Acronyms in use in ESO Instrumentation and beyond

The following tables are intended to help you find your way around ESO instrumentation (and possibly even further):

Current and future ESO Instruments

Acronym meaning ...on telescope remarks
AMBER Astronomical Multiple BEam Recombiner VLTI  
CRIRES CRyogenic high resolution InfraREd Spectrograph UT1  
EFOSC2 ESO Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera 2 NTT replaced EFOSC
FEROS Fibre-fed Extended Range echelle Spectrograph 2.2m  
- OzPoz
- Medusa
- Argus
- Giraffe
Fibre Large Area Multi-Element Spectrograph UT2  
FOcal Reducer Spectrograph
- FORS Instrumental Mask Simulator
- HIgh Time resolution mode (FORS2)
- Longitudinal Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector
- Long Slit Spectroscopy
- Mask eXchange Unit (FORS2)
FORS2: UT1  
GRAVITY (VLTI instrument for precision narrow-angle astrometry and interferometric phase referenced imaging of faint objects) VLTI 2nd generation in preparation
GROND Gamma-Ray burst Optical/Near infrared Detector 2.2m  
High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher
- High Accuracy Mode
- Extra Good General Spectroscopy
- Cassegrain Fibre Adapter
High Acuity Wide field K-band Imager
- GRound layer Adaptive optics Assisted by Laser
UT4 GRAAL in preparation
ISAAC Infrared Spectrometer and Array Camera UT3  
(infrared multi-integral field spectrograph)
- (observation preparation software)
UTx in preparation
MATISSE Multi AperTure mid-Infrared SpectroScopic Experiment VLTI 2nd generation in preparation
MIDI MID-infrared Interferometric instrument VLTI  
Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer
- MUSE AO system
UT4 in preparation
- Nasmyth Adaptive Optics System
- coude Near Infrared CAmera
UT4 CONICA was originally intended for coudé
OmegaCAM (wide field CAMera) VST in preparation
PRIMA Phase-Referenced Imaging and Micro-arcsecond Astrometry VLTI  
Spectrograph for INtegral Field Observation in the Near-Infrared
- SPectrometer for Infrared Faint Field Imaging
SOFI Son OF Isaac NTT  
SPHERE Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch UTx in preparation
UVES Uv Visual Echelle Spectrograph UT2  
VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph
- Mask Manufacturing Unit
- VIMOS Mask Preparation Software
UT3 MMU also used for FORS2
VISIR VLT Imager and Spectrometer in the InfraRed UT3  
WFI Wide Field Imager 2.2m  
X-shooter (wide range [UV-H] point source spectrograph) UT2  

ESO instrument concepts

Acronym meaning ...for telescope remarks
VSI VLTI Spectro-Imager VLTI 2nd generation under study
Acronym meaning ...for telescope remarks
CODEX COsmic Dynamics EXperiment E-ELT under study
EAGLE (Wide Field, Multi IFU NIR Spectrograph with MOAO) E-ELT under study
EPICS Exo-Planet Imaging Camera and Spectrograph E-ELT under study
HARMONI (Single Field, Wide Band Spectrograph) E-ELT under study
METIS Mid-infrared E-ELT Imager and Spectrograph E-ELT under study
MICADO MCAO Imaging Camera for Deep Observations E-ELT under study
OPTIMOS (Wide Field Visual MOS) E-ELT under study
SIMPLE (High Spectral Resolution NIR Spectrograph) E-ELT under study
Acronym meaning ...for telescope remarks
CODEX COsmic Dynamics EXperiment OWL study, closed
EPICS Earth-like Planet Imaging Camera Spectrograph OWL study, closed
MOMFIS Multi-Object Multi-Field near Infrared Spectrograph OWL study, closed
SCOWL Submillimeter Camera for OWL OWL study, closed
T-OWL Thermal instrument for OWL OWL study, closed

Retired ESO instruments and telescopes

Acronym meaning was on telescope... remarks
ADONIS ADaptive Optics Near Infrared System 3.6m  
B&C Boller and Chivens ESO 3.6m and 1.52m 2 copies
CASPEC CAssegrain echelle SPECtrograph 3.6m  
CAT Coudé Auxiliary Telescope LSO  
CES Coudé Echelle Spectrograph 3.6m  
EMMI ESO Multi Mode Instrument NTT  
DFOSC Danish Faint Object Spectrograph D1.5m  
FORS1 FOcal Reducer Spectrograph 1 Antu, Kueyen, Melipal, Yepun mothballed 2009-04
IRAC2 InfraRed Array Camera 2 2.2m  
IRSPEC InfraRed SPECtrograph NTT replaced by SOFI
MEFOS Meudon-ESO Fibre Optic Spectrograph 3.6m  
OPTOPUS (optical fibre system) 3.6m  
PISCO Polarimeter with Instrumental and Sky COmpensation 2.2m  
SEST Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope LSO  
SUSI SUperb Seeing Imager NTT replaced by SUSI2
SUSI2 SUperb Seeing Imager 2 NTT replaced SUSI
TIMMI2 Thermal Infrared Multi Mode Instrument 2 3.6m replaced TIMMI
VLT INterferometer Commissioning Instrument
- (fibre light combiner)
- (infrared camera)

General technical acronyms

Acronym meaning remarks
ACE Array Control Electronics CCD controller
AO Adaptive Optics  
AOF Adaptive Optics Facility VLT
APE Active Phasing Experiment ELT-DS
ARAL ARtificial source and ALignment unit VLTI
ASM Astronomical Site Monitor  
ASSIST Adaptive Secondary Set-up and Instrument SimulaTor for AO
BOB Broker for Observation Blocks  
BOSS Base Observing Software Stub VLT-SW
CAMCAO CAmera for MCAO for AO
CAS Central Alarm System Paranal
CCC Closed Cycle Cooler detectors
CFC Continuous Flow Cryostat detectors
DAO Distributed Adaptive Optics AO
DDL Differential Delay Line VLTI
DELIRIUM (Delayline rail alignment monitoring system) VLTI
DIMM Differential Image Motion Monitor  
DM Deformable Mirror AO
DSM Deformable Secondary Mirror AO
Extremely Large Telescope
European Extremely Large Telescope
ELT Design Study
- ELT Science and Engineering working group
FIERA Fast Imager Electronic Readout Assembly CCD controller
FINITO (first generation VLTI fringe sensor) VLTI
FSU Fringe Sensor Unit VLTI
GASGANO (Data File Organiser)  
GLAO Ground Layer Adaptive Optics AO
IFU Integral Field Unit  
IRACE InfraRed detector high speed Array Control and processing Electronic IR detector controller
IRIS InfraRed Image Sensor VLTI
LABOCA (bolometer) APEX
Laser Guide Star Facility
- Paranal Artificial Reference Source for Extended Coverage
MACAO Multi-Application Curvature Adaptive Optics  
MAD Multi-conjugate Adaptive optics Demonstrator AO
MASCOT Mini All-Sky Cloud Observation Tool camera at PAO
MCAO Multi Conjugate Adaptive Optics AO
MMB Mirror Maintenance Building  
MOS Multi Object Spectroscopy  
NGC New General detector Controller  
N(G)TCCD New (Generation) Technical CCD  
OB Observation Block  
OPD Optical Path Difference VLTI
OS Observation Software  
PPRS Paranal Problem Reporting System  
PULPO (CCD function controller)  
REM Rapid Eye Mount LSO
RRM Rapid Response Mode  
RTC Real Time Computer  
RTD Real Time Display  
SAMPO (the powerful mystical artifact in Finnish mythology) Phase-A study of future needs for the ESO community in the area of data reduction and analysis environments
SCAO Single Conjugate Adaptive Optics  
SCP Service Connection Point  
SPARTA Standard Platform for Adaptive optics Real-Time Applications AO
SPR Software Problem Report  
STRAP System for Tip-tit Removal with Avalanche Photodiodes AO
TCCD Technical CCD  
TCS Telescope Control System  
VCM Variable Curvature Mirror VLTI
VLT-SW VLT SoftWare  
VPHG Volume Phased Holographic Grism  
WEB Wind Evaluation Breadboard ELT-DS
XAO eXtreme Adaptive Optics  

General acronyms used at ESO

The following table contains general acronyms used within ESO but not directly related to instruments. Please send further entries to Gero.

Acronym meaning remarks
AD Applicable Document  
ADD ADministration Division  
AIT/V Assembly, Integration, Test/Verification  
Atacama Large Millimeter Array
- ALMA Management Advisory Committee
- ALMA Scientific Advisory Office
- European ALMA Board
- European Science Advisory Committee
- Integrated Product Team
- ALMA Joint Office
AO Announcement of Opportunity  
APEX Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment  
AT Auxiliary Telescope VLTI
AVO Astrophysical Virtual Observatory  
BSCW Basic Support for Cooperative Work electronic shared workspace system
CCG Computer Coordination Group  
CP, CAP Contracts And Procurement  
CfP Call for Proposals proposals for observing time
CfT Call for Tender  
COU Council  
CTC Cost To Completion  
DFS Data Flow System  
Director General
- Director's Discretionary Time
- Director General Discretionary Fund
DICB/DICD Data Interface Control Board/Document  
DMO Data Management and Operations division formerly DMD
EIS ESO Imaging Survey  
ePOD education and Public Outreach Department formerly PAD
ERP ESO Enterprise Resource Planning  
ESO European Southern Observatory  
FC Finance Committee  
FDR Final Design Review  
GOODS Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey  
GTO Guaranteed Time Observation  
IAAB Indefinite Appointment Advisory Board  
INS INStrumentation division  
IOT Instrument Operations Team  
IPD Instrumentation Projects Department  
IPO Instrumentation Project Office E-ELT
IRI InfraRed Instrumentation and detector department  
ISCE International Staff Committee Europe  
ISM International Staff Member  
IST Instrument Science Team  
JBS Job Breakdown Structure  
JSP Job Structure Plan  
LPO, LSP La Silla-Paranal Observatory  
LSO La Silla Observatory part of LPO
MAIT Manufacture, Assembly, Integration, Test  
MICE Management It CommitteE  
MIDAS Munich Image Data Analysis System  
MMM Monthly Management Meeting  
NGAS New Generation Archive System  
NTT New Technology Telescope LSO
ODG Office of the Director General  
ODT Optical Detector Team  
OLAS OnLine Archive System  
OPC Observing Programmes Committee  
OPI OPtical Instrumentation department now merged in IPD
OWL OverWhelmingly Large (telescope) study for an ESO ELT (finished)
P2PP Phase 2 Proposal Preparation  
PAC Provisional Acceptance in Chile  
PAD Public Affairs Department now ePOD
PAE Provisional Acceptance in Europe  
PAO Paranal Astronomical Observatory part of LPO
PDR Preliminary Design Review  
PES PErsonnel Services  
PO Purchase Order  
PR Purchase Request  
PSO Paranal Science Operations  
QC Quality Control  
RD Reference Document  
SDD Software Development Division  
SFN Star Formation Newsletter  
SM Service Mode  
SOW Statement Of Work  
SR&R Staff Rules and Regulations  
STC Scientific-Technical Committee  
ST-ECF Space Telescope-European Coordination Facility  
SV Science Verification  
TEC TEChnical deivision  
TIO Telescope and Instrument Operator  
ToO Target of Opportunity  
TPO Telescope Project Office E-ELT
TRAPPIST TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope LSO
TSD Telescope Systems Division  
UC Users' Committee  
USD User Support Department  
UT Unit Telescope VLT
VA Visiting Astronomer  
VC Visiting Committee  
VISAS VISiting Astronomers Section  
VISTA Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy PAO, in preparation
VLT Very Large Telescope PAO
Very Large Telescope Interferometer
- Interferometry Task Force
VM Visitor Mode  
VO Virtual Observatory  
VST VLT Survey Telescope PAO, in preparation

More acronyms

Is there an acronym you do not find in the lists above? Or do you think that's already too many acronyms: have a look here: