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Applying for time



For ING staff

Ian Skillen
ISIS Instrument Specialist
Marie Karjalainen
ISIS Polarisation Specialist
ISIS/QUCAM Specialist


ISIS on the Cassegrain focus of the WHT

The Intermediate dispersion Spectrograph and Imaging System (ISIS) is mounted at the Cassegrain focus of the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope. ISIS is a high-efficiency, double-armed, medium-resolution (8-121 Å/mm) spectrograph, capable of long-slit work up to ~4' slit length and ~22" slit width. Use of dichroic filters permits simultaneous observing in the blue and red arms, with a ~200Å wavelength range of reduced throughput at the dichroic crossover from reflection to transmission. Both arms are optimised for their respective wavelength ranges. Linear and circular spectropolarimetry, and imaging polarimetry modes are also available.

The CCD currently in use on the blue arm of ISIS is a thinned, blue-sensitive EEV12, an array of 4096×2048 (13.5 micron) pixels. This is the default device for the ISIS blue arm. The default detector for the ISIS red arm is RED+. It is a red-sensitive array of 4096×2048 (15.0 micron) pixels with almost no fringing.

An Image Slicer was commissioned in semester 2014A, and is currently offered on a shared risks basis. The image slicer limits loss of light at the entrance slit of the spectrograph, allowing the maximum spectral resolution of the spectrograph to be attained with greater throughput in modest seeing conditions.

For fast or faint-object spectroscopy, two EMCCDs (QUCAM2 and QUCAM3) are available for both arms of ISIS. They provide high-speed spectroscopic capability (to about 10Hz) with very little dead time and essentially zero read noise. EMCCDs have distinctive features and optimising their use depends critically on the scientific goals.

In 2012 the ISIS 4MS controllers were replaced by a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) system which offers improved reliability and faster mechanism movements.

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Contact:  (ISIS Instrument Specialist)
Last modified: 12 September 2017