The central golden cylinder houses a NICMOS 3 infrared array. This small test dewar is currently serving as a preliminary infrared camera for the ChAOS adaptive optics system at Apache Point Observatory.
The final infrared dewar is complete and will ultimately house an infrared spectrograph for the ChAOS system. For more details on the infrared system see the infrared camera page
Infrared spectrograph jointly built with Robert Knop at Caltech. The spectrograph is the long red cylinder in the middle. The instrument works from 1 to 5 microns and disperses light into either of two infrared cameras (like the blue dewar shown here). The spectrograph is shown mounted to the Cassegrain focus of the Palomar 200 inch Hale Telescope.
The infrared spectrograph is again shown mounted to the Hale Telescope. The dewar is inside the cage at the lower right of the photograph. Note for scale that the dewar is 5'4" tall!!
Me (James) riding in the Cassegrain cage during an alignment procedure.