The name New General detector Controller (NGC) is themission statement for this project:"Provide a detector controller with capabilities that are a superset of both FIERA (= ESO´s standard controller for CCDs) and IRACE(= ESO´s default controller for infrared arrays)."

For the detector systems of future ESO instruments NGC will replace both of its predecessors. It is not currently planned to phase out any of the IRACE and FIERA systems deployed at the La Silla Paranal Observatory because they are performing well. The first instruments to be equipped with NGC systems will be KMOS,ZIMPOL andMUSE.

In addition to scientific imaging an application of growing importance will be fast signal sensing. This consists mainly of wavefront sensing for adaptive optics, the first applications beingGALACSI onMUSE, GRAAL onHAWK-I andSAXO onSPHERE.Autoguiding and slow wavefront sensing for active optics will continue to be performed with Technical CCDs (TCCDs)or New-Generation Technical CCDs (NGTCCDs) and commercial controllers.

Details of the aimed-for capabilities are compiled in the Requirements Document. Various other documents reflect the evolution of both Hardware and Software.

NGC is a joint project of theInfrared Detector Department (IDD) and the Optical Detector Team (ODT).