Foreseen Changes regarding La Silla, Paranal and APEX Instrumentation and Facilities

La Silla

Near Infra-Red Planet Searcher (NIRPS) integration on the 3.6m is expected to start in mid-2019.



An overview of the expected Paranal Instrumentation and Facilities to be offered for Period 102 and changes foreseen in Periods 103 and 104 is available.

UT instruments and facilities

  • NACO will be decommissioned in Period 104.
  • FORS2: ESO is considering to decommission the high time resolution modes (imaging, HIT-I; spectroscopy, HIT-S; and multi-object spectroscopy, HIT-MS), due to their low demand and high overhead for the observatory. Potential future users of these modes are encouraged to contact the FORS2 instrument team (through to evaluate the scienti c merit of the continued use of FORS2 HIT modes.
  • XSHOOTER: A report describing the efficiency and shortcomings of the instrument’s IFU mode will be made available before the end of 2017. Potential users of this mode in Period 102 are encouraged to check regularly the X-shooter News page to assess implications on future observations based on its conclusions.
  • Following its upgrade into a cross-dispersed echelle spectrograph, the commissioning of CRIRES on UT3 will continue in Period 102. Depending on successful commissioning, it will be off ered in Period 103.
  • During the first semester of 2019 VISIR will installed on the Cassegrain focus of UT4 for the New Earths in the α Cen Region - NEAR experiment to allow it to use the Deformable Secondary Mirror. As a consequence, VISIR will be out of operation on UT3 early December 2018. Simultaneously, SINFONI will be momentarily out of operation. VISIR will be back for operations on UT3 during the 2nd semester of 2019.
  • 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 spectrograph using the AOF. ERIS is expected to be installed and commissioned during the first semester of 2020 at the UT4 Cassegrain focus.
  • The combination of MUSE and GALACSI in Narrow Field mode will be offered for regular operations in Period 102, depending on successful commissioning during Periods 100 and 101.
  • ESPRESSO in 1-UT mode will be offered for regular operations in Period 102, depending on successful commissioning during Periods 100 and 101.

VLTI instruments and facilites

  • AMBER will be decommissioned in Period 102.
  • The commissionning of MATISSE, the Multi AperTure mid-Infrared SpectroScopic Experiment, will require 3 2-week runs during Period 102.
  • GRAVITY: depending on successful commissioning, CIAO on-axis will be offered in Period 102.  


  • LABOCA: this 870 µm bolometer array may be replaced by a wider-field camera, A-MKIDs, in 2018.
  • SLASH: A new instrument SLASH will replace both PI230 and the MPIfR PI instrument FLASH on APEX. Commissioning is planned for the second half of 2018, and the new instrument may be off ered in Period 102 or P103.
  • Backends: A new set of Facility backends with up to 64 GHz of instantaneous bandwidth is expected to be installed on APEX in the second half of 2018. It will serve the instruments SEPIA and SLASH, allowing to record the full IF bandwidth of all receivers.