ESO Glossary of Acronyms

The present list contains the most common acronyms used by ESO, but does not pretend to be complete.


4LGSF Four-Laser Guide Star Facility
4MOST 4-metre Multi-Object Spectroscopic Telescope (Proposed new spectroscopic instrument for VISTA)
4T Four Telescope  (VLTI mode)
A&A Journal, Astronomy & Astrophysics
A&ARv Journal, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
ACD Amplitude Calibration Device (ALMA)
ADS International Italian optics company working on the DSM for the VLT
AEM ALMA construction consortium
AFTA Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets
AG Aktiengesellschaft
AGN Active Galactic Nucleus
AIDA Astronomical Infrastructure for Data Access 
AIP Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam
AIV Assembly, Integration and Verification
AJ The Astronomical Journal
ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array
AMBER Astronomical Multi-BEam combineR (VLTI Instrument)
AN Journal, Astronomische Nachrichten
Antu VLT Unit Telescope 1
AO Adaptive Optics
AOF Adaptive Optics Facility
AOS Array Operations Site (ALMA)
APEX Atacama Pathfinder Experiment
ApJ Astrophysical Journal
ApJS Journal, Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
AQUARIUS Mid-infrared detector array (VISIR)
ARAL Alignment facility for the VLTI
ARC ALMA Regional Centre
ArTeMiS Bolometric camera for APEX
ASIAA East Asia FEIC (ALMA)
ASIC Application Specific Integrated Circuit
ASSIST Adaptive Secondary Setup and Instrument Simulator (AOF test bench)
AstraLux Lucky Imaging camera for the Calar Alto 2.2-metre telescope
AT Auxiliary Telescope for the VLTI
ATC Astronomy Technology Centre (United Kingdom)
ATILO Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organisation
AU Astronomical Unit
AVM Astronomical Visualisation Metadata
BAM Construction company for the Headquarters extension
BE Back-End (ALMA)
BLIP Background photon noise limited
C2PAP Computational Center for Particle and Astrophysics, Universe Cluster, Garching
CADC  Canadian Astronomy Data Centre 
CAPj Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal
CARLA Clusters Around Radio-Loud AGN (Spitzer)
CASA Common Astronomy Software Applications (ALMA)
CCD Charge Coupled Device
CDR Critical Design Review
CEA Commissariat à L’Energie Atomique, France
CELAC_EU Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States–European Union
CERN European Organization for Nuclear Research
CES Coude Echelle Spectrometer
CHAMP+ Dual channel heterodyne receiver array (APEX)
CHF Swiss francs
CLIF Convolution with Linearized Inverse Filter algorithm for wavefront sensing
CMB Cosmic Microwave Background
CMOS Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor
CNAM Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers
CNRS Centre national de la recherche scientifique
CO Carbon monoxide
COFUND EU fellowship funding programme
CONDOR 1.5 THz heterodyne receiver (APEX)
CONICA  COudé Near-Infrared CAmera (VLT) 
CORALIE Echelle Spectrograph on the 1.2-metre Leonard Euler Swiss telescope
CoRoT COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits (French Satellite)
COSMOS HST survey programme
CP Calibration Programme
CRIRES Cryogenic InfraRed Echelle Spectrometer (VLT)
CRIRES+ Planned upgrade to CRIRES
CSV Commissioning and Science Verification
CUBES Cassegrain U-band Brazilian ESO Spectrograph
CuRe Fast wavefront reconstruction algorithms for XAO with pyramid WFS
CuReD Fast wavefront reconstruction algorithms for XAO with pyramid WFS with pre-processing
DC Direct Current
DDS Data DistributIOn middleware for SPARTA
DDT Director’s Discretionary Time
DG Director General
DIG Deep Imaging Group (Vitacura)
DL Delay Line (VLTI)
DMO Data Management and Operations Division
DRS DRS, formerly Boeing, detector manufacturer
DSM Deformable Secondary Mirror
DSO Department of Science Operations (ALMA)
E-ELT European Extremely Large Telescope
EASC European ALMA Support Centre
EC European Commission
EC  European Commission 
ECRI European Conference on Research Infrastructures
EFOSC2 ESO Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (v.2)
EIROforum Organisation consisting of the seven largest scientific European international organisations devoted to fostering mutual activities
EM&P Journal, Earth, Moon, and Planets
EMBL European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Germany)
EMMI  ESO Multi-Mode Instrument (NTT) 
ePOD education and Public Outreach Department
ERIS Enhanced Resolution Imaging Spectrograph
ERP Enterprise Resource Planning (Administration software)
ESA European Space Agency
ESAC European Space Astronomy Centre (ESA, Spain)
ESAC  European Science Advisory Committee (for ALMA)
ESC E-ELT Subcommittee
ESE  ELT Science and Engineering 
ESM European School Munich
ESO European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere
ESOF Euroscience Open Forum
ESON ESO Science Outreach Network
ESPRESSO Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanet- and Stable Spectroscopic Observations
ESRC E-ELT Standing Review Committee
ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
EU European Union
EVALSO Enabling Virtual Access to Latin-american Southern Observatories
EWASS European Week of Astronomy and Space Science
ExA Journal, Experimental Astronomy
FC Finance Committee
FE Front End
FE IPT Front-End Integrated Project Team (ALMA)
FEA Finite Element Analysis
FEED Front-End Engineering Design (E-ELT)
FEIC Front End Integration Centre (ALMA)
FEROS Fibre-fed, Extended Range, Échelle Spectrograph (MPG/ESO 2.2-metre)
FITS  Flexible Image Transport System 
FLAMES Fibre Large Array Multi Element Spectrograph (VLT)
FORS1 FOcal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph (VLT)-1
FORS2 FOcal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph (VLT)-2
FOS Faint Object Spectrograph (HST)
FP Fabry-Perot
FP6 Sixth EC Framework Programme 
FP7 Seventh EC Framework Programme 
FTE Full Time Equivalent
FWHM Full Width at Half Maximum
GALACSI Ground Atmospheric Layer Adaptive Optics for Spectroscopic Imaging (AOF)
GB Gigabyte
GÉANT European multi-gigabit computer network for research and education purposes
GHz  Gigahertz 
GIRAFFE Fibre-fed multi-object spectrograph and part of the VLT FLAMES facility
GLAO Ground Layer Adaptive Optics
gNLT Garching Night Log Tool
GRAAL GRound-layer Adaptive optics Assisted by Lasers (AOF)
GRAVITY AO assisted, two-object, multiple-beam-combiner (VLTI)
GROND Gamma-Ray Burst Optical/Near-Infrared Detector (MPG/ESO 2.2-metre)
GTC Gran Telescopio Canarias
GUI  Graphical User Interface 
GWh Gigawatt hours
HARMONI Proposed first light integral field spectrograph for the E-ELT
HARPS High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planetary Searcher (3.6-metre)
HAWK-I High Acuity Wide field K-band Imager
HCI Human Computer Interface
HIA Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (Canada)
HR Human Resources
HST Hubble Space Telescope
HST  Hubble Space Telescope 
HVAC Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
IAG Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences (Brazil)
IAU  International Astronomical Union 
Icar Icarus, Planetary science journal, Planetary science journal
IFS Integral Field Spectrograph (SPHERE, E-ELT)
IFU Integral Field Unit
INAF Italian National Institute for Astrophysics
INRIA Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique
IPAG Institut de Planetologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble
IPP Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Germany)
IPSAS International Public Sector Accounting Standards
IPT Integrated Product Team (ALMA)
IR Infrared
IRAM Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique
IRDIS InfraRed Dual-beam Imager and Spectrograph (SPHERE, E-ELT)
IRIS VLTI Infrared Image Sensor
IRO International Relations Office
ISAAC Infrared Spectrometer And Array Camera (VLT)
ISERD Israeli inter-ministerial agency for R&D cooperation with Europe
IT Information Technology
ITAR International Traffic in Arms Regulations
ITER International  Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor 
IVOA  International Virtual Observatory Alliance
IVSLA Istituto Veneto di Scienze ed Arti
IYA2009 International Year of Astronomy 2009
JAO Joint ALMA Observatory
JENAM  Joint European and National Astronomy Meeting
JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory
JWST James Webb Space Telescope
KMOS K-band Multi-Object Spectrograph (VLT)
Kueyan VLT Unit Telescope 2
LABOCA Large APEX Bolometer CAmera
LAOG Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble
LFC Laser Frequency Comb
LGS Laser Guide Star
LGSF Laser Guide Star Facility
LMC Large Magellanic Cloud
LMU Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
LOFAR Low Frequency Array
LP  Large Programme 
LPG Liquefied Petroleum Gas
LPO La Silla ­Paranal Observatory
LSP La Silla ­Paranal Subcommittee
LTAO Laser Tomography Adaptive Optics
M# Mirror #
MACAO Multiple Application Curvature Adaptive Optic
MACCON Motion controller manufacturer
MAD  Multi-conjugate Adaptive optics Demonstrator
mas milliarcseconds
MASCOT Mini All-Sky Cloud Observation Tool (Paranal)
MATISSE Multi AperTure mid-Infrared SpectroScopic Experiment (VLTI)
MCAO Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics
Melipal VLT Unit Telescope 3
MENLO systems Optical equipment manufacturer
MERAC Mobilising European Research in Astrophysics and Cosmology
MERIL Mapping the European Research Infrastructure Landscape
MICADO Adaptive optics imaging camera (E-ELT)
MIDI Mid-infrared Interferometric Instrument (VLTI)
MIM Museo Interactivo Mirador, Santiago
MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mn Mirror #n
MNRAS Journal, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
MOAO Multiple-Object Adaptive Optics
MOONS Multi Object Optical and Near-infrared Spectrograph (VLT third generation)
MOSFIRE Near-infrared multi-object spectrograph (Keck)
MPA Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
MPE Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
MPE  Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (Germany)
MPG Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
MPIA Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
MPIfR  Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (Germany)
MUSE Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (VLT)
NACO NAOS-CONICA (VLT)
NAOJ National Astronomical Observatory of Japan
NAOMI Adaptive optics system for the ATs (VLTI)
NAOS Nasmyth Adaptive Optics System (VLT)
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NEO Near-Earth Object
NewA Journal, New Astronomy
NewAR Journal, New Astronomy Reviews
NGC New General Catalogue
NGC  New General detector Controller 
NGSD Proposed large natural/laser guide star WFS detector (E-ELT)
NOVA The Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor Astronomie)
NRAO National Radio Astronomy Observatory
NTT New Technology Telescope
NUVA Network for UltraViolet Astrophysics
OAA Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory
OBAMA Optical Bidule for Aberration Measurement on the ATs
OCA-NICE Cote d’Azur Observatory (Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur)
OmegaCAM  Optical Camera for the VST 
OPC Observing Programmes Committee
OPO Observing Programmes Office
OPTICON  Optical Infrared Coordination Network for Astronomy 
OSF ALMA Operations Support Facilities
OSF  ALMA Operations Support Facilities 
OSO Onsala Space Observatory
OT Observing Tool
OTS Operations Technical Support
P&SS Journal, Planetary and Space Science
P2PP Peer to Peer Protocol
P86 Observing Period 86
P87 Observing Period 87
PACMAN Fringe tracker for PRIMA (VLTI)
PAE Provisional Acceptance Europe
PARLA PAranal Raman Laser, replacement for PARSEC (VLTI)
PARSEC Sodium line laser for VLT AO
PASJ Journal, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan
PASP Journal, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
PB Petabyte
PC Personal Computer
PDF Portable Document Format
PDR Preliminary Design Review
PESSTO Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects
PI Principal Investigator
PIONIER VLTI visitor instrument
PLC Programmable Logic Controllers (E-ELT)
PRIMA Phase-Referenced Imaging and Micro-arcsecond Astrometry facility (VLTI)
PSF Point Spread Function
QSO Quasi Stellar Object, quasar
QUEST QUasar Equatorial Survey Team
R&D  Research and Development 
RAB Reflector Assembly Building
RAL  Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot (UK)
RedCLARA Latin American Advanced Networks Cooperation (Academic data network in Latin America)
REM Rapid Eye Movement Telescope (La Silla)
REUNA Red Universitaria Nacional (Academic data network in Chile)
RM Rossiter-McClaughlin (effect)
RMN Reflective Memory Network (VLTI)
rms Root Mean Square
SABOCA Shortwave Apex BOlometer Camera
SAC  EURO-VO Science Advisory Committee
SAF Science Archive Facility
SAFRAN-REOSC High performance optics company
SAPHIRA Detector for the GRAVITY wavefront sensor
SAXO SPHERE’S AO system (VLT)
SCAO Single-conjugate adaptive optics
SCO Santiago Central Office (ALMA/ESO Vitacura)
SDD Software Development Division 
SDSS Sloan Digital Sky Survey
SE System Engineering (ALMA)
SEO Search Engine Operations
SEPA Single Euro Payments Area
SHFI Swedish Heterodyne Facility Instrument
SINFONI Spectrograph for INtegral Field Observations in the Near Infrared (VLT)
SKA Square Kilometer Array
SM4 Servicing Mission 4 (HST) 
SOFI SOn oF Isaac (NTT)
SOPHIE Spectrographe pour l’Observation des Phénomènes des Intérieurs stellaires et des Exoplanètes
SPARTA Real-time computer for the AOF
SPHERE Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research instrument (VLT)
SPIFFI SPectrometer for Infrared Faint Field Imaging
SPT South Pole Telescope
SSED Software System Engineering Department
SSWG Science Strategy Working Group 
ST-ECF  Space Telescope European Coordination Facility
STC Scientific Technical Committee
STFC Science and Technology Facilities Council (UK)
STRAP Tip-tilt sensors (VLTI)
STScI  Space Telescope Science Institute (USA)
sub-mm submillimetre
SUSI2 Superb Seeing Imager 2 (NTT)
TAROT Télescope à Action Rapide pour les Objets Transitoires
TAROT-S Télescopes à Action Rapide pour les Objets Transitoires South
TB Terabyte
TEC Technology Division
telbib ESO library telescope bibliography database
TFB  Tunable Filter Bank (ALMA)
TIMMI TIMMI far-infrared camera (ESO 3.6-metre telescope)
ToO  Target of Opportunity 
TRAPPIST TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope
TRR Test Readiness Review
TUM Technische Universität München
UC  Users Committee 
UK United Kingdom
UK ATC UK Astronomy Technology Centre
Ultracam High-speed camera (VLT)
UltraVISTA Ultra-deep near-infrared survey in the COSMOS field
UN United Nations
UNCOPUOS United Nations Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
UNESCO United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization
USD User Support Department
USM University Observatory Munich
UT  Unit Telescope of the VLT 
UT1–4  VLT Unit Telescopes 1–4: Antu, Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun 
UV  UltraViolet 
UVES UV-Visual Echelle Spectrograph (VLT)
VHS VISTA Hemisphere Survey
VIDEO VISTA Deep Extragalactic Observations Survey
VIKING VISTA Kilo-degree Infrared Galaxy survey
VIMOS VIsible MultiObject Spectrograph (VLT)
VINCI VLT INterferometer Commissioning Instrument (VLTI)
VIP Very Important Person
VIPERS VIMOS Public Extragalactic Redshift Survey
VIRCAM VISTA Infrared Camera
VISA  VLTI Sub-Array 
VISIR VLT Mid-Infrared Imager Spectrometer
VISTA Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy
VLT Very Large Telescope
VLTI Very Large Telescope Interferometer
VLTI-PR# VLTI projects
VMC VISTA survey of the Magellanic Cloud system
VO  Virtual Observatory 
VOP Virtual Observatory Project Office 
VSS Variability Sky Survey
VST VLT Survey Telescope
VVDS VIMOS VLT Deep Survey
VVV ESO public survey VISTA Variables in the Vía Láctea
WASP Wide Angle Search for Planets survey
WFCAM Infrared wide field camera for the UK Infrared Telescope on Mauna Kea
WFI Wide Field Imager (MPG/ESO 2.2-metre)
WVR Water Vapour Radiometer (ALMA)
X-shooter Wideband ultraviolet-infrared single target spectrograph (VLT)
XAO Extreme adaptive optics
XMM-Newton  X-ray Multi-Mirror satellite (ESA) 
Yepun VLT Unit Telescope 4
Z-Spec Millimetre-wave spectrograph (APEX visitor instrument)
zCOSMOS Large Programme to measure 30 000 galaxies in the HST Cosmic Origins field
ZIMPOL Zurich Imaging Polarimeter (SPHERE, E-ELT)
μm Micrometre
ΛCDM Lambda Cold Dark Matter