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Proceedings Paper

Instrumentation at the ESO VLT
Author(s): Alan F. M. Moorwood
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Paper Abstract

ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) on Paranal mountain in northern Chile comprises four 8.2m diameter 'Unit Telescopes' (also used for interferometry); four 1.8m movable outrigger telescopes dedicated to interferometry and two survey telescopes - the 2.6m VST to be used in the visible and the 4m class, infrared VISTA telescope. Here I will give an overview of the accompanying large instrument development programme which has so far delivered 11 operational facility instruments for the UT's (leaving one visitor Nasmyth focus) and 2 major instruments for the interferometric focus. In addition, a laser guide star facility has been added on UT4 to generate artificial (sodium) stars for the adaptive optics assisted instruments NACO and SINFONI; the optical and infrared cameras for the survey telescopes are almost ready; four major second generation instruments for the UTs (X-Shooter, KMOS, MUSE and SPHERE) are at various stages of development throughout Europe; a fifth (high resolution spectrograph capable of 10cm/s radial velocity stability at the incoherent combined focus of the four 8m telescopes) is the subject of a Call for Proposals; UT4 is being converted to a fully adaptive telescope and three second generation interferometric instruments (MATISSE, GRAVITY and VSI) have been approved following successful completion of their Phase A studies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 July 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 701403 (9 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.786545
Show Author Affiliations
Alan F. M. Moorwood, European Southern Observatory (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7014:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II
Ian S. McLean; Mark M. Casali, Editor(s)

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