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Status and Availability

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NIFS has been available since semester 2006B for classical and queue scheduled observing at Gemini-North.

January 2013: On Instrument Wave Front Sensor (OIWFS) is unavailable due to a faulty sensor.

October 2012: New 'LGS+P1' guide mode is now operational, allowing 'seeing improver' AO correction with essentially 100% sky coverage.

NIFS shares the up-looking port with other instruments. Instrument swaps are determined on the basis of RA demand of the successful programs and therefore proposers should only limit their target lists to the general semester availability (see the current call for proposals for further details).

NIFS is available for 3D spectroscopy with or without ALTAIR (NGS or LGS).

Coronagraphy: Only the 0."2 and 0."5 masks are available. The 0".1 occulting mask, although visible in the OT, is not currently offered for general observations.

Previous News Items

Jan & Feb 2006:

NIFS SV observations were executed (data are available through the GSA).


November 28, 2005:

NIFS call for System Verification (SV) proposals was issued.

November 19, 2005:

NIFS on-sky commissioning observations are completed. Data reduction and analysis is underway. The instrument performed wonderfully during commissioning tests.

October 19, 2005:

NIFS First Light on the sky at Mauna Kea!

August 23, 2005:

NIFS arrives at Mauna Kea. Unpacking, instrument check-outs, and pre-telescope characterization begins.

August 2005:

NIFS passes acceptance tests in Canberra, Australia and is cleared for delivery to Mauna Kea.

March 2003:

NIFS to be rebuilt! Estimate for delivery is expected to be during the 3rd quarter 2005.

January 2003:

NIFS destroyed by a bushfire that did widespread damage to the historic Mt. Stromlo Observatory in Canberra. For the full story, click here.