Hector: a modular integral field spectrograph instrument for the Anglo-Australian Telescope

Julia J. Bryant, Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Jon Lawrence, Will Saunders, Robert Content, Scott Croom, Sudharshan Venkatesan, Mahesh Mohanan, Rebecca Brown, Adeline Wang, Ross Zhelem, Peter Gillingham, Robert Patterson, Helen McGregor, Warrick Couch, Jesse Van De Sande, Richard McDermid, Sergio Leon-Saval

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Based on the success of the SAMI integral field spectrograph (IFS) instrument on the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) the capacity for large IFS nearby galaxy surveys on the AAT is being substantially expanded with a new instrument called Hector. The high filling-fraction imaging fibre bundles 'hexabundles' of the type used on SAMI, are being enlarged to cover up to 30-arcsec diameter. The aim is to reach two effective radii on most galaxies, where the galaxy rotation curve flattens and >75% of the specific angular momentum of disk galaxies is accounted for. Driven by the key science case, Hector will have a 1.3A spectral resolution, enabling high-order stellar kinematics to be measured on a larger fraction of galaxies than with any other IFS instrument. Hector will be on sky in 2019. The first module of Hector, Hector-I, will have 21 hexabundles and >42 sky fibres to observe 20 galaxies and a calibration star simultaneously. It consists of new blue and red-arm spectrographs that have been designed at the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO; now called AAO-Macquarie), coupled to the new hexabundles and robotic positioner from AAO-USydney (formerly the Sydney Astrophotonics Instrumentation Laboratory, SAIL) at Sydney University. A novel robotic positioning concept will compensate for varying telecentricity over the 2-degree-field of the AAT to recoup the 20% loss in light at the edge of the field. Hector-I will survey 15,000 galaxies. Additional modules in the future would result in 30,000 galaxies. Hector will take integral field spectroscopy on galaxies with z<0.15 in the 4MOST WAVES-North and WAVES-South- regions. The WAVES data, which will come later, will give the environment metrics neces- sary to relate how local and global environments influence galaxy growth through gas accretion, star formation and spins measured with Hector. The WALLABY ASKAP† survey will trace HI gas across the Hector fields, which in combination with Hector will give a complete view of gas accretion and star formation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII
EditorsChristopher J. Evans, Luc Simard, Hideki Takami
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781510619586
ISBN (Print)9781510619579
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2018
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: 10 Jun 201814 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • AAT
  • fibre positioner
  • Hector
  • hexabundles
  • IFS
  • IFU
  • spectroscopy


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