This paper describes the Wide Field Spectrograph (WiFeS) under construction at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) of the Australian National University (ANU) for the ANU 2.3 m telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory. WiFeS is a powerful integral field, double-beam, concentric, image-slicing spectrograph designed to deliver excellent throughput, wavelength stability, spectrophotometric performance and superb image quality along with wide spectral coverage throughout the 320–950 nm wavelength region. It provides a 25×38 arcsec field with 0.5 arcsec sampling along each of twenty five 38×1 arcsec slitlets. The output format is optimized to match the 4096×4096 pixel CCD detectors in each of two cameras individually optimized for the blue and the red ends of the spectrum, respectively. A process of “interleaved nod-and-shuffle” will be applied to permit quantum noise-limited sky subtraction. Using VPH gratings, spectral resolutions of 3000 and 7000 are provided. The full spectral range is covered in a single exposure at R=3000, and in two exposures in the R=7000 mode. The use of transmissive coated optics, VPH gratings and optimized mirror coatings ensures a throughput (including telescope atmosphere and detector) >30% over a wide spectral range. The concentric image-slicer design ensures an excellent and uniform image quality across the full field. To maximize scientific return, the whole instrument is configured for remote observing, pipeline data reduction, and the accumulation of calibration image libraries.
Instruments: optical Instruments: integral field unit