/delta lambda) of ~5000 over a 3."0 x 3."0 image field in the Z through K-band spectral regions (0.95 to 2.40 microns). NIFS is designed to be fed by the Gemini North Adaptive Optics system, Altair, hence it is possible to achieve spatially resolved spectroscopy on scales as small as 0."1 (dependent upon weather conditions and guide star brightness).

NIFS has three coronagraphic occulting masks (0.1, 0.2, and 0.5" in diameter) for use in all observing modes. It also has a wire grid used for spectropolarimetry (in the K-band only).

For guiding, several options are available. NIFS has a near-IR on-instrument wavefront sensor (OIWFS) to provide tip/tilt guiding information to the telescope by measuring a nearby star. The OIWFS contains a 1024x1024-pixel HAWAII HgCdTe array sensitive from 1 to 2.5 microns, allowing guiding in highly obscured regions where optically-detectable guide stars may not be available.

Alternatively, either of the peripheral wavefront sensors, which are usable in optical bands and over much larger field of views than the OIWFS can be employed to provide guiding and focusing adjustments, and to correct the figure of the primary mirror while observing.

Phase II observing programs need to be created using the Observing Tool (OT). Examples of NIFS OT sequence elements are available here

[Science Operations home] [NIFS home]

Last update 2006 Feb 23; Inseok Song