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Proceedings Paper

IR instruments for the European Southern Observatory VLT
Author(s): Alan F. M. Moorwood
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Paper Abstract

Five infrared instruments are now under development or study for ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). ISAAC (infrared spectrometer and array camera) will be the first to be installed on the first of the 8 m unit telescopes where it will provide for imaging and long slit low and medium resolution spectroscopy in the 1 - 5 micrometers range. This instrument is being developed in-house at ESO and is now in the manufacturing and integration phase with installation scheduled for 1998. CONICA (high resolution near infrared camera) is intended primarily for 1 - 5 micrometers diffraction limited imaging and has been contracted to a consortium of institutes led by the Max Planck Institut fur Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany with the Max Planck Institut fur Extraterrestrisches Physik, Garching, Germany as partner. Originally planed for coude, it has recently been redesigned for one of the Nasmyth foci of UT1 which will now be equipped with an adaptive optics system following a decision to delay installation of the coude foci. Following completion of a Phase A study, VISIR (mid-IR imager/spectrometer) has been selected as the next IR instrument and negotiation of a development contract is now in progress with the Service d'Astrophysique, Saclay, France who led the study consortium. This instrument is destined for the Cassegrain focus of UT2 and will provide both imaging and spectroscopic capabilities in the 10 micrometers and 20 micrometers windows. CRIRES (cryogenic IR echelle spectrometer), which aims for R approximately 100.000 in the 1 - 5 micrometers range, has been the subject of a concept definition study within ESO and has been rated highly enough scientifically to justify continuation of its associated immersion grating development program. NIRMOS (near IR multi-object spectrometer) has also been the subject of a concept definition study, led by the Observatoire de Meudon, and will soon enter a more detailed study phase of alternative concepts including the possibility of combining visible and near IR multi-object spectroscopy in a single instrument primarily for high redshift galaxy surveys.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 1995
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 2475, Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy, (6 June 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.211263
Show Author Affiliations
Alan F. M. Moorwood, European Southern Observatory (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2475:
Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy
Albert M. Fowler, Editor(s)

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