The University of Southampton

Spectrographic Imaging Facility (SIF)

SIF is a spectrographic platform with high time and spatial resolution for studies of electron and proton aurora. The facility is a University of Southampton - University College London (UCL) collaboration and is an STFC funded project. SIF is currently located on Svalbard (about 78° north), at the Kjell Henrikson Observatory, having been recently moved from its old location at the Auroral Station in Adventdalen. The platform consists of a High Throughput Imaging Echelle Spectrograph (HiTIES), four photometers and a narrow angle (16° x 12°) auroral imager.

This is a highly compressed video sequence taken from the SIF narrow angle auroral imager. The combination of video imaging, spectrographic measurements and photometer data makes SIF a very effective and versatile instrument for auroral studies.

The spectrograph was supplied by Boston University. Currently the spectrograph has three mosaic filters.

Mosaic #1 has three spectral panels which are centred over/near important spectral features: H-beta (486.1nm), N2+ (470.9nm), N2+ (465.2nm).

Mosaic #2 has four spectral panels: H-beta (486.1nm), O+(728-740nm), O2+ (558-565nm) and O (844.6nm).

Mosaic #3 has five spectral panels: H-beta (486.1nm), H-aplha (647-661nm), N2 (405.8nm), and two H2+ panels measuring the first negative 0-1, 1-2, and 2-3 bands.

These three filter combinations allow various studies of proton and electron aurorae. The spectrograph images onto a cooled CCD, with an angular size of 0.05° across the slit and about 8° along it.

Mosaic filter #1
Mosaic filter #2
Mosaic filter #3

The second mosaic filter was designed to complement ASK and was first used during the 2005/2006 observing season. The third mosaic was first used in January 2007.

If you would like access to SIF spectrograph, photometer, or video data, please contact Prof. Betty Lanchester. See also the SIF web pages for achived data, keograms, and real time data when operating in winter dark months.

SIF is named after the Norse goddess, considered one of the most beautiful of the Æsir.

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