Phoenix, the high resolution infrared spectrograph, is progressing rapidly toward first light next winter. The drawings required to construct the instrument have been completed and the large mechanical parts have either been fabricated or contracts let for their construction. There are several hundred small parts being fabricated, and our shop will be busy with these this spring. All the optics have arrived and are ready to be installed. We expect to start assembling the instrument in late summer with laboratory testing going on into the fall. In the echelle mode, Phoenix will offer resolutions 100,000 (2 pixel sampling) or 66,000 (3 pixel sampling) for spectroscopy in the 1-5 um region. The detector will be an InSb array. As a result of the rapid increase in background radiation from 2-5 um and the large free spectral range imposed by the available echelle rulings, Phoenix is not cross dispersed. The intent is to offer Phoenix initially on the Kitt Peak 2.1-m and 4-m telescopes. Future plans call for shared use with CTIO and Gemini.
Senior instrument makers Mark Gougeon (left) and Martin Robertson (right) with the sections of the Phoenix collimator they have fabricated.
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