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Here are described some of the instrumentation projects conducted in our group in the recent years


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 contributing to.

Our group develops the Warm Calibration Unit, a sub-system that delivers artificial sources and trouble-shooting capabilities to be used during commissioning and science operation of the instrument. Together with the rest of the METIS team, we have succesfully passed the Final Design Review at the end of 2022 and we are currently in the manufacturing and assembly phase of the sub-system.

This effort has been financially supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), which we are grateful to.

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, Leibniz-Institut for Astrophysik Potsdam, and Universität zu Köln 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. Please check the press releases PR1, PR2

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. In the first funding phase NAIR has demonstrated the importance of various technological breakthoughs.

Recently, a second phase of the project has been approved in the form of the NAIR-APREXIS distributed instrument.


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.


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).


The 2015 VLTI Summer School

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