The Canarias InfraRed Camera Experiment (CIRCE) is a near-infrared (1-2.5μm) imager, polarimeter and low-resolution spectrograph operating as a visitor instrument for the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) 10.4-m telescope. It was designed and built largely by graduate students and postdocs, with help from the University of Florida (UF) astronomy engineering group, and is funded by the UF and the US National Science Foundation. CIRCE is intended to help fill the gap in near-infrared capabilities prior to the arrival of Especrografo Multiobjecto Infra-Rojo (EMIR) to the GTC and will also provide the following scientific capabilities to compliment EMIR after its arrival: high-resolution imaging, narrowband imaging, high-time-resolution photometry, imaging polarimetry, and low resolution spectroscopy. In this paper, we review the design, fabrication, integration, lab testing, and on-sky performance results for CIRCE. These include a novel approach to the opto-mechanical design, fabrication, and alignment.
- diamond-turned optics
- Gran Telescopio Canarias