FP7 - European Extremely Large Telescope Preparation

Grant Agreement Funded by the European Community 7th Framework Programme under Contract INFRA-

Europe UKATC Durham Oxford UCM LAEFF GTC IAC ING ONERA GEPI LESIA LAM LAOG FIZEAU OG MPIA MPQ NOVA ASTRON Lund Obs Bologna Obs Bologna Univ Padova Obs Trieste Obs INAF Arcetri Obs The E-ELT Preparation Project complements the 2007-2010 Final Design of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT, see also the brochures). E-ELT Prep has a total budget of ~ 6.0 M€, including a 5.0 M€ contribution from the European Commission and runs for two years, from January 2008 to December 2009. As directed by the ESO Council representing the Member States, E-ELT Prep activities are conducted by ESO as a mono-partner, with contributions from 26 third party Institutes shown here through their (clickable) logos.

Overall strategy and general description

The E-ELT Prep strategic goal is to ensure that the level of legal, financial, governance and technical maturity required by the Funding Agencies in the Member States to give a go-ahead for building the ~ 950 M€ E-ELT Facility is met by 2010. The Programme comprises a number of transnational activities for which EC support is essential. Specific aims are:

  1. To establish a proper setting of the E-ELT project Strategic (WP2-International Cooperation), Industrial (WP3-Industrial Links) and Financial (WP7-Financial Mechanisms) aspects.
    There are currently 3 Extremely Large Telescope projects worldwide, the 42-m diameter European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), the 30-m diameter Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and the 24-m equivalent diameter Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). All three are currently in their final design phase with decision for construction expected in the next one to two years.

  2. To develop the scientific Design Reference Mission of the facility, a set of simulated observing programs on prominent science cases and an essential tool to align the project scientific potential with its community’s scientific aspirations (WP4-Design Reference Mission).
    DRM workshop
    galactic centre black hole
    stellar archaeology
    protoplanet disk
    The first Design Reference Mission Workshop with 34 European participants was held on 20-21 May 2008. Four of the science cases analyzed at the Workshop are illustrated here (a: evidence for super-massive black holes at galaxy centres; b: stellar archaeology in nearby elliptical galaxies; c: proto-planetary disks around nearby stars; d: direct detection of terrestrial extra-solar planets).
  3. To provide a detailed blueprint for science access to the facility in the key areas of observation preparation, astronomical weather prediction, data processing pipelines and Virtual Observatory requirements (WP5-Science Access).
    weather AVO
    Long-term weather data at two representative sites (ORM at Las Palmas and Paranal in Chile), and an early example of use of the Virtual Observatory for astronomical research.
  4. To prepare the E-ELT Project structure during its construction phase (WP8-Project Structure and Planning), e.g. as displayed here providing a Dynamic Object Oriented Requirements System (DOORS) database and an Interfaces definition tool.
    DOORS interfaces
  5. To establish the observing potential of the E-ELT 5 to10 years after start of operation by design and prototyping advanced Instruments and Adaptive Optics subsystems (WP9-Upgrade Paths), through community’s instrumental networks (WP6-Networks of Nodes of Expertise).
    The vignettes here illustrate some of the novel components or subsystems developed to widen the scientific capability of the E-ELT. They relate to a number of instrument concepts currently under study.