Field of View: 5.4"x9.6", rotatable to any position angle.
Slit width: 0.67", or 4 pixels
Pixel Scale (with D80): 0.167" per pixel.
Input: f/70 tip-tilt corrected beam.
Output: f/70 beam matched to focal plane of imaging camera.
Resolutions: High resolution is R=1300, Low resolution is R=550.
Spectral Coverage: 5,000 km/s in high resolution mode, 12,000 km/s in low resolution mode.
Velocity precision: 10-20 km/s on high signal-to-noise narrow lines.
Imaging mode: Full field imaging capability for target acquisition.
Minimal flexure, less than one pixel at the focal plane for the very largest telescope motions.
Total throughput: PIFS itself is 58%. Total system including atmosphere, telescope, and camera has a throughput of about 22%.
Sensitivity: 5x10-16 erg s-1 cm-2 at the 3-sigma level in 30 minutes of integration for a spatially and spectrally unresolved line emission source in 1-arcsecond seeing. In the best of seeing conditions (0.5 arcsec), predicted sensitivity is a K=18 (0.04 mJy) continuum source at 5-sigma in one hour of integration.
PIFS cryogen hold time: In excess of three days when sitting still.
The PIFS instrument was built in less than 2 years, and involved the creation of about 150 engineering drawings, 350 machined parts, over 500 internal machine screws, and 29 optical elements. The cost of building the instrument was phenomenally low, owing partly to the fact that the only salary involved was that of a meager graduate student. A much more significant factor in the low cost, however, is the tremendous savings in time and effort that came with taking maximum advantage of the existing infrared infrastructure at Palomar, much of which was built by Keith Matthews. This includes the infrared camera, the f/70 tip-tilt secondary, the data acquisition electronics and computer, the motor controller, and the control software. Credit also goes to James Larkin and Rob Knop, who built the HNA longslit spectrograph, pioneering the modular camera approach, and paving the way for the PIFS.
PIFS main page