The Need For Standardization

Alan T. Tokunaga
Institute for Astronomy
University of Hawaii

01 May 2005

There is no standard set of J, H, K, K', Ks, L', and M' filters in use in infrared astronomy. Therefore I have been organizing group filter purchases in order to promote the use of a standard filter set as well as to reduce the cost of filters for instruments. This will lead to a greater degree of commonality in infrared photometric systems and to lower systematic errors in transforming from one system to another.

A main objective in defining the filter bandpasses was to reduce the effects of the atmosphere as much as possible while retaining as high a throughput as possible. We also wanted to minimize the color transformations between a high altitude site such as Mauna Kea to a lower altitude site.

This filters set, named the "Mauna Kea Observatories Near-Infrared Filter Set" are described in the following papers: Simons&Tokunaga, Paper I (469 KB), Tokunaga et al., Paper II (164 KB), and Tokunaga & Vacca, Paper III (156 KB).

These filters have been adopted by the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, Gemini Observatories, Subaru Telescope, Keck Observatory, United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, UH 2.2-m Telescope, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, Anglo-Australian Observatory, California Institute of Technology, Cambridge Univ., Carnegie Institution, Center for Astrophysics, Cornell Univ., European Southern Observatory, Korean Astronomy Observatory, MPI-Heidelberg, MPE-Garching, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Kiso Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatories, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Nordic Optical Telescope, Ohio State Univ., Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Subaru Telescope, Univ. of Grenoble, Univ. of California Berkeley, Univ. of California Los Angeles, Univ. of Kyoto, Univ. of Wyoming, the VLT, William Herschel Telescope, and many others.