The UKIRT Imaging SpecTrometer (UIST) operates in the near infrared wavelength region between 1 and 5 microns, with a 1024 x 1024 pixel detector array. It can be used for imaging, long slit spectroscopy, integral field spectroscopy, and polarimetry.
These multiple capabilities allow it to replace almost all the existing instrumentation on UKIRT. Due to its fine pixel scale it will enable astronomers to take advantage of the better image quality that resulted from the UKIRT Image Upgrades Programme (link opens in a new window) that was completed in 1998.
UIST can switch rapidly from imaging to spectroscopy. A novel aspect of the instrument is the incorporation of a unique design of cryogenically cooled Integral Field Unit. These facilities will be used for a wide variety of studies from velocity structure and evolution of young star disks, to understanding the dynamics and physical processes in starburst galaxies and active galactic nuclei.
UIST was delivered to UKIRT in Hawaii in July 2002, and achieved first light in September 2002.
For more technical information on UIST please visit the UIST project pages, or the UKIRT (link opens in a new window) website.