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Proceedings Paper

ESO instrumentation for the La Silla/Paranal Observatory
Author(s): Mark M. Casali
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Paper Abstract

The first-generation instrument development programme for the VLT/I has now come to a close. The delivered instruments which have served the astronomical community since first light at Paranal in 1998, have provided astronomers with general purpose capabilities covering the available wavelength range from the UV to mid infrared. The second-generation programme has now begun with delivery of X-shooter, and a further six new instruments (SPHERE, MUSE, KMOS, ESPRESSO, GRAVITY, MATISSE) are under construction, marking a transition to more specialised scientific capabilities designed for a more limited but very ambitious set of science goals. In addition, instrumentation at La Silla telescopes continues to be effective in producing scientific results, especially through the planet-finder HARPS on the 3.6m. Future plans should see a transfer of resources to E-ELT instrument construction while new instrument development for the VLT will continue, but at a slower pace.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 July 2010
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 773503 (14 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856902
Show Author Affiliations
Mark M. Casali, European Southern Observatory (Germany)


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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