8 July 2014 ESPRESSO: the radial velocity machine for the VLT
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ESPRESSO is the next generation ground based European exoplanets hunter. It will combine the efficiency of modern echelle spectrograph with extreme radial-velocity and spectroscopic precision. It will be installed at Paranal's VLT in order to achieve two magnitudes gain with respect to its predecessor HARPS, and the instrumental radial-velocity precision will be improved to reach 10 cm/s level. We have constituted a Consortium of astronomical research institutes to fund, design and build ESPRESSO on behalf of and in collaboration with ESO, the European Southern Observatory. The spectrograph will be installed at the Combined Coudé Laboratory (CCL) of the VLT, it will be linked to the four 8.2 meters Unit Telescopes through four optical "Coudé trains" and will be operated either with a single telescope or with up to four UTs, enabling an additional 1.5 magnitude gain. Thanks to its characteristics and ability of combining incoherently the light of 4 large telescopes, ESPRESSO will offer new possibilities in many fields of astronomy. Our main scientific objectives are, however, the search and characterization of rocky exoplanets in the habitable zone of quiet, near-by G to M-dwarfs, and the analysis of the variability of fundamental physical constants. The project is, for most of its workpackages, in the procurement or development phases, and the CCL infrastructure is presently under adaptation work. In this paper, we present the scientific objectives, the capabilities of ESPRESSO, the technical solutions for the system and its subsystems. The project aspects of this facility are also described, from the consortium and partnership structure to the planning phases and milestones.
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Denis Mégevand, Denis Mégevand, Filippo M. Zerbi, Filippo M. Zerbi, Paolo Di Marcantonio, Paolo Di Marcantonio, Alexandre Cabral, Alexandre Cabral, Marco Riva, Marco Riva, Manuel Abreu, Manuel Abreu, Francesco Pepe, Francesco Pepe, Stefano Cristiani, Stefano Cristiani, Rafael Rebolo Lopez, Rafael Rebolo Lopez, Nuno C. Santos, Nuno C. Santos, Hans Dekker, Hans Dekker, Matteo Aliverti, Matteo Aliverti, Carlos Allende, Carlos Allende, Manuel Amate, Manuel Amate, Gerardo Avila, Gerardo Avila, Veronica Baldini, Veronica Baldini, Timothy Bandy, Timothy Bandy, Paul Bristow, Paul Bristow, Christopher Broeg, Christopher Broeg, Roberto Cirami, Roberto Cirami, João Coelho, João Coelho, Paolo Conconi, Paolo Conconi, Igor Coretti, Igor Coretti, Guido Cupani, Guido Cupani, Valentina D'Odorico, Valentina D'Odorico, Vincenzo De Caprio, Vincenzo De Caprio, Bernard Delabre, Bernard Delabre, Reinhold Dorn, Reinhold Dorn, Pedro Figueira, Pedro Figueira, Ana Fragoso, Ana Fragoso, Samuele Galeotta, Samuele Galeotta, Ludovic Genolet, Ludovic Genolet, Ricardo Gomes, Ricardo Gomes, Jonay González Hernández, Jonay González Hernández, Ian Hughes, Ian Hughes, Olaf Iwert, Olaf Iwert, Florian Kerber, Florian Kerber, Marco Landoni, Marco Landoni, Jean-Louis Lizon, Jean-Louis Lizon, Christophe Lovis, Christophe Lovis, Charles Maire, Charles Maire, Marco Mannetta, Marco Mannetta, Carlos C. J. A. P. Martins, Carlos C. J. A. P. Martins, Paolo Molaro, Paolo Molaro, Manuel A. S. Monteiro, Manuel A. S. Monteiro, Manuele Moschetti, Manuele Moschetti, Antonio Oliveira, Antonio Oliveira, Maria Rosa Zapatero Osorio, Maria Rosa Zapatero Osorio, Ennio Poretti, Ennio Poretti, José Luis Rasilla, José Luis Rasilla, Samuel Santana Tschudi, Samuel Santana Tschudi, Pedro Santos, Pedro Santos, Danuta Sosnowska, Danuta Sosnowska, Sérgio Sousa, Sérgio Sousa, Fabio Tenegi, Fabio Tenegi, Giorgio Toso, Giorgio Toso, Eros Vanzella, Eros Vanzella, Matteo Viel, Matteo Viel, "ESPRESSO: the radial velocity machine for the VLT", Proc. SPIE 9147, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V, 91471H (8 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2055816; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2055816

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