27 September 2012 VISIR upgrade overview and status
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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.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Florian Kerber, Florian Kerber, Hans Ulrich Käufl, Hans Ulrich Käufl, Pedro Baksai, Pedro Baksai, Danuta Dobrzycka, Danuta Dobrzycka, Gert Finger, Gert Finger, Derek Ives, Derek Ives, Gerd Jakob, Gerd Jakob, Eric Lagadec, Eric Lagadec, Lars Lundin, Lars Lundin, Dimitri Mawet, Dimitri Mawet, Leander Mehrgan, Leander Mehrgan, Margaret Moerchen, Margaret Moerchen, Yazan Momany, Yazan Momany, Vincent Moreau, Vincent Moreau, Eric Pantin, Eric Pantin, Miguel Riquelme, Miguel Riquelme, Ralf Siebenmorgen, Ralf Siebenmorgen, Armin Silber, Armin Silber, Alain Smette, Alain Smette, Julian Taylor, Julian Taylor, Mario van den Ancker, Mario van den Ancker, Lars Venema, Lars Venema, Ueli Weilenmann, Ueli Weilenmann, Irina Yegorova, Irina Yegorova, } "VISIR upgrade overview and status", Proc. SPIE 8446, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 84460E (27 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.924979; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.924979


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