Performance of the WIYN high-resolution infrared camera

Type Conference Paper
Names Margaret Meixner, Stephen Smee, Ryan L. Doering, Robert H. Barkhouser, Todd Miller, Joseph Orndorff, Patricia Knezek, Edward Churchwell, Gregg Scharfstein, Jeffrey Percival, David Mills, Charles Corson, Richard Joyce, Brian Ferguson, Masaaki Otsuka
Conference Name Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series
Volume 7735
Pages 123
Date July 1, 2010
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract The WIYN High Resolution Infrared Camera (WHIRC) has been a general-use instrument at the WIYN telescope on Kitt Peak since 2008. WHIRC is a near-infrared (0.8 - 2.5 μm) camera with a filter complement of J, H, Ks broadband and 10 narrowband filters, utilizing a 2048 × 2048 HgCdTe array from Raytheon's VIRGO line, developed for the VISTA project. The compact on-axis refractive optical design makes WHIRC the smallest near-IR camera with this capability. WHIRC is installed on the WIYN Tip-Tilt Module (WTTM) port and can achieve near diffraction-limited imaging with a FWHM of ~0.25 arcsec at Ks with active WTTM correction and routinely delivers ~0.6 arcsec FWHM images without WTTM correction. During its first year of general use operation at WIYN, WHIRC has been used for high definition near-infrared imaging studies of a wide range of astronomical phenomena including star formation regions, stellar populations and interstellar medium in nearby galaxies, high-z galaxies and transient phenomena. We discuss performance and data reduction issues such as distortion, pupil ghost, and fringe removal and the development of new tools for the observing community such as an exposure time calculator and data reduction pipeline.
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