FP7 - European Extremely Large Telescope Preparation
Grant Agreement Funded by the European Community 7th Framework Programme under Contract INFRA-188.8.131.52
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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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).
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.
- 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.
- 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.