HARMONI passes the design review and will become one of the first instruments of the future giant telescope ELT

The HARMONI spectrograph, one of the first instruments to be installed on the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) telescope, has successfully completed the preliminary design review process (PDR). The Center for Astrobiology (CAB, CSIC-INTA) is one of the main partners of the HARMONI consortium, which will now move to the detailed design phase, with the aim of being ready for the first observations of the ELT, scheduled for 2025.

By the end of 2017 and During a few intense weeks, the Council of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and an international committee of experts examined the ability of the HARMONI instrument to achieve its ambitious scientific objectives. The design of the optics, mechanics, software and electronics of the instrument were evaluated, as well as its operation protocols. In this process, the need to make some technical adjustments was identified. Since then, the HARMONI team has completed all the necessary adjustments requested by the Committee and the instrument has formally passed the PDR ( Preliminary Design Review ). In addition to overcoming this important milestone, the decision was made that HARMONI will also have a new and powerful adaptive optics system.

HARMONI ( High-resolution Resolution Monolithic Optical and Near-infrared Integral field spectrograph , monolithic full-field optical and near-infrared monolithic spectrograph angular) will be the ELT instrument for performing spectroscopy in the range of visible and near infrared light. It is an integral field spectrograph, capable of acquiring spectra, simultaneously, in 30,000 adjacent regions in the sky, with the aim of mapping an astronomical object over a wide range of wavelengths. As indicated by Santiago Arribas, CAB researcher and member of the HARMONI team, "this instrument will allow spectral analysis with very high spatial resolution (of the order of 10 milliseconds of arc), which is essential to study, for example, the structure internal of the first galaxies that existed in the early stages of the Universe ". & nbsp;

The HARMONI consortium consists of six main partners and several associated institutes. & nbsp; The main partners are the University of Oxford and the Astronomical Technology Center of the United Kingdom; the Astrophysics Research Center of Lyon and the Astrophysics Laboratory of Marseille, of France; the Center for Astrobiology (CSIC-INTA) and the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), of Spain and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The University of Durham, of the United Kingdom, soon will happen of associate to partner. Other associated institutions are the National Office of Aerospace Studies and Research, the Institute of Research in Astrophysics and Planetology and the Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics of Grenoble, all French.

"Thanks to the participation of the CAB and the IAC in the development of this instrument, the Spanish astronomical community will have preferential access to the time of observation with the ELT ", says Javier Piqueras, CAB researcher and member of the HARMONI team. "From the CAB we participate both in the technical development of the instrument, as in its calibration, performing part of the engineering activities in collaboration with national technology companies, in addition to preparing for scientific exploitation once it enters into operation in 2025," concludes Piqueras . & nbsp;

Figure: artistic illustration of the ELT. © ESO, L.Calçada and ACe Consortium.


Fuente: UCC-CAB


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