Current WIYN Instrumentation

Below is a list of instruments that are currently available for use on WIYN. If you have questions about any of the instruments please contact the appropriate Instrument Scientist.

If you are an observer interested in using any of these instruments on WIYN you can find information on how to apply for telescope time by clicking the Observing link to the right.

Detailed information on the WIYN Telescope is available on the WIYN Technical Specifications page.

Bench Spectrograph

The Bench Spectrograph was upgraded in 2008. The upgrade consisted of implementing a faster, all transmission collimator, the capability to use VPH transmission gratings over a full range of incidence angles, two VPH gratings, and a new CCD system. Together, these improvements have yielded gains in throughput of factors of 2-5 over the existing system while maintaining or improving spectral resolution and sampling for most applications, and at most degrading spectral resolution by 20%. More information on the upgrades can be found in the published SPIE papers: "The upgraded WIYN Bench Spectrograph", Knezek et. al [PDF version] and "WIYN bench upgrade: a revitalized spectrograph", Bershady et. al [PDF version]..


HexPak and GradPak are two new Intergral Field Units (IFU's) that feed into the Bench Spectrograph. HexPak has a high spatial resolution core of 0.94 arcsec fibers subtending 6 arcsec in diameter, surrounded by a hexagonal array of 2.9 arcsec fibers subtending a 40.9 arcsec diameter; GradPak is a 39 X 55 arcsec rectangular array with rows of fibers varying from 1.9 arcsec to 5.6 arcsec. These new designs seek to resolve the competing needs of large grasp per fiber (telescope collecting area multiplied by the solid angle subtended by the fiber) to obtain sufficient S/N on low surface brightness features vs. smaller fibers to achieve better spatial resolution. HexPak was designed with face-on and early type galaxies in mind, with the smaller fibers to be placed on the higher surface brightness galaxy core. GradPak is ideal for edge-on systems, with the smaller fibers placed on or near the midplane. However, the use of the new IFUs is in no way restricted to these design goals; users should feel free to employ either fiber head to optimal effect for observing any type of extended object. NOTE: As they are still PI-level, rather than facility, instruments, it is necessary to work with the PI before submitting a proposal to use these new IFUs. Please read the introduction letters from the WIYN director and the instrument PI.


Hydra is a multi-object spectrometer that utilizes fiber optics placed in the focal plane to simultaneously transmit the light from numerous objects to the Bench Spectrograph that records the spectrum of each object onto a CCD detector.

The One Degree Imager

The One Degree Imager (ODI) is the flagship of WIYN's new instrument initiatives. ODI will utilize both WIYN's one degree field of view and excellent image qualtity. The focal plane of the optical imager will be sampled with 0.1" pixels, or 1 Gigapixels in total. The sharpness of images will be actively improved by correcting images for tip/tilt image motion during the integration corrections will be done over the entire field of view, using a novel detector technology called Orthogonal Transfer Array CCD, making ODI a unique and competitive instrument in the era of wide-field surveys. ODI is funded by the WIYN partners and the National Science Foundation.

pODI (ODI with a partially populated focal plane) is currently in operation at WIYN. 9 OTAs comprise the central observing area, subtending an area of approximately 25 arcminutes on a side. 4 outlier OTAs are available for guiding.


SparsePak is a sparsely packed fiber optics bundle with nearly-integral core that has a special fiber geometry designed to optimize performance for the specific scientific goal of studying the spatial distribution of the internal motions of gas and stars in nearby galaxies, but is also useful in general for the study of galactic and extra- galactic nebulae. SparsePak mounts into WIFOE, just as Densepak does. As such, Sparsepak is operated in a manner essentially identical to DensePak.


The WIYN High Resolution Infrared Camera (WHIRC) is a joint project between the WIYN partners, and STScI. WHIRC is a 2K x 2K near-infrared imager (~1 - 2.5 microns) that can be used with the WIYN Tip-Tilt Module (WTTM). WHIRC + WTTM provides a powerful combination of high spatial resolution, high sensitivity, and a moderately wide FOV (3.3'x3.4'). In good conditions WTTM can be expected to improve image quality, reducing the FWHM of point sources by ~0.1" or more. It is a general purpose instrument for a wide range of science, offering the standard broadband filters (JHK), as well as a number of narrowband filters.

Last modified: 03-Jun-2014 14:41:37 MST