Concept and Design

The birth of an instrument is a rather long process in which conceptual, management and financial issues are discussed. Once the concept and the feasibility are settled and accepted by ESO management, the instrument design begins. In the best case our department starts being involved in a project as soon as the first drawings are designed. At this level we help mechanical designers who sometimes need input for technical aspects.

During the design phase the project is reviewed twice by an external board in what we call the PDR and FDR (Preliminary Design Review and Final Design Review). A large part of the documentation is presented and written at those reviews. On our side we have to issue the Assembly Integration and Test (AIT) plan in which we present how we intend to align and assemble an instrument. During the review the board investigates all major critical and technical aspects in order to ensure the project will fulfill its specifications.