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The METIS project

The METIS project aims to develop one of the first-light instrument for the E-ELT. METIS will be a mid-infrared (3 - 14 µm) imager and spectrograph, which the University of Cologne is since recently contributing to through our group.

More can be read on METIS on the official page of the project: the METIS instrument.

NAIR Astrophotonics

The project NAIR "Novel Astronomical Instrumentation based on photonic light Reformating" is a DFG-funded proposed collaboration between Landessternwarte Heidelberg (Andreas Quirrenbach, Robert Harris), Leibniz-Institut for Astrophysik Potsdam (Roger Haynes, Stefano Minardi) and Universität zu Köln (Lucas Labadie) to exploit the recognized potential of photonics solutions for a radically new approach to astronomical instrumentation for optical to infrared high resolution spectroscopy and high angular resolution imaging. In the last ten years, new paths have been opened with successful on-sky experiments and operational instruments that make use of photonics devices. With the increasing maturity of astrophotonics concepts, unique functionalities are developed to route and manipulate light beams that are not at reach with classical bulk optics solutions.

The NAIR project brings together experts in the field of instrumentation and astronomical photonics to demonstrate and improve the proof-of-concept of so-called remapping functions for spectroscopy and imaging. Remapping functions allow the rearrangement of a multimode spectrograph's PSF into a one-dimensional diffraction limited slit to offer maximum resolving power, or the efficient rearrangement of the full pupil of large telescope to enable true diffraction-limit interferometric spectro-imaging. The NAIR project will focus on investigating new optimal designs for coherent and incoherent remappers, conducting first technological on-sky tests on small- and medium-size telescopes and extending these concepts towards longer wavelengths (K, L bands) where they are currently unavailable.

The NAIR project is expected to lead to important technological breakthroughs that could be uniquely implemented in the future at the time of the calls for second- generation instrumentation for the E-ELT.

The webpage of the project is available HERE.

Please check the press releases: PR1, PR2

The ALSI project

The ALSI project - Advanced Laser-Writing for Stellar Interferometry - is a BMBF funded research and instrumentation activity hosted at the 1. Physics Institute. It deals with the development of integrated optics devices for infrared interferometry and fringe-tracking at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) in Chile.

Two PhD positions are offered at our institute within this project. Here the details for the position 1 and for the position 2.

The AOLI camera

The acronym AOLI stands for “Adaptive Optics Lucky Imager”. This project aims at building a camera able to deliver diffraction limited images in the optical part of the spectrum. This instrument is designed for the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope, in La Palma (Canary Islands), but is also built in the perspective of equipping in the future the 10.4-m Gran Telescopio de Canarias (GTC).
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The 2015 VLTI Summer School

In September 2015 is held in Cologne the 8th VLTI Summer School.

Please visit VLTI 2015 to register by 30.06.2015.

Sponsors and partners

  • Opticon
  • I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln
  • Universität zu Köln
  • Max-Planck Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn
  • Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg
  • SFB 956 DFG
  • Bonn-Cologne Graduate School
  • Jean-Marie Mariotti Center, France
  • Santander Universitäten
  • Cologne Summer Schools