LESIA - Observatoire de Paris

Green light for the E-ELT

Monday 8 December 2014

(mise à jour le 11 December 2014)

During its meeting of December 3rd 2014, the ESO Council gave the green light for the construction of the E-ELT (European Extremely Large Telescope), the future European 39 m telescope, by the vote of a 2 phase plan. This plan allows ESO to start the construction of the telescope before the completion of the ratification of the Brazilian Accession Agreement with ESO. This plan also allows ESO to start the development phases of the three first instruments, including MICADO, to which LESIA is contributing significantly.

Vue d'artiste de l'E-ELT
Vue d’artiste de l’E-ELT

Crédits : ESO

The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) is the European Southern Observatory (ESO) project of a 39 m optical and infrared telescope. If approved by the June 2012 Council, its construction was still conditioned to be funded at the 90% level of its total cost (1083 M€).

With the recent accession of Poland to ESO and the voted 2 phase plan, which shift to the second phase 10% of the cost, this 90% funding level has been reached.

December 3rd 2014, the ESO Council has then voted the green light to the construction of the E-ELT and to its three first instruments: its two first-light instruments, MICADO and HARMONI, as well as METIS.

Concept d'implantation de MICADO sur l'E-ELT
Concept d’implantation de MICADO sur l’E-ELT

Crédit : consortium MICADO

Among these instruments, MICADO is a near-infrared camera with spectroscopic capabilities and working at the telescope diffraction-limit. Inside a european consortium lead by MPE, the French participation, lead by LESIA within a collaboration with GEPI and IPAG, significantly contributes to the instrument with the responsibility of the on-axis adaptive optics module, classically named SCAO (single conjugate adaptive optics), of MICADO

The approved phase 1 budget also covers the preliminary design studies of the two following instruments: HIRES, a high-resolution spectrograph, and MOS, a multi-object spectrograph. LESIA is participating to the studies of the latter inside the MOSAIC consortium, lead by GEPI and gathering several european laboratories.

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