ann15068 — Announcement

Agreement Signed for MICADO Camera for E-ELT

18 September 2015

ESO has signed an agreement with a consortium of institutes across Europe [1], to design and construct the MICADO camera (Multi-AO Imaging Camera for Deep Observations), one of the first-light instruments for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). MICADO will be the first dedicated imaging camera for the giant telescope and will take the power of adaptive optics to the next level.

The agreement was signed by Reinhard Genzel, Director of the Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, representing the consortium, and Tim de Zeeuw, Director General of ESO, at a ceremony at ESO Headquarters on 18 September 2015. The Principal Investigator of MICADO, Richard Davies, was also present.

MICADO will equip the E-ELT with a first-light capability for diffraction-limited imaging at near-infrared wavelengths. The design of MICADO was driven by a desire for high sensitivity and resolution, astrometric accuracy, and wide wavelength coverage spectroscopy.

The MICADO design has been optimised for use with the MAORY (Multi-conjugate Adaptive Optics RelaY) system, a new laser guide star adaptive optics module for the E-ELT, but it can also work in other adaptive optics modes.

MICADO will allow the full resolution potential of the giant telescope to be brought to bear on many current areas of research. These include imaging the detailed structure of galaxies at high redshift, the study of individual stars in nearby galaxies, and, using its coronographic mode, the discovery and characterisation of exoplanets. MICADO will also be a uniquely powerful tool for exploring environments where gravitational forces are extremely strong, such as close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

In addition to its primary imaging role, MICADO also includes a single-slit spectrograph that is ideal for obtaining spectra of compact objects. This mode will target many areas of astronomy, such as measuring the masses of the central black holes of nearby galaxies from the velocities of their stars, and observing high-redshift galaxies to calculate their ages, chemical makeup and histories. The instrument will also obtain spectra of supernovae produced by the first generation of massive stars in the Universe.

MICADO is the culmination of extensive earlier development work, both at ESO and in the community, over many years. In particular early instrument studies were initiated by Sandro D'Odorico at ESO.

Notes

[1] The MICADO consortium comprises: MPE: Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany); MPIA: Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Germany); USM: Universitäts-Sternwarte München (Germany); IAG: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen/Georg-August-Universität; Göttingen Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts (Executing institute: Institute for Astrophysics) (Germany); NOVA: Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor de Astronomie) (The Netherlands); CNRS/INSU: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers (representing LESIA, GEPI and IPAG) (France); A*: An Austrian partnership collectively represented by the University of Vienna (The A* partnership comprises the University of Vienna, the University of Innsbruck, the University Graz, the University of Linz and RICAM Linz [Austrian Academy of Sciences]. Contributions to MICADO come from Vienna, Innsbruck, Graz and Linz.) (Austria), and INAF-OAPD: National Institute for Astrophysics at the Observatory of Padova (Italy).

Links

Contacts

Ric Davies
MICADO Principal Investigator
Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 30000 3298
E-mail: davies@mpe.mpg.de

Hannelore Haemmerle
MPE Press Officer
Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik
Garching bei München, Germany
E-mail: hanneh@mpe.mpg.de

Suzanne Ramsay
ESO Project Scientist
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6665
Email: sramsay@eso.org

Richard Hook
ESO Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
Email: rhook@eso.org

About the Announcement

Id:ann15068

Images

MICADO agreement signed
MICADO agreement signed
MICADO agreement signed
MICADO agreement signed
MICADO agreement signed
MICADO agreement signed
Engineering drawing of the E-ELT MICADO camera
Engineering drawing of the E-ELT MICADO camera
Engineering drawing of the E-ELT MICADO camera
Engineering drawing of the E-ELT MICADO camera