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Proceedings Paper

VISIR upgrade overview and status
Author(s): Florian Kerber; Hans Ulrich Käufl; Pedro Baksai; Danuta Dobrzycka; Gert Finger; Derek Ives; Gerd Jakob; Eric Lagadec; Lars Lundin; Dimitri Mawet; Leander Mehrgan; Margaret Moerchen; Yazan Momany; Vincent Moreau; Eric Pantin; Miguel Riquelme; Ralf Siebenmorgen; Armin Silber; Alain Smette; Julian Taylor; Mario van den Ancker; Lars Venema; Ueli Weilenmann; Irina Yegorova
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Paper Abstract

We present an overview of the VISIR upgrade project. VISIR is the mid-infrared imager and spectrograph at ESO’s VLT. The project team is comprised of ESO staff and members of the original VISIR consortium: CEA Saclay and ASTRON. The project plan is based on input from the ESO user community with the goal of enhancing the scientific performance and efficiency of VISIR by a combination of measures: installation of improved hardware, optimization of instrument operations and software support. The cornerstone of the upgrade is the 1k by 1k Si:As Aquarius detector array (Raytheon) which has demonstrated very good performance (sensitivity, stability) in the laboratory IR detector test facility (modified TIMMI 2 instrument). A prism spectroscopic mode will cover the N-band in a single observation. New scientific capabilities for high resolution and high-contrast imaging will be offered by sub-aperture mask (SAM) and phase-mask coronagraphic (4QPM/AGPM) modes. In order to make optimal use of favourable atmospheric conditions a water vapour monitor has been deployed on Paranal, allowing for real-time decisions and the introduction of a userdefined constraint on water vapour. Improved pipelines based on the ESO Reflex concept will provide better support to astronomers. The upgraded VISIR will be a powerful instrument providing background limited performance for diffraction-limited observations at an 8-m telescope. It will offer synergy with facilities such as ALMA, JWST, VLTI and SOFIA, while a wealth of targets is available from survey work (e.g. VISTA, WISE). In addition it will bring confirmation of the technical readiness and scientific value of several aspects of potential mid-IR instrumentation at Extremely Large Telescopes. The intervention on VISIR and installation of hardware has been completed in July and commissioning will take place during July and August. VISIR is scheduled to be available to the users starting Oct 2012.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8446, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 84460E (27 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.924979
Show Author Affiliations
Florian Kerber, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Hans Ulrich Käufl, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Pedro Baksai, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Danuta Dobrzycka, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Gert Finger, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Derek Ives, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Gerd Jakob, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Eric Lagadec, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Lars Lundin, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Dimitri Mawet, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Leander Mehrgan, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Margaret Moerchen, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Leiden Observatory, Leiden Univ. (Netherlands)
Yazan Momany, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Vincent Moreau, CEA Saclay, DSM/DAPNIA/Service d'Astrophysique (France)
Eric Pantin, CEA Saclay, DSM/DAPNIA/Service d'Astrophysique (France)
Miguel Riquelme, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Ralf Siebenmorgen, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Armin Silber, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Alain Smette, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Julian Taylor, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Mario van den Ancker, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Lars Venema, NOVA - ASTRON (Netherlands)
Ueli Weilenmann, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Irina Yegorova, European Southern Observatory (Chile)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8446:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV
Ian S. McLean; Suzanne K. Ramsay; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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