The CRIRES upgrade project (CRIRES+) will improve the performance and observing efficiency of the successful adaptive optics (AO) assisted CRIRES instrument. CRIRES was in operation from 2006 to 2014 at the 8m UT1 (Unit Telescope) of the Very Large Telescope (VLT, Cerro Paranal, Chile) observatory accessing a parameter space (wavelength range and spectral resolution) largely uncharted back then.
CRIRES+ will be commissioned in summer 2018 at UT3 of the VLT. It will provide a spectral resolution of R=50.000 or 100.000 in an accessible wavelength range of 0.95 – 5.3 μm (YJHKLM bands). For each band there is a separate, performance optimized reflection grating as the cross dispersing element. The slit length of 10 arcsec will provide, in combination with the new focal plane array of three HAWAII 2RG detectors, cross-dispersed (7 – 9 orders simultaneous) echelle spectra. In total, the observing efficiency will be improved by a factor of 10 comparing CRIRES+ and CRIRES. Furthermore, the upgraded instrument will be equipped with a number of novel wavelength calibration units, including a gas absorption cell optimized for use in K band and an etalon system. A spectro-polarimetric unit will allow the recording of circular and linear polarized spectra. The new metrology system will ensure a very high system stability and repeatability. Last but not least the upgrade will be supported by dedicated data reduction software allowing the community to take full advantage of the new capabilities.
The full system is being integrated at ESO and system testing has commenced. Acceptance of the instrument in Europe (PAE) is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018. Commissioning at the VLT observatory will start mid 2018. This article gives an overview of the final configuration of the instrument. The instrument will be available to the astronomic community from Spring 2019 with a call for proposals in October 2018.
Roman Follert, Reinhold J. Dorn, Anna Brucalassi, Paul Bristow, Artie Hatzes, Ulf Seemann, Nikolai Piskunov, Alexis Lavail, Barbara Klein, Claudio Cumani, Christophe Moins, Derek Ives, Eric Stempels, Ernesto Oliva, Ignacio Molina-Conde, Jean Louis Lizon, Marcus Haug, Siegfried Eschbaumer, Thomas Marquart, Ulrike Heiter, Sebastien Tordo, Renate Hinterschuster, Yves Jung, Jérôme Paufique, Andreas Haimerl, Jörg Stegmeier, Jean-Paul Kirchbauer, Christoph Schmidt, Elena Valenti, Luca Pasquini, Ansgar Reiners, Heiko Anwand-Heerwart, Katja Hauptner, Tim Umlauf, Peter Jeep, Petra Rhode, and Christopher Marvin, "CRIRES+ on its way to VLT (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10702, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII, 107020E (Presented at SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation: June 10, 2018; Published: 9 July 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2314150.5807158889001.
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