PIONIER News

On this page, we list the main changes that affected the instrument and this web site.

Period 105: The magnitudes of PIONIER have been updated following NAOMI performances adaptive optics. See the Overview webpage for the details.

Following the introduction of the new phase 1 proposal preparation and submission tool, the following important changes apply to all the VLTI instruments.

  • A new atmospheric turbulence constraint replaces the current seeing constraint.
  • The way the requested VLTI baselines and VLTI observation types have to be specified has changed. From P105 on, alternative baseline configuration can be specified at P1 in a keyword list, in order of priority. Note that each run will be scheduled on one configuration. Most likely, it will be the first (primary) choice. However, a run may exceptionally be scheduled on an alternative choice if the primary choice of the baseline configuration cannot be scheduled. All set-ups of each run need to specify exactly the same baseline configuration. If different configurations are needed, different runs need to be specified, each with one configuration.

 

Period 104: Starting from Period 104 the ATs are equipped with NAOMI adaptive optics. The details of the limiting magnitude for the adaptive optics performance are described in the VLTI User Manual. Moreover, we remind the user that starting from P103 the limiting magnitude and execution time of the OBs have been revised. The update values are listed in the Overview page.  

Period 102: Some changes in the operations of the VLT and VLTI affect PIONIER, but are not specific to it:

First, the use of the p2pp software is phased out.In P102, VM and SM observations have to be prepared with p2 for all VLT and VLTI instruments.

Second, in P102, a new operation scheme designed to stimulate the production of quality interferometric images will be tested at VLTI. The main goal of these operations is to fill the (u,v) spatial frequency plane in an optimized way to reconstruct interferometric images more easily and with more reliability. Users are referred to the VLTI User Manual and the Call for Proposals for more information.

Period 98: The optimum calibration strategy with respect to calibrator magnitude has been described in some more detail in the "Instrument Overview"

Period 95/ VLTI Lab refurbishment: PIONIER will be removed from its current location to make space for GRAVITY and mounted back above the FINITO fringe tracker table with periscope optics to inject the light into PIONIER. As part of this project, PIONIER will be integrated more tightly into the VLTI IT infrastructure, including daily calibration procedures that will result in public instrument health and quality control pages, as for other instruments.

December 2014: The PICNIC detector was replaced by the RAPID detector. This impoved both the sensitivity and read-out speed, making the instrument more robust against bad observing conditions. At the same time, the dispersive optics was replaced, so that now only two dispersion modes, GRISM (6 pixels) and FREE (1 pixel), are available.