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Hubble Space Telescope
Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph

STIS Instrument Design

In this section we provide a high-level summary of the basic design and operation of the STIS, concentrating on the information most relevant to your HST observing proposal.

The STIS uses two-dimensional detectors operating from the ultraviolet to the near infrared. First-order gratings cover the full spectral range and are designed for spatially resolved spectroscopy using a long slit. The echelle grating, available only in the ultraviolet, are designed to maximize the spectral coverage in single observations of point sources. The STIS Flight Software supports onboard target acquisitions and peakups to place targets on slits and coronographic mask or occulting bars. The STIS optics and detectors have been designed to exploit HST's high spatial resolution.

The STIS optical design includes corrective optics to compensate for HST's spherical aberration, a telescope focal-plane slit-wheel assembly, collimating optics, a grating-selection mechanism, fixed optics, and camera focal-plane detectors. An independent calibration-lamp assembly can illuminate the focal plane with a range of continuum and emission lamps.

Woodgate et al. (1998, PASP, 110, 1183) provides an excellent description of the STIS design.