Foreseen Changes regarding La Silla, Paranal and APEX Instrumentation and Facilities
UT instruments and facilities
- CRIRES is being transformed into a cross-dispersed échelle spectrograph. The upgraded instrument will replace VIMOS on the Nasmyth B focus of UT3 during the first semester of 2018. VIMOS is likely to be decommissioned in either Period 100 or early in Period 101.
- ESO is consolidating the technical implications of a specific experiment which requires the installation of VISIR, slightly modified, at UT4 Cassegrain (therefore replacing SINFONI) during the first semester of 2019: thanks to the improved image quality provided by the deformable secondary mirror, VISIR will then have the performance required to search for potentially habitable planets around Alpha Cen. VISIR will not be made available for open time when attached to UT4.
- SINFONI is likely to be decommissioned during 2019 to allow the upgrade and integration of SPIFFI within ERIS – a High angular resolution camera and 3D spectroscopy using the AOF. ERIS is expected to be installed and commissioned during the first semester of 2020 on UT4 Cassegrain.
- The commissioning of the AOF and AOF-related systems will continue to require monthly slots of up to 7 days or bi-monthly 10 to 15-day slots on UT4 until Period 101.
- The commissioning of ESPRESSO, the Échelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanet and Stable Spectroscopic Observations, will likely continue in Period 101.
VLTI instruments and facilites
- AMBER will likely be decommissioned in Period 102.
- The commissionning of MATISSE, the Multi AperTure mid-Infrared SpectroScopic Experiment, will require 3 2-week runs during Period 101. It is expected that a similar amount will be required in Period 102
- GRAVITY GTO observations will continue during Period 101 and following. In particular, observations of the Galactic Center will take place using 5 nights in each of monthly 10-night, UT slots in Period 101.
- Installation, verification and commissioning of NAOMI modules #2, 3 and 4 will require approximately slightly more than 3 weeks for each AT which, as a consequence, cannot be used for operation. Although these activities are expected to take place at the same time as the GRAVITY GTO observations on the UTs, the VLTI-ATs can only be operated with 3 ATs during approximately 10 days each time, preventing operation with GRAVITY and limiting the use of PIONIER. An additional commissioning run of approximately 10 days will take place in the second part of 2018 to commission operation of NAOMI with the VLTI-ATs.
- LABOCA: this 870 µm bolometer array may be replaced by a wider-field camera A-MKIDs in 2018.
- SHFI: the 3 receivers in this instrument may be replaced by new receivers in SEPIA and FLASH with better sensitivity and broader bandwidth.
- ZEUS-2: The redshift (z) and Early Universe Spectrometer (ZEUS-2) may be offered as a visitor instrument during future Periods. ZEUS-2 is a broadband spectrograph covering 7 telluric windows covering 200 to 850 µm. For details, see Ferkinhoff et al. (2010).
- APEX: a major telescope refurbishment will be done from October 2017 to March 2018. No science observations will be possible in this period. This should be taken into account when requesting time-critical observations.