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Proceedings Paper

ESPRESSO: projecting a rocky exoplanet hunter for the VLT
Author(s): Denis Mégevand; José-Miguel Herreros; Filippo Zerbi; Alexandre Cabral; Paolo Di Marcantonio; Christophe Lovis; Francesco Pepe; Stefano Cristiani; Rafael Rebolo; Nuno C. Santos
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Paper Abstract

ESPRESSO is a high-resolution, highly stable spectrograph for the VLT. It will inherit and enhance most capabilities from HARPS and UVES, combining both stability and efficiency. The main science driver will be the detection and characterization of Earth-like planets, but many additional science cases will benefit from its highly stable spectroscopic observations. The facility will be installed at the combined Coudé focus of the VLT and may be linked with any of the four UT telescopes, enabling thus a great flexibility for the efficient use of telescope time. This particularity makes the interface with the VLT more complex than for an instrument fed by a single telescope. It impacts on the complexity of the relationship between the consortium providing the instrument and ESO, the customer. The targeted high RV accuracy requires very high performances in stability and resolution, which in turn require adequate technical solutions at several levels. This paper describes the instrument system and subsystems, enlightening the most valuable differences between ESPRESSO and it's predecessors, the details of the project, entering now the design phases, the ESPRESSO consortium, composed of Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swiss institutes, and the relationship between the consortium and ESO.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 July 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77354Y (20 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856656
Show Author Affiliations
Denis Mégevand, Observatoire de l'Univ. de Genève (Switzerland)
José-Miguel Herreros, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Filippo Zerbi, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (Italy)
Alexandre Cabral, LOLS-CAAUL, Univ. of Lisbon (Portugal)
Paolo Di Marcantonio, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste (Italy)
Christophe Lovis, Observatoire de l'Univ. de Genève (Switzerland)
Francesco Pepe, Observatoire de l'Univ. de Genève (Switzerland)
Stefano Cristiani, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste (Italy)
Rafael Rebolo, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Nuno C. Santos, Univ. do Porto (Portugal)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7735:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III
Ian S. McLean; Suzanne K. Ramsay; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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