VINCI: The VLTI Commissionning Instrument

Scientific Data from VLTI commissioning

Technical commissioning activities of the VLTI with the VINCI Test camera and the 40cm diameter siderostats with 16m baseline, and the ANTU and MELIPAL 8m telescopes with 103m baseline have been ongoing since first fringes on March 17, 2001 with the siderostats and on October 30, 2001 with the 8m. A number of astronomical targets from various object classes have been observed in these two modes.

The observations were made to assess the compliance of the instruments with the technical specifications as well as to characterize performance of the facility in its first phase of development. In addition to these more technical tasks, a number of observations are certainly also useful for scientific purposes. In order to fully involve the ESO community in analyzing and understanding the data and its scientific and technical implications, ESO has decided to make this data available to this community through the archive.

The data are available directly on the ESO web. Access to these data is restricted to astronomers in the ESO member countries that are registered users of the ESO Science Archive Facility (register here: welcomes community feedback on any aspect of the reduction,analysis and interpretation of these data. Please contact the VLTI project scientist, the VLTI group head or the head of the Commissioning team with your comments and for further information on this release.

For each release, the vinci commissioning data are grouped in packages,which are listed in two tables. Table 1 contains the data grouped per object so one can easily check whether (and when) favourite objects have been observed, and obtain all data on a particular source. Table 2contains the data grouped per night so one can find the appropriate calibration measurements to accompany the measurement of the science target. The availability of a full night of data in one set faciliates a thorough analysis of the quality of the night by comparing all calibration measurements done in that particular night.

The VINCI data are stored as FITS binary tables described in this document and can be visualised with the CFITSIO Interactive FITS File Editor. Data reduction software is available from this page.

If these data will be used for publications, please acknowledge that the results are based on public data released from the VLTI observing with VINCI and the MONA beam combiner resp. with VINCI and the IONIC beam combiner.

The data listed below were obtained in the period between December5, 2001 and August 14, 2003 and have been deemed by the commissioning team and the VLTI Project Scientist to be of a quality sufficient to warrant scientific work. Please note that these data have not been fully validated. Highlights of the science possible with some of these data have been described in the VLTI dedicated press releases and in the document entitled Scientific objectives of the VLTI found in the following document: VLTIscienceMarch2001.pdf.

  1. Data Release January 2002
  2. Data Release March 2002
  3. Data Release July 2002
  4. VINCI/MONA Data Release September 2002
  5. VINCI/IONIC Data Release September 2002
  6. Data Release November 2002
  7. Data Release February 2003
  8. Data Release May 2003
  9. Data Release August 2003
  10. Data Release January 2004
  11. SD Data Release January 2004
  12. Data Release September 2004
  13. Data Release October 2005

VLTI Station Positions

Start Date End Date Stations
18/03/2001 27/01/2002 E0-G0
28/01/2002 02/02/2002 U1-U3
05/02/2002 22/09/2002 E0-G1
26/09/2002 26/10/2002 B3-M0
27/10/2002 28/10/2002 U1-U3
29/10/2002 25/11/2002 B3-M0
28/11/2002 11/12/2002 B3-C3
14/12/2002 14/12/2002 U1-U3
15/12/2002 20/01/2003 B3-C3
21/01/2003 04/04/2003 B3-D1
05/04/2003 27/05/2003 B3-M0
28/05/2003 16/12/2003 G0-E0
03/11/2003 03/11/2003 U2-U3
05/11/2003 05/11/2003 U2-U3
07/11/2003 07/11/2003 U2-U3
12/11/2003 12/11/2003 U2-U3
17/12/2003 29/02/2004 D0-H0