Instrument Modes:

NIFS is a near-IR (0.95 – 2.40 micron) integral field spectrograph that can be used with and without the ALTAIR AO system. A coronagraphic mode is available.

Instrument design and use:

The Gemini web pages on NIFS provided a detailed discussion. An overview of the instrument design can be found in McGregor, P, Hart, J., Conroy, P. et al. 2003, SPIE, 4841.  A schematic of the optical layout is presented on the Documents section of the NIFS Gemini web page. Arguably the most significant point is that NIFS employs a slitlet design to achieve integral field.

Data reduction:

Links discussing the reduction of NIFS data can be found on the Data-and-Results Getting Started page on the Gemini web site. The reduction tools discussed use the Gemini IRAF NIFS package. Information on these is available by using the help command for each tool (i.e. Gemini iraf “nifsinfo”, “help nifs”, “nifs examples calibration”, (science, telluric)).

Richard McDermid presented two tutorials on NIFS data reduction one (available here) at the  2010 Gemini Data Reduction Workshop and a second (available here) at the 2011 South American Gemini Data Workshop.  The two presentations are similar and very detailed (~55 pages), and explain the Gemini IRAF nifs procedures in detail. The presentations provide essentially a reduction cookbook for an example dataset and offer advice on topics such as different ways possible to merge the data, etc. The data for the 2011 tutorial from the workshop web site can be downloaded by clicking here.  The same basic information can be found on the Gemini web pages under the Instruments section, NIFS, Data Format and Reduction.   This page also provides links to Gemini IRAF NIFS packages, a listing of the information that is given by typing “nifsinfo” in an IRAF session, and links to the 2010 Gemini Data Reduction Workshop version of McDermid's talk.  The data for that talk can be downloaded by clicking here

The 2011 Australian Data workshop did not discuss NIFS but did have some general discussion of IFU data reduction techniques including links to an integral field spectroscopy wiki, which has extensive discussions of IFU reduction issues:  There is not much here that is specific to NIFS (that instrument section is unedited) except for references to Frank Valdes’ gemcube/nifcube.

There is NIFS-relevant information in specifically NIFS spectral template examples in the Gemini template library. 

Another discussion of a procedure for reducing NIFS data cubes can be found in Menezes, R.B., Steiner, J.E., & Ricci, T.V. 2014, MNRAS, 438, 2597

Bolton and Burles have written an IDL package for IFU data.  To our knowledge this package has not been used with NIFS data but it provides an interesting possibility for users that have an IDL license.


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Last updated or reviewed August 31, 2015.