Available Instruments

Currently we have two instruments which are both PI run. Applying for time to use these instruments must be made through the respective contacts listed below. Both take advantage of the high spatial resolution and throughput of the AO corrected light from the telescope. They are MIRAC3/BLINC and ARIES.


MIRAC3 is a 5-25 micron imager which gives diffraction limited imaging up to 6 microns. BLINC is a nulling interferometer which uses MIRAC as its imager for the nulling mode and provides a focal ratio change for MIRAC in the imaging mode. The instrument is presently available to the community in the imaging mode. Interested obsrevers should contact Phil Hinz first to discuss observing suitability and support.

Current (internal chopping) sensitivity with 10 minutes of on-source integration at 11.7 micron is ~ 0.1 Jy. Sources significantly fainter should not be attempted at this time, which is brighter than the numbers from the MIRAC3 sensitivity estimator found on the MIRAC3 home page. Manuals and more extensive specifications can be found on those pages.

With a natural guide star (NGS) < 9 mag, we expect a Strehl ratio of ~ 0.98 from 8.8 – 18 microns.

Detector Rockwell SiAs BIB HF16
Pixels across detector 128×128
Wavelength (microns) 17.4 12.5 10.0 8.8
Expected FWHM at DL (arcsec) 0.54 0.39 0.32 0.27
Plate scale (arcsec/pixel) 0.09
Full field (arcsec) 11.5

ARIES 1-5 micron imager and spectrograph

ARIES consists of a NIR imager and a spectrograph. The imager is currently available.

The sensitivity of ARIES in f/15 mode with 0.15″ image quality and a 0.18″ photometric aperture:-

  • A single 10 second image reaches H=19.6 with S/N=10
  • The combination of two background-subtracted 10-second images also reaches H=19.6 mag at S/N=10.

Data provided by Craig Kulesa

Detector HgCdTe
Pixels across detector 1024×1024
Pixel size (microns) 18.5
Wavelength (microns) 1.1 – 2.5
Focal Ratio f/15 f/30
Plate scale (arcsec/mm) 2.11 1.06
Field (arcsec/pixel) 0.038 0.019
Full field (inscribed on detector) 40.0 arcsec 20.0 arcsec

Rose Finn’s PISCES Page contains a discussion of data reduction and pixel correction suitable for ARIES.

Related Papers

  • ARIES: Arizona infrared imager and echelle spectrograph
    D.W. McCarthy, J. Burge, R. Angel, J. Ge, R. Sarlot, B. Fitz-Patrick, J. Hinz
    1998, Proc. SPIE, 3354, 750
  • Optical Design of ARIES: the new near infrared science instrument for the adaptive f/15 Multiple Mirror Telescope
    Roland J. Sarlot, Donald W. McCarthy, James H. Burge, Jian Ge
    1999, Proc. SPIE, 3779, 274
  • A Cryogenic, 1-5 Micron Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector for Astronomical Adaptive Optics
    Roland J Sarlot, Donald W. McCarthy
    2001, Proc. SPIE, 4441, 72
  • Multi-Object, Near-IR Grism Spectroscopy with the 6.5m MMT
    Rose A. Finn, Donald W. McCarthy
    2000, Proc. SPIE, 4008, 759
  • PISCES: A Wide-Field, 1-2.5 micron Camera for Large-Aperture Telescopes
    D. W. McCarthy, Jr., J. Ge, J.L. Hinz, R.A. Finn, R.S. de Jong
    2001, PASP, 113, 353
  • Infra-red Imaging and Spectroscopy with HAWAII and PICNIC Arrays
    C.D. Mackay, M.G. Beckett, R.G. McMahon, I.R. Parry, F. Piche, K.A. Ennico, M. Kenworthy, R.S. Ellis, A. Aragon-Salamanca
    1998, Proc. SPIE, 3354, 14