Cryogenic technologies for large instruments

In force date
Call year
María Begoña
García Lorenzo
Financial institution
Amount granted to the IAC Consortium
70.000,00 €

The dimensions of the instruments in design for the next generation of large telescopes exceed the capacities of the cryogenic and vacuum infrastructures available at the IAC. Cryogenic instrumentation requires a large number of tests to verify its mechanisms and components, as well as of the whole instrument once assembled. These verification tests must be performed in high-vacuum and cryogenic temperatures following proper safety practices for people and the instrument itself. It is mandatory to establish well designed and tested operational and safety protocols before these cryogenic capabilities can be offered as common user infrastructures.

The general aim of this scientific-technological project is the implementation of a permanent common-user facility for cryogenic and high-vacuum testing of electro-opto-mechanical components and subsystems of large instruments. This is the case of the pre-optics module for HARMONI, which development is under the responsibility of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC). HARMONI is one of the first light instruments for the 39m Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), a telescope that will significantly improve our knowledge in most branches of Astrophysics; hence, it is widely supported by the international scientific community.

These funds will allow the IAC to undertake the mandatory tasks to upgrade the general-purpose infrastructures related to high vacuum and cryogenics to carry out R&D&I activities connected to the development of instrumentation for large telescopes. These infrastructures will be of valuable assistance to all projects at the IAC (and in the surrounding area) requiring cryogenics, promoting the IAC as an international reference institution in the development of large cryogenic scientific instrumentation. The development of large telescopes and their instruments constitute a unique opportunity for the high technology science industry in our country.

Related projects
Infografía 3D de HARMONI
HARMONI is one of the three ELT (European Extremely Large Telescope) first light scientific instruments. It is a visible and near-infrared (0.47 to 2.45 µm) integral field spectrograph, providing the ELT's core spectroscopic capability, over a range of resolving powers from R (≡λ/Δλ) ~4000 to R~20000.
María Begoña
García Lorenzo
Mediavilla Gradolph