The ESO Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) has been in construction since 2014. In parallel with the construction of the telescope, ESO has entered into agreements with consortia in the ESO member states to build the first instruments for that telescope. To meet the telescope science goals, the ambitious instrument plan includes two instruments for first light: an optical to near-infrared integral field spectrograph with a dedicated adaptive optics system (HARMONI) and a near-infrared camera with simple spectrograph (MICADO) behind a multi-conjugate adaptive optics module (MAORY). The next instrument will be a mid-infrared imager and spectrograph (METIS). Plans to follow this first suite of instruments include a high-resolution spectrograph (HIRES) and a multi-object spectrograph (MOSAIC). Technology development is underway to prepare for building the ELT Planetary Camera and Spectrograph. An overview of the telescope and its instruments is given.
In this paper we will report on the status of the instrumentation project for the European Southern Observatory's Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). Three instruments are in the construction phase: HARMONI, MICADO and METIS. The multi-conjugate adaptive optics system for MICADO, MAORY, is also under development. Preliminary Design Reviews of all of these systems are planned to be completed by mid-2019. The construction of a laser tomographic module for HARMONI is part of "Phase 2" of the ELT: the design has been advanced to Preliminary Design level in order to define the interface to the HARMONI spectrograph. Preparations for the next instruments have also been proceeding in parallel with the development of these instruments. Conceptual design studies for the multi-object spectrograph MOSAIC, and for the high resolution spectrograph HIRES have been completed and reviewed. We present the current design of each of these instruments and will summarise the work ongoing at ESO related to their development.
A suite of seven instruments and associated AO systems have been planned as the "E-ELT Instrumentation Roadmap". Following the E-ELT project approval in December 2014, rapid progress has been made in organising and signing the agreements for construction with European universities and institutes. Three instruments (HARMONI, MICADO and METIS) and one MCAO module (MAORY) have now been approved for construction. In addition, Phase-A studies have begun for the next two instruments - a multi-object spectrograph and high-resolution spectrograph. Technology development is also ongoing in preparation for the final instrument in the roadmap, the planetary camera and spectrograph. We present a summary of the status and capabilities of this first set of instruments for the E-ELT.
The modifications to the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) baseline design were accompanied by an evaluation of their impact on science. We will present the conclusions of this evaluation. The Design Reference Mission served as the benchmark for the evaluation. None of the modifications critically affect the Science Case. In particular, the full instrumentation suite can still be implemented allowing for the full foreseen suite of science cases. The largest impact is induced by the reduced diameter. For a large fraction of the science cases this can be offset by increasing the exposure times by ~20% to 34%. Where spatial resolution is the limiting factor, the limits have to be reduced by 9%. The exoplanet case deserves a special mention: two of the three components of this case (detection of Earth twins by the radial velocity method, and characterisation of the atmospheres of transiting planets) are unaffected; for the third component (direct imaging of Earth-like planets) the same results as for the original baseline can be achieved, but only at 20% smaller distances. Overall, all of the major science cases of the E-ELT can essentially be maintained.