ING Banner
Home > Astronomy > AutoFib2+WYFFOS
Text: Normal textBigger tyextBold text


Before Observing


After Observing


For ING staff

Lilian Domínguez
AF2 Instrument Specialist



AutoFib2+WYFFOS (AF2) is the multi-object, wide-field, fibre spectrograph working at the Prime focus of the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope (WHT). It contains 150 science fibres each of 1.6 arcsec diameter, and 10 fiducial bundles for acquisition and guiding. At the Prime focus, the fibres are placed onto a field plate by the robot positioner Autofib2 at user-defined sky coordinates. Object light is transmitted along fibres 26 metres in length to the Wide Field Fibre Optical Spectrograph (WYFFOS). The path from Prime focus to the spectrograph consists of a prism, fibre button, 26 metres of fibre, finger, microlens and the facet block.


August 2013: AF2/WYFFOS has received several performance-enhancing upgrades during 2013A, and is offered to observers for 2014A.

(1) The rms accuracy with which science targets can be acquired onto fibres has been substantially improved, via: implementation of a new automatic field-acquisition tool; better characterisation of geometric distortions in the focal plane; and an improved algorithm for fibre placement.

(2) A new 4k x 4k red-sensitive CCD with very low-fringing, Red+4, has been successfully commissioned and is offered as the default detector for WYFFOS.

(3) New calibration lamps (a QTH continuum lamp and ThAr, Cd and Zn arc lamps), have been purchased and tested.

In addition, an extensive investigation of the throughput of AF2/WYFFOS has been carried out, including on-sky throughput measurements with both the Red+4 and WHTWFC detectors, and microscopic inspection of all fibre input-end microprisms.

A more detailed description of the recent enhancements and investigations can be found here.

Teams considering submission of an AF2 proposal are encouraged to contact the AF2 instrument specialist if they have any queries.

February 2013: The AF2/WYFFOS multi-fibre spectrograph will be available in 2013B on a shared-risks basis.
Recent work has confirmed that imperfect acquisition and guiding were contributing significantly to the low throughput noted by observers. Preliminary tests indicate that new procedures improve the acquisition accuracy to better than 0.4 arcsec rms out to 15 arcmin from the center (the nominal unvignetted maximum field radius is 20 arcmin), and we expect that ongoing planned work will yield further improvements before 2013B. For reference, an offset of 0.5" leads to ~20% aperture loss from a point source (seeing of 0.5"-1.5" FWHM), when compared to the corresponding flux for a perfectly centered fibre.
We also expect to offer 2013B observers a new low-fringing detector for use with AF2: the 4k*4k REDPLUS CCD.
AF2's availability in 2013B will be on a shared-risks basis because the on-sky tests of the new acquisition software, and the commissioning of the new CCD are not yet complete.
Teams considering submission of an AF2 proposal are encouraged to notify the AF2 instrument specialist.

August 2012: AF2/WYFFOS is not offered in the semester 2013A, to allow implementation of a number of upgrades aimed at a significant improvement in acquisition accuracy and system throughput. The upgrades are expected to address the low-throughput issues recently reported by observers.

Top | Back

Contact:  (AF2 Instrument Specialist)
Last modified: 15 August 2013