CARMENES is the new high-resolution high-stability spectrograph built for the 3.5m telescope at the Calar Alto Observatory (CAHA, Almería, Spain) by a consortium formed by German and Spanish institutions. This instrument is composed by two separated spectrographs: VIS channel (550-1050 nm) and NIR channel (950- 1700 nm). The NIR-channel spectrograph's responsible is the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAACSIC). It has been manufactured, assembled, integrated and verified in the last two years, delivered in fall 2015 and commissioned in December 2015.<p> </p> One of the most challenging systems in this cryogenic channel involves the Cooling System. Due to the highly demanding requirements applicable in terms of stability, this system arises as one of the core systems to provide outstanding stability to the channel. Really at the edge of the state-of-the-art, the Cooling System is able to provide to the cold mass (~1 Ton) better thermal stability than few hundredths of degree within 24 hours (goal: 0.01K/day). <p> </p>The present paper describes the Assembly, Integration and Verification phase (AIV) of the CARMENES-NIR channel Cooling System implemented at IAA-CSIC and later installation at CAHA 3.5m Telescope, thus the most relevant highlights being shown in terms of thermal performance. <p> </p>The CARMENES NIR-channel Cooling System has been implemented by the IAA-CSIC through very fruitful collaboration and involvement of the ESO (European Southern Observatory) cryo-vacuum department with Jean-Louis Lizon as its head and main collaborator. The present work sets an important trend in terms of cryogenic systems for future E-ELT (European Extremely Large Telescope) large-dimensioned instrumentation in astrophysics.
CARMENES is the new high-resolution high-stability spectrograph built for the 3.5m telescope at the Calar Alto Observatory (CAHA, Almería, Spain) by a consortium formed by German and Spanish institutions. This instrument is composed by two separated spectrographs: VIS channel (550-1050 nm) and NIR channel (950- 1700 nm). The NIR-channel spectrograph's responsible institution is the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, IAA-CSIC. <p> </p>The contouring conditions have led CARMENES-NIR to be a schedule-driven project with a extremely tight plan. The operation start-up was mandatory to be before the end of 2015. This plays in contradiction to the very complex, calm-requiring tasks and development phases faced during the AIV, which has been fully designed and implemented at IAA through a very ambitious, zero-contingency plan. As a large cryogenic instrument, this plan includes necessarily a certain number cryo-vacuum cycles, this factor being the most important for the overall AIV duration. Indeed, each cryo-vacuum cycle of the NIR channel runs during 3 weeks. This plan has therefore been driven to minimize the amount of cryo-vacuum cycles. <p> </p>Such huge effort has led the AIV at system level at IAA lab to be executed in 9 months from start to end -an astonishingly short duration for a large cryogenic, complex instrument like CARMENES NIR- which has been fully compliant with the final deadline of the installation of the NIR channel at CAHA 3.5m telescope. The detailed description of this planning, as well as the way how it was actually performed, is the main aim of the present paper.
PANIC is the new PAnoramic Near-Infrared camera for Calar Alto, a joint project by the MPIA in Heidelberg, Germany,
and the IAA in Granada, Spain. It can be operated at the 2.2m or 3.5m CAHA telescopes to observe a field of view of
30'x30' or 15'x15' respectively, with a sampling of 4096x4096 pixels. It is designed for the spectral bands from Z to K,
and can be equipped with additional narrow-band filters.
The instrument is close to completion and will be delivered to the observatory in Spain in fall 2014. It is currently in the
last stage of assembly, where the optical elements are being aligned, which will be followed by final laboratory tests of
the instrument. This paper contains an update of the recent progress and shows results from the optical alignment and
detector performance tests.