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30 September 2004 Facility instruments for the GTC
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The Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC1) 10m telescope is now being integrated at the ORM, in La Palma Spain. Likewise, three instruments are being prepared for first light and, as of this writing, are about to start their laboratory integration. These first light instruments are: 1) OSIRIS, a large field of view imager and multi-object spectrograph, optimized for tuneable filter imaging, 2) ELMER a very sensitive imager and spectrograph, also for the visible range, and 3) CANARICAM, a diffraction-limited imager, spectrograph, polarimeter and coronagrapher for the mid-IR. The GTC set of first light instruments will offer some special observational capabilities to the astronomical community, namely Tuneable filter Imaging in OSIRIS, fast spectroscopy and photometry in both, ELMER and OSIRIS, and 10 microns Coronagraphy and Polarimetry with CANARICAM. Yet another instrument, EMIR, a large field, near-IR multi-object spectrograph and imager is in the Detailed Design phase. EMIR will be the first of the GTC second generation set of instruments. At the planning stage are several future instruments that will arrive to the GTC with different calendars after Day One. In particular, FRIDA, a near-IR diffraction-limited imager and spectrograph, that will operate with the GTC Adaptive Optics system. FRIDA's conceptual design is being started by a consortium lead by UNAM (Mexico) and in which the IAC and the University of Florida also participate. FRIDA should be at the telescope by the time that the AO system is having first light. This is expected by late 2007 early 2008. There is interest in the GTC community for installing visiting instruments on the GTC, thus the GTC board is discussing a policy to allow visitor instruments, some of which have already been proposed to be hosted by the GTC. In particular, CIRCE is a near IR camera that is being built by the Department of Astronomy of the University of Florida in Gainesville for the GTC using private funds, under the GTC visitor instrument scheme. CIRCE should bridge the gap between Day One and the arrival of EMIR enabling near IR imaging capabilities to the GTC.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jose Miguel Rodriguez Espinosa, Maria Luisa Garcia-Vargas, and Peter L. Hammersley "Facility instruments for the GTC", Proc. SPIE 5492, Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy, (30 September 2004);

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