The ELT Design Study is a technology development programme conducted by institutes and companies in Europe, Israel and Australia, coordinated by ESO. It is funded in part - about one third - by the European Commission under its Framework Programme 6, the rest being provided by the participating institutions themselves. Parallel studies in the same areas are pursued for other projects, in particular on the North American continent, and close ties are maintained to avoid unnecessary duplication.

The study covers the development of enabling technologies and concepts required for the eventual design and construction of a European extremely large optical and infrared telescope. To this end, it builds on existing European design studies, leading industrial and academic expertise in the relevant fields, and gathers resources across the European academic and industrial communities for a preparatory effort on crucial components, subsystems and concepts. The technology development programme which is the subject of this project spans the period 2005-2008. It covers relevant design and technology aspects underlying the feasibility of giant telescopes. As such it includes, most notably:

  • the development and testing of advanced adaptive optics technologies and concepts,
  • the development of metrology systems and control schemes for segmented, active telescopes,
  • the development and testing of advanced materials and processes for the serial production of mirror segments,
  • the development and testing of low-cost drive systems for the telescope kinematics,

Included are also

  • site characterization,
  • exploratory instruments designs,
  • an assessment of the performance of a segmented aperture exposed to wind on a representative site.


- images will be available soon.



last modified: 2006/04/20
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