ERIS will utilise the adaptive optics
correction capability of the UT4 on the Very Large Telescope Array (VLT) in Chile, using both the deformable
secondary mirror and one of the associated laser guide stars (LGS) to provide
near-diffraction limited images from 1 – 5 microns.
ERIS is effectively two
independent instruments fed by a common adaptive optics system. As the image
below indicates, there is the NIX imager and the SPIFFIER spectrograph, both of
which have strong heritage already at the VLT. NIX is a completely new camera
system that replaces much of the functionality currently offered by NACO. NACO
has lasted longer than it was originally intended, but is now in need of
replacement and NIX provides some enhanced features, such as improved high
contrast imaging capabilities. ERIS will combine NIX with an upgrade to the
SPIFFI instrument that currently forms part of SINFONI on UT4 of the VLT. This
Integral Field Unit spectrograph will be upgraded and restored to full health,
before integration in ERIS.
ERIS is being led by MPE in Germany. In Edinburgh the UK ATC is responsible for the NIX camera, with contributions from ETHZ in Zurich and ASTRON in Leiden. The adaptive optics, calibration and instrument software, are being developed by INAF.
For more information on ERIS, see the links to the right, or click here to visit the ERIS PAGES on the ESO website.