Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades Gobierno de Canarias Universidad de La Laguna CSIC Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa

Technological Development Projects


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Optical Infrared Co-ordination Network for Astronomy (OPTICON). Participation in OPTICON. One of the main goals of this project, to which many of the individual activities being carried out at OPTICON are also contributing, is to produce construction specifications for a European Extremely Large Telescope.


OPTICON is an Integrated Infrastructure Initiative of the 6th EU I+D+i framework programme for improving the coordination of the European astronomical community in the fields of infrared, optics and solar physics.

The OPTICON project which is coordinated by the University of Cambridge and financed by the European Commission, has the objective of identifying opportunities for collaboration that have the potential to deliver significant progress and bring them to fruition through a variety of joint activities in order to strengthen European astronomy through cooperation and rationalisation.

This European contract, worth 19.2 million euros and benefiting from considerable national contributions, brings together six network activities (NAs) with 6 additional joint research activities (JRAs) focussed on technological developmet. OPTICON also comprises a transnational access programme covering 22 European telescopes all over the world, four of them solar and 18 nocturnal.

One of the main goals for this project, supported by many of the individual activities being undertaken as part of OPTICON, is to prepare the scientific and technological specifications for the construction of a European Giant Telescope.

The IAC is playing a key role in many of the activities being undertaken by OPTICON, which has 47 contractors and is a European initiative. It is participating in three of the six Joint Research Activities (JRAs), is managing one of the Networking Activities and participating in two more. They are:

JRA2: Fast Optical Detectors for AO (1)
JRA5: Smart Focal Planes (2)
JRA6: Volume Phase Holographic Gratings (VPHG) (3)
NA2: Coordination and Integration of ENO facilities (4)
NA3.5: N3.5: Key Technologies ( 5)
NA6: OPTICON Telescopes network (6)

The whole of the transnational access programme is based at the IAC, which is creating an office for the management and promotion of the programme.

The Instrumentation Division is specifically participating in the following activities:

-JRA2. Fast optical detectors for AO. Caracterización del detector.
-JRA5. Smart focal planes. Unidad de máscaras reconfigurables de plano focal.
-JRA6. Volume phase holographic gratings. Especificaciones y pruebas en frio.
-NA3.5. Opticon key technologies. Actividades de preparación de futuros desarrollos técnicos.


OPTICON (Optical Infrared Co-ordination Network for Astronomy) is a project financed by the VI European Commission framework programme with contract number RII3-Ct-2004-001566.

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