After completion of its final-design review last year, it is full steam ahead for the construction of the MOONS instrument - the next generation multi-object spectrograph for the VLT. This remarkable instrument will combine for the first time: the 8 m collecting power of the VLT, 1000 optical fibres with individual robotic positioners and both medium- and high-resolution spectral coverage acreoss the wavelength range 0.65μm - 1.8 μm. Such a facility will allow a veritable host of Galactic, Extragalactic and Cosmological questions to be addressed. In this paper we will report on the current status of the instrument, details of the early testing of key components and the major milestones towards its delivery to the telescope.
We present the updated design and architecture of the End-to-End simulator model of the high resolution spectrograph HIRES for the future Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). The model allows to simulate the propagation of photons starting from the scientific object of interest up to the detector, allowing to evaluate the performance impact of the different parameters in the spectrograph design. The model also includes a calibration light module, suitable to evaluate data reduction requirements. In this paper, we will detail the architecture of the simulator and the computational model which are strongly characterized by modularity and flexibility that will be crucial in the next generation instrumentation for projects such as the ELT due to of the high complexity and long-time design and development. We also highlight the Cloud Computing Architecture adopted for this software based on Amazon Web Services (AWS). We also present synthetic images obtained with the current version of the End-to-End simulator based on the requirements for ELTHIRES (especially high radial velocity accuracy) that are then ingested in the Data reduction Software (DRS) of CRIRES+ as case study.
High resolution spectroscopy has been considered of a primary importance to exploit the main scientific cases foreseen for ESO ELT, the Extremely Large Telescope, the future largest optical-infrared telescope in the world. In this context ESO commissioned a Phase-A feasibility study for the construction of a high resolution spectrograph for the ELT, tentatively named HIRES. The study, which lasted 1.5 years, started on March 2016 and was completed with a review phase held at Garching ESO headquarters with the aim to assess the scientific and technical feasibility of the proposed instrument. One of the main tasks of the study is the architectural design of the software covering all the aspects relevant to control an astronomical instrument: from observation preparation through instrument hardware and detectors control till data reduction and analysis. In this paper we present the outcome of the Phase-A study for the proposed HIRES software design highlighting its peculiarities, critical areas and performance aspects for the whole data flow. The End-toEnd simulator, a tool already capable of simulating HIRES end products and currently being used to drive some design decision, is also shortly described.
We present the design, architecture and results of the End-to-End simulator model of the high resolution spectrograph
HIRES for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). This system can be used as a tool to characterize the
spectrograph both by engineers and scientists. The model allows to simulate the behavior of photons starting from the
scientific object (modeled bearing in mind the main science drivers) to the detector, considering also calibration light
sources, and allowing to perform evaluation of the different parameters of the spectrograph design. In this paper, we will
detail the architecture of the simulator and the computational model which are strongly characterized by modularity and
flexibility that will be crucial in the next generation astronomical observation projects like E-ELT due to of the high
complexity and long-time design and development. Finally, we present synthetic images obtained with the current
version of the End-to-End simulator based on the E-ELT HIRES requirements (especially high radial velocity accuracy).
Once ingested in the Data reduction Software (DRS), they will allow to verify that the instrument design can achieve the
radial velocity accuracy needed by the HIRES science cases.
Transmission spectroscopy facilitates the detection of molecules and/or clouds in the atmospheres of exoplanets. Such studies rely heavily on space-based or large ground-based observatories, as one needs to perform time-resolved, high signal-to-noise spectroscopy. The FORS2 instrument at ESO's Very Large Telescope is the obvious choice for performing such studies, and was indeed pioneering the field in 2010. After that, however, it was shown to suffer from systematic errors caused by the Longitudinal Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector (LADC). This was successfully addressed, leading to a renewed interest for this instrument as shown by the number of proposals submitted to perform transmission spectroscopy of exoplanets. We present here the context, the problem and how we solved it, as well as the recent results obtained. We finish by providing tips for an optimum strategy to do transmission spectroscopy with FORS2, in the hope that FORS2 may become the instrument of choice for ground-based transmission spectroscopy of exoplanets.