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VISIR Upgrade Overview and Status

Kerber, Florian and Käufl, Hans Ulrich and Baksai, Pedro and Dobrzycka, Danuta and Finger, Gert and Ives, Derek and Jakob, Gerd and Lagadec, Eric and Lundin, Lars and Mawet, Dimitri and Mehrgan, Leander and Moerchen, Margaret and Momany, Yazan and Moreau, Vincent and Pantin, Eric and Riquelme, Miguel and Siebenmorgen, Ralf and Silber, Armin and Smette, Alain and Taylor, Julian and van den Ancker, Mario and Venema, Lars and Weilenmann, Ueli and Yegorova, Irina (2012) VISIR Upgrade Overview and Status. In: Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV. Proceedings of SPIE. No.8446. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 84460E. ISBN 9780819491473.

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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.

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Mawet, Dimitri0000-0002-8895-4735
Additional Information:© 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). September 27, 2012. The commissioning team is grateful to Paranal staff for their excellent support during the commissioning and early operations.
Subject Keywords:VISIR, VLT, mid-IR, Aquarius, upgrade, PWV, pipeline, Reflex, TIMMI 2
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:8446
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150522-074102957
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Official Citation:Florian Kerber ; Hans Ulrich Käufl ; Pedro Baksai ; Danuta Dobrzycka ; Gert Finger, et al. " VISIR upgrade overview and status ", Proc. SPIE 8446, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 84460E (September 27, 2012); doi:10.1117/12.924979;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57759
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:22 May 2015 20:43
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 08:28

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