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European Organisation
for Astronomical
Research in the
Southern Hemisphere

Annual Report 2016


European Organisation
for Astronomical
Research in the
Southern Hemisphere

Annual Report 2016

Presented to the Council

by the Director General
Tim de Zeeuw
The European Southern Observatory

P. Horlek/ESO
ESO, the European Southern Observatory, of Chile: LaSilla, Paranal and Chajnantor. The four Unit Telescopes (UTs) of the Very Large
Telescope (VLT) at the P
aranal Observatory in Chile.
is the foremost intergovernmental astron- LaSilla, located 2400 metres above sea
omy organisation in Europe. It is sup level and 600 kilometres north of Santiago
ported by 16 countries: Austria, B
elgium, de Chile, was ESOs first site. It is acific coast in one of the driest areas in
Brazil 1, the Czech Republic, Denmark, equipped with several optical telescopes the world. Scientific operations began in
France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the with mirror diameters of up to 3.6 metres. 1999 and have resulted in many extreme-
Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, ly successful research programmes.
Sweden, Switzerland and the United The 3.5-metre New Technology Tele-
Kingdom. Several other countries have scope (NTT) broke new ground in the The VLT is a most unusual telescope
expressed an interest in membership. 1980s and was the first in the world and arguably the worlds most advanced
to have a computer-controlled main mir- optical instrument. It is not just one tele-
Created in 1962, ESO carries out an ror, a technology developed at ESO and scope, but an array of four, each with a
ambitious programme focused on the now applied to most of the worlds cur- main mirror 8.2 metres in diameter. With
design, construction and operation rent large telescopes. LaSilla remains one such telescope, images of celestial
of powerful ground-based observing at the forefront of astronomy, and is the objects as faint as magnitude 30 have
facilities enabling astronomers to make second most scientifically productive been obtained in a one-hour exposure.
important scientific discoveries. ESO observatory in ground-based astronomy This corresponds to seeing objects that
also plays a leading role in promoting (after Paranal).
The P
aranal site is located are four billion times fainter than those
and organising cooperation in astro 2600 metres above sea level and is home seen with the naked eye.
nomical research. to the Very Large Telescope (VLT), the
Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for One of the most exciting features of the
ESO operates three world-class observ- Astronomy (VISTA), the worlds largest VLT is the option to use it as a giant opti-
ing sites in the Atacama Desert region survey telescope, and the VLT Survey cal interferometer (the VLT Interferometer
Telescope (VST), the largest telescope or VLTI). This is done by combining the
designed exclusively to survey the skies
B razil has already signed an Accession Agreement in visible light. Paranal is situated about The telescopes of the ALMA array spread across the
and will officially become the 16th Member State 130 kilometres south of Antofagasta Chajnantor plateau in Chile. APEX can be seen in the
of ESO on completion of the requisite ratification
in Chile, 12 kilometres inland from the distance (far right).
S. Otarola/ESO

2 ESO Annual Report 2016

ESO/B. Tafreshi (

Night-time at LaSilla. lengths. It is located on the high-altitude Armazones and most major contracts
Chajnantor plateau, 5000 metres above have been signed. The start of ELT oper-
light from two or more of the 8.2-metre sea level one of the highest astronomi- ations is expected around 2024.
telescopes or two or more of the four cal observatories in the world. The ALMA
1.8-metre movable Auxiliary Telescopes project is a partnership between ESO, The ESO Headquarters are located in
(ATs). In this interferometric mode, the East Asia and North America, in coopera- Garching, near Munich, Germany. This is
telescopes vision is as sharp as that of tion with the Republic of Chile. the scientific, technical and administrative
a telescope the size of the separation centre of ESO where technical develop-
between the most distant mirrors. For The C hajnantor site is also home to the ment programmes are carried out to pro-
the VLTI, this is 200 metres. Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) vide the observatories with the most ad
a 12-metre diameter millimetre and sub- vanced instruments. ESOs offices in Chile
Each year, about 1900 proposals are millimetre telescope, operated by ESO are located in Vitacura, Santiago. They
submitted for the use of ESO telescopes, on behalf of the Max Planck Institute for host the local administration and support
requesting between three and six times Radio Astronomy, the Onsala Space groups, and are home to ESO/Chile astron-
as many nights as are available. ESO is Observatory and ESO itself. omers when they are not at the observa-
the most productive ground-based tories. This site also contains the ALMA
observatory in the world whose operation The next step beyond the VLT is the con- Santiago Central Office. ESO Vitacura is
yields many peer-reviewed publications: struction of the Extremely Large Telescope an active node for training new genera-
in 2016 alone, 940 refereed papers based (ELT) with a primary mirror 39metres in tions of researchers, acting as a bridge
on ESO data were published. diameter. The ELT will be the worlds big- between scientists in Europe and Chile.
gest eye on the sky the largest opti-
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submil cal/near-infrared telescope in the world. The total regular Member State contribu-
limeter Array (ALMA), the largest ground- When complete it will address many of tions to ESO in 2016 were approximately
based astronomy project in existence, is the most pressing unsolved questions in 159 million euros and ESO employs
a revolutionary facility for world astronomy. astronomy and may, eventually, revolution- around 660 staff.
ALMA comprises an array of 66 antennas ise our perception of the Universe, much
of 12 and 7 metres in diameter observing as Galileos telescope did 400 years ago. Artists rendering of the Extremely Large Telescope
at millimetre and submillimetre wave- Construction work is ongoing on Cerro on top of Cerro Armazones.
ESO/L. Calada

ESO Annual Report 2016 3


Foreword by the President of Council 6

Introduction by the Director General 7
Science 10
Research Highlights 11
Offices for Science 20
Allocation of Telescope Time 24
Publication Digest 27
Operations 32
LaSilla Paranal Observatory 33
Data Management and Operations 42
ALMA and the ESO ALMA Support Centre 46
Programmes 54
Instrumentation for the LaSilla Paranal Observatory 55
Technology Development 62
The Extremely Large Telescope 64
Engineering 70
Administration 80
Finance and Budget 82
List of Staff 90
Organigram 94
Director General Support 96
Committees 104
Council 105
Finance Committee 106
Scientific Technical Committee 107
Observing Programmes Committee 109
Users Committee 111
Outreach 112
Calendar of Events 118
Glossary of Acronyms 122
Foreword by the President of Council

In 2004, Council agreed a strategy for improve sensitivity and reliability while location for the southern hemisphere
ESO that has guided decisions and invest- enabling new modes, have maintained elements of the Cherenkov Telescope
ments over the last decade and more. the competitiveness of existing instru- Array (CTA), agreement has been reached
The key elements of the strategy can be ments, such as the VLT Imager and for ESO to operate and participate in the
summarised as follows: Spectrometer for mid-InfraRed (VISIR) CTA project. ESO is thus developing into
Retention of astronomical leadership and, in the near future, the upgraded a truly multi-messenger observatory.
and excellence into the era of extremely CRyogenic InfraRed Echelle Spectrome- The outreach and public education activi-
large telescopes by carefully balancing ter (CRIRES+). Other instruments are ties have also grown substantially, with
investment; in the pipeline, focusing the two largest the construction of the ESO Supernova
Completion of ALMA and efficient telescopes on LaSilla on exoplanet and Planetarium & Visitor Centre at G
exploitation of its superb scientific transient source science, and providing promising to raise ESOs profile even
capabilities; them with another decade of front-line higher in the future.
Ensuring that operational support of use. Meanwhile the Enhanced Resolution
the VLT remains effective, with regular Imager and Spectrograph (ERIS), a capa- I am delighted to note the major achieve-
upgrades and new instrumentation to ble adaptive optics instrument that will ments in all of the key areas of ESOs
maintain competitiveness; exploit the AOF and deliver enhanced programme in 2016. The development
E xploitation of the unique capabilities imaging and spectroscopic performance, of new facilities and capabilities, together
of the VLT Interferometer; is under development. There is no doubt with upgrades of existing infrastructure
Construction of an extremely large tele- that ESO continues to provide the worlds and instruments in a balanced programme,
scope on a competitive time scale most comprehensive and advanced suite is maintaining ESOs pre-eminence in
through radical strategic planning and of astronomical facilities at optical and ground-based astronomy. The excellent
by seeking additional funds for fast infrared wavelengths. results summarised in this report result
implementation. from a great deal of hard work by talented
Construction of ALMA is complete. The and dedicated staff at ESO and at insti-
A comprehensive description of devel ALMA Residencia, the last major compo- tutes in the Member States. ESOs efficient
opments since the Council Resolution nent of the ALMA Observatory infrastruc- administrative and technical staff support
of 2004, together with the perspectives ture, will be completed and occupied in collaborative projects on all scales, from
and strategy for the future, have been 2017. Many observing modes have been the biggest telescope projects in the
presented by the Director General in the commissioned, enabling a wide range of world to small groups of individuals devel-
article Reaching New Heights in Astron- projects, including the first programmes oping ideas and proposals. Council is
omy in The Messenger. It is gratifying exploiting very long baseline (continental very grateful to everyone who has con-
to review the current state of ESOs pro- scale) interferometry (VLBI). A great deal tributed to another remarkably successful
gramme in the light of this strategy. of experience in operating ALMA in the year of scientific endeavour and progress.
challenging environment of the Chajnantor
Over the last decade, the second genera- plateau has been gained, and breathtak-
tion of VLT instruments has been brought ing images and spectra have confirmed
into operation and the programme of its transformational capabilities. It is
upgrades to the infrastructure on P aranal, especially gratifying to note that astrono-
which was required to accommodate mers from ESOs Member States submit
the second-generation VLTI instruments the largest number of proposals to use
and exploit the incoherent combined ALMA and have the highest productivity
focus of the VLT, has now largely been when it comes to publishing the scientific
completed. The VST and VISTA survey results. A vision for the future enhance-
telescopes have complemented the deep ment and operation of ALMA to 2030 is Patrick Roche
narrower-field capabilities of the VLT, now being developed with our partners in President of Council
further enhancing the scientific grasp of North America and East Asia.
the Observatory. The second-generation
VLTI instruments have begun commis- In 2016, Council approved an ambitious
sioning and will be completed in the next schedule for the first phase of the ELT.
two years, further increasing ESOs capa- First light is planned for 2024, and the
bilities at the highest spatial resolution in major contracts for the telescope, optics
the optical/infrared. and enclosure have been let within the
available budget envelope.
At the same time, commissioning of the
Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF), which In fact, ESOs programme has developed
further enhances the image quality for even more broadly than envisaged in
a variety of instruments, is continuing, the 2004 strategy resolution. Following a
with excellent results obtained to date. site selection process that identified the
A number of instrument upgrades, which Paranal concession as the preferred

6 ESO Annual Report 2016

Introduction by the Director General

In 2016 ESO was set firmly on the road contract ever placed by ESO and may be

Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO
to achieving first light with the Extremely the largest single contract in ground-
Large Telescope in late 2024, in time for based astronomy to date. Council decid-
scientific overlap with the James Webb ed to allow placement of all Phase 1 ELT
Space Telescope (JWST) and ahead of contracts on a schedule that results in
the competing giant telescope projects. first light of Phase 1 ELT in late 2024. This,
ESOs telescopes enabled many remark- together with the hedging of the Chilean
able discoveries in 2016, including the Peso, lowers overall cost and risk and
detection of a rocky planet in the habita- provides earlier science return. By the end
ble zone of the nearest star, Proxima of the year, contract approvals by Finance
Centauri, which garnered world-wide Committee had reached nearly 80% of
attention. the material costs of Phase 1, with an
acceptable level of contingency remaining.
President Rousseff of Brazil visited Phase 2 of ELT construction is not (yet)
Santiago in February, and publicly recog- funded, but a stepwise implementation is
nised the importance of Brazilian mem- being pursued, with a first goal of ensur-
bership of ESO. The political situation ing that the full primary mirror is in place
in Brazil remains complex, and activities at first light.
continue to convince interim President
Temer to sign the accession agreement, The first stone of the new substation
which was ratified by Congress in 2015. connecting Paranal and Armazones to
Discussions took place with Hungary, the Chilean electrical grid was placed
Ireland and Norway on potential acces- on 27 May, in the presence of Chilean
sion, and a strategic partnership with dignitaries. The project is on schedule ALMAs observing efficiency has contin-
Australia is under discussion. for completion in mid-2017, which will ued to increase and many discoveries
allow the construction of the ELT to use were made, but challenges have arisen
On Paranal, all four lasers of the Laser grid power instead of relying on diesel with the calibration and imaging data
Guide Star Facility (LGSF) were com generators. reduction which will require attention.
missioned in April. The new Deformable The Residencia, the final ALMA construc-
Secondary Mirror (DSM) saw first light on LaSilla now runs on solar power, and tion deliverable from ESO, was complet-
24October. The commissioning of the the aging infrastructure is being upgrad- ed in September. It is a striking building,
GRound-layer Adaptive optics Assisted ed. The new instruments the Near designed by the Finnish architects Kouvo
by Lasers (GRAAL) and Ground Atmos- Infra Red Planet Searcher (NIRPS) for the and Partanen, and will be ready for occu-
pheric Layer Adaptive optiCs for Spectro- ESO 3.6-metre and Son Of X-Shooter pation in 2017. The AEM antenna con-
scopic Imaging (GALACSI) units in 2017 (SOXS) on the NTT are making pro- tract was formally closed out in February,
will complete the entire AOF, allowing dif- gress, as are the new hosted telescopes, when the warranty on the 25th antenna
fraction-limited imaging and spectrosco- Exoplanets in Transits and their Atmos- expired. A celebration of this milestone,
py with Unit Telescope 4. Installation of pheres (ExTrA) and the Multi-site All Sky for all those involved, took place at ESO
the Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exo- CAmeRA (MASCARA), both devoted to Headquarters on 14 June, marking what
planet and Stable Spectroscopic Obser- exoplanets. was at the time the largest contract ESO
vations (ESPRESSO), which will be able had ever placed, and one which required
to use any or all of the Unit Telescopes, The completion of the basic construction much work to stay in budget.
is on course. The GRAVITY instrument of the building (topping out), including
for the VLTI made excellent progress, installation of the Star-roof, for the ESO In December, Council approved ESOs
and is ready for the forthcoming Galactic Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre participation in the CTA as an additional
Centre passage of the S2 star. The con- took place on 25 April, and everything is supplementary programme. This allows
tract for the 4-metre Multi-Object Spectro- on track for the official opening in the first ESO to join the CTA partnership, and
scopic Telescope (4MOST) instrument for half of 2018. operate CTA-South on the P aranal prem-
VISTA was signed. High-level visitors to ises on a cost-reimbursement basis
Paranal included Dutch foreign minister APEX celebrated ten years of science including provision of observing time
Koenders, Max Planck Society President operations in January and received a very reserved for Member States and for Chile.
Stratmann, many ambassadors and positive external review. In December This will expand ESOs programme to
senior representatives from EIROforum. Council approved the extension of APEX observing the high-energy Universe from
operations for the period 20182022. the ground.
The contract for the Dome and Main ESOs share will increase to 32 %, with
Structure of the ELT was signed on the Max Planck Society taking 55 % Collective bargaining with the local staff
25 May, in the presence of Minister and Sweden 13 %. New instrumentation in Chile took place in November, and
Giannini (Italy), completing a three-year and an antenna upgrade are part of the resulted in a three-year contract. The
procurement process. It is the largest extension. working group reviewing the rules for

ESO Annual Report 2016 7

local staff in relation to recent develop-
ments in Chilean labour law helped to
identify the areas that require attention.
The Executive will deliver a revised
version by mid-2017. A pilot programme
of Engineering Fellowships was intro-
duced, which will help to attract more
female engineers.

Starting on 1 July, ESO chairs the

EIROforum partnership of the eight lead-
ing European intergovernmental scientific
research organisations for a period of
one year.

The Executive wrote a new long-term

plan, published in The Messenger 166,
entitled Reaching New Heights in Astron-
omy. It provides a summary of what was
achieved since the Council Resolution
on Scientific Strategy formulated in 2004,
outlines the programme for the next
1015 years, and also includes a look at
the internal structure, a broader assess-
ment of the ESO model and a description
of opportunities for the future.

This is the tenth introduction to ESOs

Annual Report that I have written. Taken
together, they chronicle a decade of
superb achievements by the Organisation,
powered by the dedication and motiva-
tion of ESOs staff on all the sites, and
by the many teams of scientists and
engineers in the community that are an
integral part of the Programme. It has
been a privilege to have contributed to
the development of ESO into the world-
leading organisation for ground-based
astronomy it is today, and a pleasure
to know that ESO will be in excellent
hands when X avier Barcons takes over
on 1September 2017.

Tim de Zeeuw
ESO Director General

The ESO Headquarters in G

arching, Germany.

8 ESO Annual Report 2016

ESO Annual Report 2016 9

10 ESO Annual Report 2016

Research Highlights

Guidance provided by the Directorate Observing time on our telescopes is The resulting flow of high-impact publi
for Science (DSC) underpins all sci- ESOs most precious commodity. Over- cations is testimony to the brilliance of
ence-related projects at ESO. DSC subscription rates are sometimes driven our community, the productivity and
is home to the Offices for Science to uncomfortable levels by a demanding quality of the ESO Observatories, and the
and the ESO libraries, one of each in community with high expectations, a remarkable data obtained. The highlights
V itacura and Garching, as well as community that now leads the world in presented here are but a small sample
to the Observing Programmes Office, many areas of astronomy and which con- of the many fascinating results published
the Project Scientists, the VLT, VLTI, tinues to grow in number and in stature. during 2016.
ALMA and ELT Programme Scientists,
the education and Public Outreach
Department (ePOD) and last but
most certainly not least the ESO
Fellows and Students. An Earth-mass planet in the habitable zone around the
DSC could be accused of being nearest star
careless in 2016, saying farewell to
some fine scientists. Olivier Hainaut
left ePOD to take up a new role as Planets have now been found around of only 0.15 % of the Suns and a surface
End-to-End Scientist in the Data many stars, but in many cases the temperature of 3050 K. Proxima Cen
Management and Operations Division. detected exoplanets are rather extreme is currently at a distance of 1.30 parsecs
The VLTI Programme Scientist, Jean- when compared to the planets of the and revolves around a Cen in about
Philippe Berger, returned to Grenoble, Solar System. They are either Jupiter- 550000 years, in an orbit that has a
and the Deputy Director for Science, sized planets in close orbits or planets major axis twice the size of the minor axis
Dietrich Baade, retired after a long with very large separations from their (an eccentricity of 0.5).
and distinguished career at ESO. host star. These findings result from the
DSC welcomed Anthony Mroczkowski detection methods. The radial velocity These nearest stars have been the targets
and Anna Brucalassi to the group of method, whereby the reflex motion of of radial velocity surveys and have been
Project Scientists. Several others are the star induced by the gravitational pull observed with the UV-visual Echelle
en route to join DSC in 2017. of the planet is measured, favours the Spectrograph (UVES), between 2000 and
detection of massive, close-by planets; 2008, and the High Accuracy Radial
while direct imaging relies on offset dis- velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS). A dedi-
tances sufficiently large that the planet(s) cated HARPS campaign over 2.5 months
can be separated from the host star. was used to eliminate period ambiguities
and simultaneous photometric measure-
The nearest stars to the Sun, Alpha ments were made from several observa-
CentauriA and B, are two Sun-like stars tories. Combining 216 radial velocity
in a binary system at a distance of epochs (from UVES and HARPS) for the
1.33parsecs. They are also orbited by analysis, a periodicity of 11.2 days was
an M dwarf, Proxima Cen, which has a determined with very high significance
mass of 0.1221 0.0022 MA, a luminosity (false-alarm probability less than 10 7).

HARPS pre-2016

RV (m s 1)

This colour image from FORS2 on the VLT shows
the edge-on spiral galaxy NGC1055, prominently Radial velocity variations of Proxima
displaying dust lanes and star-forming regions in 0 2 4 6 8 10 Centauri as a function of phase.
the disc of the galaxy. Phase (days) From Anglada-Escud et al., 2016.

ESO Annual Report 2016 11

The photometric monitoring revealed an planet from its host star, it lies in the facing the star. This would result in large
80-day period, which is the known rota- region where both an atmosphere and variations, for example in temperature,
tion period of Proxima Cen and relates to liquid water could exist on the surface between the side of the planet facing the
features on the surface of the star. the habitable zone. This is because the star and the opposite side.
luminosity of Proxima Cen is so low.
The radial velocity variation of 11.2 days Future observations will attempt to search
is associated with a planet orbiting Whether the conditions on Proxima b for astrometric variability of Proxima Cen
Proxima Cen inducing a velocity ampli- are amenable to life remains to be deter- in order to determine the inclination
tude of 1.4 m s 1 on the host star. The mined. The orbital configuration with and thence the mass of Proximab. Direct
planet called Proxima b has a Proxima orbiting another double star imaging of Proximab will, however, be
mass of at least 1.3 MEarth and an orbital may have had effects on the evolution of difficult since the maximum separation is
separation (major axis) of 0.05 au. The Proxima b. Also, at such a small distance 45 milli-arcseconds and the brightness
mass estimate is only a lower limit as the from Proxima Cen the planets rotation contrast is smaller than 1 part in a million
inclination of the planetary orbit is not is most likely locked to the orbital phase, (15 mag. at 3.6m).
known. Despite the small distance of the i.e., the same side of the planet is always

Cosmological shapes

The light travelling through the Universe

Kilo-Degree Survey Collaboration/H. Hildebrandt

is deflected by small changes in the
geometry of space induced by mass
concentrations, like galaxy clusters and
the filamentary distribution of matter
on large scales. The observable effect is
a systematic distortion of the images of
distant galaxies, called cosmic shear.

& B. Giblin/ESO
The growth of structure in the Universe is
directly determined by the underlying
cosmology. A larger amount of matter
forms clumps faster, but if the expansion
of the Universe is accelerated, then
clumping becomes more difficult and the (Upper) Map of dark matter from the
KiDS survey. The image shows dense
growth is slowed. By measuring the cos- 1.2 KiDS-450
(light) and empty (dark) regions.
mic shear, the formation of structure can CFHTLenS (MID J16)
be traced and the cosmological parame- WMAP9+ACT+SPT
ters determined. Planck15
In contrast to strong lensing, where the

image distortion can be directly discerned,

the effects of the large-scale matter dis- 0.8
tribution are too small to be observed for
individual objects. The distortions are
measured as statistical averages in large
samples. Owing to the large numbers 0.6 (Left) Likelihood contours for the
of galaxy images involved, the systematic matter density (m) and clumping
0.16 0.24 0.32 0.40 parameter (8) from KiDS compared
uncertainties in the experiment must be to other surveys. From Hildebrandt
controlled extremely well. m
et al., 2016.

The Kilo Degrees Survey (KiDS) with the distortions across the large field of view. on 15 million galaxy images over 450
VST was specifically designed for cosmic KiDS aims at imaging 1500 square square degrees. The KiDS sample repre-
shear measurements. The VST camera, degrees of the extragalactic sky in four sents the current best cosmic shear
OmegaCAM, provides excellent ground- filters across the optical band (ugri). In a measurement, considering the combina-
based image quality with minimal image first data release, analysis was performed tion of area, depth and image quality.

12 ESO Annual Report 2016

The typical density of matter within a A careful analysis of all possible error determination. A critical component is
fixed volume customarily defined as sources yields no obvious explanation for the c alibration of the photometric red-
a box with 8 Megaparsecs on a side the discrepancy. shifts through large spectroscopic sam-
called 8, and the mean matter density of ples. An important input catalogue came
the Universe (m), are measured within The full KiDS survey, and the extension from the VIsible Multi-Object Spectro-
models of a flat Universe. The KiDS result to the near-infrared with VISTA through graph (VIMOS) zCOSMOS survey carried
is inconsistent with an independent the ongoing VISTA Kilo-degree INfrared out some years ago. The coming years
measurement by the ESA Planck satellite Galaxy (VIKING) survey, will improve on will see an improved quality of cosmolog-
at 2.3 and confirms previous, less one of the largest current uncertainties ical parameter estimation based on these
complete, ground-based determinations. in the analysis: the photometric redshift massive imaging surveys.

Dissecting the central Bulge of the Milky Way

The exact stellar composition of the inner

ESO/VVV Survey/D. Minniti

Galaxy remains unclear. The Galactic
Bulge covers a large area on the sky with
high extinction by dust requiring both a
wide-area and deep infrared survey. The
VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV)
survey investigates the inner Milky Way
by tracing several different stellar classes.
In addition to imaging the Bulge, the VVV
has also observed at multiple epochs
to build a catalogue of variable objects.
Among the identified variable stars are
core-helium-burning red clump stars,
which can be used as distance indicators
owing to the weak dependence of their
luminosity on age and metallicity. These
stars can thus be used to trace the struc-
ture of the Bulge.

A stellar bar is clearly detected as a

feature of the inner Milky Way. In addition,
the VVV star counts within the survey
area could be converted to mass by
assuming the stellar mass function. The
deduced total mass of the bulge is 2.0
0.3 1010 MA, within an area from 9.5 < =
= + 10.5 and 4.5 <=b< = 4.5 degrees
(Galactic longitude and latitude). This is
the first mass determination independent
of any dynamical model of the Milky Way.

Another special type of star easily identi-

fied in the VVV survey is the RR Lyrae
stars, which are old (>10 Gyr) and metal-
poor ([Fe/H] < 0.5) variable stars. Their VVV has discovered RR Lyrae stars in the Inner region of the Milky Way from the VVV survey
where RR Lyrae stars have been found.
variability makes them easy to identify Galactic Bulge itself. These RR Lyrae
and, on account of their narrow intrinsic stars are leftovers from mergers of globu-
colour distribution, they can also be used lar clusters that were disrupted by dynam- component of stars in the Bulge and pro-
to measure the absorption along the line ical friction and formed an important part vides an important clue to the formation
of sight towards them. For the first time, of the Bulge. This finding indicates an old of the inner part of the Milky Way.

ESO Annual Report 2016 13

A high-mass protobinary with circumstellar accretion discs and circumbinary disc

The formation of massive stars (greater CONICA (NACO) and Astronomical Multi- This points towards IRAS172163801
than 10 MA) is understood to involve BEam combineR (AMBER) observations, being a very young system (just a few
accretion from circumstellar discs able to was known to be a massive proto-binary, hundred thousand years old).
overcome the radiation pressure of the was observed in the Science Verification
light emitted by the protostar. Models (SV) programme of GRAVITY. The obser- Additionally, the GRAVITY spectro-
compatible with this scenario, however, vations, performed with the AT compact interferometric data clearly show the
fail to explain the observational evidence configuration (baselines ranging from 11 hydrogen Brackett- line and carbon
that most (if not all) of these massive stars to 34 metres) confirmed the binary nature monoxide (CO) band-heads in emission.
are in multiple systems. Observing star of the object and allowed for aperture The analysis of the Br- line shows that
formation is, however, challenging for sev- synthesis imaging, using the AMBER+ the less massive southern component (B)
eral reasons: the protostar is enshrouded GRAVITY dataset. The final image has a is accreting more than the more massive
in gas and dust, making it visible only resolution of 3 milliarcseconds and clearly northern component (A), which was
at longer wavelengths; and angular reso- shows two point sources, each surround- already suspected from CRyogenic Infra-
lution of a few milli-arcseconds is usually ed by an accretion disc. Red Echelle Spectrometer (CRIRES)
required since star-forming regions are spectro-astrometric data. More interest-
distant and protostars are compact (a few Guided by the image, a morphological ing still, the GRAVITY data put the CO
hundreds of au). These challenges make model could be fitted to the data. This emission between the two proto-stars,
facilities like ALMA and the VLTI uniquely model is composed of two stars, their indicating gas streams between the
equipped to study star formation. discs (elongated and with inner gaps) and two accretion discs. These observations
a larger component filling the interfero- clearly demonstrate the capabilities of
The newly arrived VLTI instrument metric field of view, likely a circumbinary GRAVITY as a spectro-interferometric
GRAVITY, which combines the light from disc and detected with NACO in L-band. imager of complex objects, providing new
four telescopes in the infrared (K-band) is It is not clear why the circumstellar discs constraints on models of the formation of
particularly suited to this task. IRAS17216 are not aligned with the binary axis, but massive stars.
3801, which, thanks to earlier NAOS- tidal forces will eventually align them.

200 1.0 200 1.0


0.80 0.80
100 100
Dec (mas)

0.60 0.60
Dec (mas)


0 0

0.40 0.40

100 100
0.20 0.20

200 0.0 200 0.0

200 100 0 100 200 200 100 0 100 200
RA (mas) RA (mas)
45 1.0

0.80 5. 5
15 Image of IRAS172163801
A from NACO in J-band, the
Dec (mas)

0.60 e longation being due to the


binary (upper left); NACO

400 mas


image in L-band, showing

57.9 m

0.40 an extended circumbinary

15 disc (upper right); recon
structed G RAVITY inter

ferometric image, zoomed

0.20 by a factor of 4.5 compared
B to the NACO images (lower
2012 left); and derived morpho
45 0.0 N 2016 logical model of the source
45 30 15 0 15 30 45 (lower right). From Kraus et
RA (mas) E al., 2017.

14 ESO Annual Report 2016

Planet-forming discs

One of the most stunning results from Disc outflow connection

ALMA has been the discovery of gaps 30 au in the young protostellar
system TMC1A. From
and asymmetries in the dust distribution Bjerkeli et al., 2016.
in planet-forming discs. At this time it is
still unclear whether a phase transition of
the major volatile gases is responsible
for the symmetric gaps and bright rings
in the continuum images of discs if
the effects of photoevaporation of the
disc dominate, or whether planetesimals,
planetary cores and gas giants play a
role. In some cases the presence of Disc wind
massive young planets embedded in the
discs seems unavoidable, especially in
some of the so-called transition discs.
Important results obtained in 2016 include
the clear detection of gaps in the gas
distribution at the location of the major
dust gaps in HD 163296. These depres-
sions in the gas surface density are likely
caused by the interaction between the
Launching region
disc and embedded giant planets. A tan-
talising gap detected at a radius of 1 au
in the dust distribution of the nearest
planet forming disc (TW Hydrae) may be
caused by the formation of a planet in an
Earth-like orbit, or may be the trademark
of the beginning of disc dissipation via
photo-evaporation, a process which will
eventually wipe out the disc and leave the
naked planetary system.

The first detection of gas-phase methanol

(CH3OH) in planet-forming discs is also
another important result, indicating that
the path to the formation of complex and
potentially prebiotic molecules in discs
may be a common process. Neverthe-
less, an important puzzle that is emerging
from the first surveys of gas and dust
in planet-forming discs is the very signifi-
cant CO depletion: ALMA surveys reveal
a very significant deficit of emission
from this molecule, even after accounting
for photodissociation in the disc atmos-
pheres and freeze-out in the disc mid-
plane. The most likely hypothesis is that

Gallery of high-angular-resolution continuum

o bservations of planet-forming discs obtained
with ALMA in 2016. Upper left: TW Hya (Andrews
et al., 2016); Upper right: V883 Ori (Cieza et al.,
2016); Lower left: HD 163296 (Isella et al., 2016);
Lower right: Elias 227 (Prez et al., 2016).

TW Hya: S. Andrews (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA); B. Saxton

V883 Ori: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/L. Cieza
HD 163296: ESO, ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); A. Isella; B. Saxton
Elias 227: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

ESO Annual Report 2016 15

a large fraction of the carbon and oxygen Another important aspect of disc evolu- back to a launching region that extends
is locked up in other molecular species tion during planet formation is the removal up to 25 au from the central protostar.
as a consequence of the disc chemical of angular momentum and mass transfer This disc wind appears to be an effective
evolution. Understanding this process, across the disc. ALMA observations of channel to extract angular momentum
and tracing the chemical evolution, are the young disc in TMC1A have shown from the inner disc of the system.
critical to assess the budget of these two that the material flowing out from the
key elements in planet-forming discs. inner regions of the system can be traced

Feeding the monster

Supermassive black holes are thought Velocity (km/s)

to play an essential role in galaxy evolu- 400 200 0 +200 +400
tion by regulating star formation via feed- Total CO(21) Blue spot is
back mechanisms. Feedback is provided profile radio and mm core,
by the liberation of energy in the accre- 20 centre of galaxy and 0.1
tion process, so it is critical to understand location of black hole
how this accretion is fed into powerful
Flux density (mJy)

Jy/beam km/s
active galactic nuclei. In recent years, 15
feedback models have started to depart
from the simplified assumption of steady 0

The galaxy in the centre of the cluster Abell 2597,

showing the powerful radio jet from the AGN at the 5 Beam size
centre (composite Chandra X-ray, HST and DSS (1 kpc 0.8 kpc)
optical, and Magellan Ha+[N II] emission in blue,
yellow and red, respectively; left panel). The ALMA 0.1
observations of the central 6 6 kpc region of the
galaxy reveal cold and clumpy reds hifted absorption,
tracing the infalling clouds (right panels). From
Tremblay e
t al., 2016.
Optical: NASA/STScI & DSS; Ha: Carnegie Obs./Magellan/W. Baade Telescope/U. Maryland/M. McDonald

Abell 2597 (z = 0.082) 25 % Continuum

Brightest Cluster Galaxy B: X-ray absorption Redshifted continuum absorption
and surrounding environment Y: Optical on nucleus at +240, +275, +335 km/s
R: H-alpha
Percent flux relative to average continuum

12.5 %
Rapidly cooling
X-ray atmosphere Buoyant X-ray bubbles

X-ray: NASA/CXC/Michigan State Univ/G. Voit et al;

12.5 %

25 %
30 kpc (20) 500 0 +500 +1000
Velocity (km/sec)

16 ESO Annual Report 2016

and spherical accretion of hot gas towards Recent ALMA observations of the galaxy alaxy at the centre of the cluster. These
galaxy nuclei as the mechanism by which cluster Abell 2597 (at a redshift of 0.08) observations provide the first evidence in
the supermassive black hole fuel reservoir reveal for the first time a population of support of the idea that stochastic accre-
is replenished. The properties of these cold and dense clouds infalling at veloci- tion of cold clumps feeds AGNs contain-
large-scale gas inflows have so far been ties as high as 300 km s 1 towards the ing supermassive black holes.
essentially unconstrained observationally. active galactic nucleus (AGN) of the

The high-redshift Universe

ALMA continues to demonstrate its gas in high-redshift galaxies. These medium in local starburst galaxies. Never-
effectiveness at exploring the interstellar initial exploratory studies demonstrate theless, the [C II] luminosity per unit
medium in galaxies in the deep high- the effectiveness of ALMA at performing star formation rate in the low-metallicity,
redshift Universe. Surveys of the Hubble high-redshift spectroscopic surveys and high-redshift Universe is much lower
Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) by two separate serve as preparation for deeper explora- (by roughly a factor of 10) than in the
teams have started to reveal the potential tion that is currently being executed at higher-metallicity Local Universe, making
of ALMA for blind explorations of the ALMA. these studies a challenging enterprise,
deep Universe. The initial results, currently even for the high sensitivity of ALMA. The
based on limited area and sensitivity sur- Several studies of high-redshift galaxies detection of other fine-structure lines is
veys, show that ALMA is able to resolve beyond z~6 have shown that ALMA can also challenging at this redshift, although
the submillimetre continuum cosmic back- indeed probe the interstellar medium of a potential detection of the [O III] 88 m
ground into discrete sources, and detect these objects with the [C II] 158 m line, line at z ~ 7.2 has been reported.
molecular (CO) and singly ionised carbon the strongest coolant of the interstellar

Overlay of some of the ALMA sub

millimetre detections on the optical
HUDF image.

ESO Annual Report 2016 17


The following papers were used as sources for

the research highlights.

Andrews, S. M. et al. 2016, ApJ, 820, L40

Anglada-Escud, G. et al. 2016, Nature, 536, 437
Ansdell, M. et al. 2016, ApJ, 828, 46
Bjerkeli, P. et al. 2016, Nature, 540, 406
Cieza, L. A. et al. 2016, Nature, 535, 258
de Jong, J. T. A. et al. 2015, A&A, 582, A62
Dunlop, J. et al. 2017, MNRAS, 466, 861
Hildebrandt, H. et al. 2016, MNRAS, 465, 1454
Inoue, A. K. et al. 2016, Science, 352, 1559
Isella, A. et al. 2016, Phys. Rev. Lett., 117, 1101
Kane, S. R. et al. 2017, ApJ, 853, 92
Kataoka, A. et al. 2016, ApJ, 831, L12
Kervella, P. et al. 2017, A&A, 598, L7
Knudsen, K. K. et al. 2016, MNRAS, 462, L6
Kraus, S. et al. 2017, ApJ, 835, 5
Kuijken, K. et al. 2015, MNRAS, 454, 3500
Minniti, D. et al. 2016, ApJ, 830, L14
Prez, L. M. et al. 2016, Science, 353, 1519
Tremblay, G. R. et al. 2016, Nature, 534, 218
Valenti, E. et al. 2016, A&A, 587, L6
Walsh, C. et al. 2016, ApJ, 823, L10
Walter, F. et al. 2016, ApJ, 833, 67

Aerial view of the VLT, captured from a drone

s pecially built to tackle the harsh conditions in the
Atacama Desert.

18 ESO Annual Report 2016

M. Struik (CERN)/ESO

ESO Annual Report 2016 19

Offices for Science

Integrating science Zahed is deeply involved. Before joining (Dashboard for Operational Metrics at
ESO, he was a core member of the Near- ESO) project (
One of the central missions for the Offices Infrared Coronagraphic Imager (NICI, on org2013/doo/dmo/support/dome.html),
for Science is to enable cutting-edge Gemini South) planet-finding campaign, a which provides systematic views of key
research by ESO astronomers, as a key direct imaging search for planets around operational performance indicators.
ingredient of ESOs mission. The Offices hundreds of stars. He has contributed
for Science foster the provision of the to understanding the formation mecha- Francesca is currently the chair of the
best support to the user community, help nism and dynamical evolution of planets ESO Faculty (since 2013) and, since
maintain the excellence of the facilities, in wide orbits, to the study of brown 2014, of the Scientific Personnel Com
assist the community in achieving even dwarf atmospheres and to novel planet- mittee that evaluates ESOs current and
higher goals and promote the use of detection algorithms, among other topics. future scientific staff. During the last
instruments at their very limits. Zahed is currently working hard to under- decade, Francesca has devoted a signifi-
stand planet formation, taking images cant part of her time to gender studies,
Until now, the scientific and functional of young systems, like Beta Pictoris, with organising and promoting dedicated
evaluations of ESO astronomers were the aim of precisely measuring features activities, both inside and outside ESO.
conducted in parallel by the respective in their discs equivalent to the asteroids She has had several roles on interna-
(science and line) managers, leading to and Kuiper Belt objects in the Solar Sys- tional committees for the advancement
a fragmented view of staff performance, tem. In his most recent collaboration, with of women in astronomy and is currently
goals, projects and objectives. We have Hiroshi Kobayashi at Nagoya University, chair of the Organising Committee of the
now moved to a fully integrated scheme, he is trying to determine the sizes, total IAU Working Group on Women in Astron-
in which the science evaluation, still led mass and distribution of the boulders that omy. In summer 2016, in recognition of
by the science managers (Heads of the will eventually build the protoplanets in her scientific standing, her operational
Office together with the Director for Sci- these systems. background and her strong involvement
ence), directly feeds the Performance in promoting gender equality and diver
Management and Professional Develop- Francesca Primas joined ESO as a Fellow sity in astronomy, she was awarded an
ment (PMPD) process. Line managers in 1997, providing support to the testing International Centre for Radio Astronomy
thus have a complete view of both the and Science Verification of UVES before Research (ICRAR) Visiting Fellowship for
functional and science roles in discus- it arrived on the VLT. She then became a Senior Women in Astronomy.
sions with their staff. This is still a learning staff member in the User Support Depart-
process, but it has already significantly ment (USD), within the Data Management Adele Plunkett arrived at ESO in late 2015
helped both the members of the Science and Operations Division. Scientifically, just after finishing her PhD at Yale Univer-
Faculty and the (science/line) managers to Francesca is interested in uncovering the sity; Adeles PhD dissertation received
obtain a consistent view of past achieve- nature of galaxy formation and evolution the Robert L. Brown Outstanding Doc-
ments and future objectives. Beyond the via a detailed analysis of the chemical toral Dissertation Award administered
formal need for individual assessments, history. This work ties together different by the Association of Universities Inc.
this is a critical asset to further address astrophysical fields, including primordial (AUI) and the National Radio Astronomy
the career development of science staff. and stellar nucleosynthesis, Galactic and Observatory (NRAO). She is an ESO Chile
extragalactic chemical evolution, TypeII Fellow and, with duties at ALMA and in
and/or Type I supernovae, stellar atmos- V itacura, Adele plays an active role in
Highlights pheres and cosmology. During her career, promoting science activities at ESO and
Francesca has tackled different elements ALMA. Along with the other ALMA fellows,
To illustrate the richness of skills amongst (from the very light to very heavy), different Adele organises the Joint ALMA Obser-
the science staff, the profiles and achieve- environments (thin/thick discs and halo vatory (JAO) colloquium series and the
ments of several senior and junior ESO populations) and different galaxies (from weekly astro-ph discussion. As part of her
researchers are highlighted. the Milky Way to the Magellanic Clouds ALMA duties, she has contributed as a
and Local Group galaxies). member of the ALMA Proposal Handling
Zahad Wahhaj joined ESO in 2012 as a Team and the ALMA Review Panel as a
Faculty astronomer. His area of expertise In the USD, she was the main support technical secretary, gaining an in-depth
is adaptive optics instrumentation. He astronomer for the high-resolution VLT view of the ALMA proposal selection pro-
recently took over as lead instrument sci- instruments UVES and the Fibre Large cess. Adele is also an active member
entist for the Spectro-Polarimetric High- Array Multi-Element Spectrograph of the ESO Fellowships and Studentships
contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument (FLAMES). Between 2006 and 2015, Selection Committee and she is gaining
(SPHERE). He also serves as the coordi- she led the department and was respon- her first experience of chairing the Scien-
nator for Unit Telescope 3 (UT3) which sible for supporting the full range of VLT tific and Local Organising Committees for
hosts the instruments VISIR, VIMOS and instruments in service observing, for the the ESO workshop Star Formation from
SPHERE. upgrade of the operational tools required Cores to Clusters, to be held in Vitacura
by the start of the Public Surveys on in March 2017.
The hunt for, and study of, extrasolar VISTA and the VST, and for the establish-
planets is a hot topic, and one in which ment and first release of the DOME

20 ESO Annual Report 2016

Darshan Kakkad, star formation as part of the Soul of
ESO/M. Zamani

Francesca Primas and

Lupus with ALMA (SOLA) collaboration.
Wolfgang Kerzendorf
outside the Headquar-
ters building. Wolfgang Kerzendorf arrived in Garching
from the University of Toronto where he
worked with Marten van Kerkwijk for
three years. Wolfgang is an enthusiastic
expert in data analysis specifically in
fitting complex physical models to data.
He is currently working in the Science
Data group on a new technique to extract
spectral data via physical models of the
instrument and atmosphere. Wolfgangs
main scientific interest is understanding
the progenitors and explosions of TypeIa
supernovae. For the progenitors, he is
Adele Plunkett and leading several campaigns to find the
ESO/F. Rodrguez

Zahad Wahhaj.
surviving companions of these explo-
sions. Most recently, using VLT spectros-
copy, he was able to rule out the surviv-
ing companions as the progenitor of the
oldest known TypeIa supernova remnant
RCW86 (SN185).

In order to unravel the explosion mecha-

nisms of TypeIa supernovae, Wolfgang
has built TARDIS, a radiative transfer
code for modelling spectral time series,
which requires swift fitting of the spectra
in a complex 15-dimensional space.
He has used his ESO Fellowship to build
a collaboration consisting of astrophysi-
Elyar Sedaghati. cists, statisticians and computer scien-
tists to accomplish this by employing
advanced techniques from machine
learning and statistics. Wolfgang is con-
stantly proposing new avenues to further
exploit ESOs unique scientific environ-
ment, as illustrated, for example, by his
leading of the bi-weekly Code Coffee that
centres around computing, coding and
algorithm-related questions.

Elyar Sedaghati is a PhD student from the

German Space Agency (DLR) in Berlin,
supervised there by Heike Rauer and co-
advised by Henri Boffin at ESO. Elyars
core research addresses the formation
and evolution of extrasolar planets by
Adeles scientific expertise on protostars telescope that will be used for public probing their atmospheres. In a very nice
and low-mass star formation has been outreach, a very nice way to share her demonstration of the synergistic potential
recognised with an invited review talk at passion for science with a larger audience. that can be tapped by carrying out part
the September 2016 meeting Half a of ones PhD at ESO, Elyar participated
Decade of ALMA in California, as well as In early 2017, Adele took her first steps in a hands-on project with the FOcal
an invitation to write a News & Views in the role of PhD co-supervisor. She Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph
article for the journal Nature (October and Itziar de Gregorio (JAO staff) wel- (FORS) Instrument Operation Team (IOT)
2016). In her spare time, Adele is leading comed the ESO PhD student Alejandro for the upgrade of the atmospheric disper-
a group, in collaboration with a local Santamaria, who will work on under- sion prisms. This work has allowed the
amateur observatory, to build a radio standing accretion in the early phases of exoplanet community to return to ESO for

ESO Annual Report 2016 21

ESO/M. Zamani
Group photo of the participants at the Active unveil the radiative feedback in AGNs After his PhD, D arshan will continue to
G alactic Nuclei: what's in a name? Workshop, that
at high redshift. He is also the PI of an actively contribute to ESO life as he was
took place at ESO Headquarters.
X-shooter programme aimed at relating one of the few selected for an ESO Fellow-
ionised gas dynamics and molecular ship in Chile, and will start there in Octo-
exoplanet transmission spectroscopy, as gas content in a sample of high-redshift ber 2017 as a LaSilla Paranal Fellow.
highlighted by the increased number of AGNs.
proposals for large programmes submit-
ted and accepted. Darshan has also been coordinating LaSilla School
and contributing to several activities in
Elyar himself also benefitted from this Garching. He was on the Local Organis- The Offices for Science also help promote
effort when he used the rejuvenated ing Committee of the workshop Active workshops and training events. In this
FORS2 to reveal the presence of a whole Galactic Nuclei: whats in a name? context, the well-established NEON (Net-
host of molecules in the atmosphere of held in Garching in June 2016. He has work of European Observatories in the
a hot Jupiter planet, through multi-epoch served on the Student Selection commit- North) schools are landmarks in observa-
and multi-band observations. Later this tee for a term, co-organised the Journal tional astronomy. For some years the hope
year Elyar will be returning to Chile to Club for two years and helped organise has been to organise a NEON school in
take up an ESO Fellowship, carrying out the Social Day for scientific staff in 2016; the southern hemisphere (despite the
duties at the LaSilla Paranal Observatory. in addition he was one of the two student acronym), specifically at LaSilla. Thanks
contacts for the Office for Science for to the OPTical Infrared COordination
Darshan Kakkad joined ESO in 2014 a year. Darshan has really made the best
as student with the International Max of his studentship at ESO, expanding his The students (and organiser Michel Dennefeld, far
Planck Research School (IMPRS) from network of collaborators, and creating right) during the NOVA School at LaSilla outside the
the Indian Institute of Technology in new opportunities to develop his career. dome of the ESO 3.6-metre telescope.
Chennai to work with Vincenzo Mainieri
and Paolo Padovani. His primary scien
ESO/F. Rodrguez

tific interests lie in understanding the

evolution of galaxies and the role of AGN
in this process. He has been using ALMA
and integral-field observations with the
Spectrograph for INtegral Field Observa-
tions in the Near Infrared (SINFONI) and
the Wide Field Spectrograph (WiFeS)
at the Australian National University tele-
scope to understand the dynamics of
ionised and molecular gas in AGN host
galaxies. This work has been presented
at several international conferences. He
is a contributor to large integral-field sur-
veys like SUPER (Survey for Unveiling
Physics and the Effect of Radiation feed-
back), which is a SINFONI Large Pro-
gramme (led by V incenzo Mainieri) to

22 ESO Annual Report 2016

etwork for astronomy (OPTICON), and
support from the ESO Director General,
the Director for Science, the Director
for Operations and the Heads of the
Offices for Science, the first ESO/NEON
LaSilla School was held in Vitacura and
in LaSilla from 22 February to 4 March.

For two weeks, 20 students selected

from a pool of 140 applicants worked in
five groups under the supervision of ten
tutors (two per group) on specific obser-
vational projects. They carried out every
step of a real astronomical project, from
proposal definition, design of the obser-
vations, data collection at the telescope
and data reduction, to presentation of the
results. In addition, the school covered
a number of different topics, such as how
to prepare a good presentation, how to
succeed in the job market, how to write a
strong telescope proposal, etc. The stu-
dents also learned about the current and
future ESO programmes, such as ALMA
and the ELT.

A more detailed description of the school

has been published (The Messenger 164,
47, 2016). The Office for Science in Chile
warmly thanks everyone involved in this
fantastic experience.

Connecting with the community

Other junior scientists joined ESO

Garching during a working session dedi-
cated to students of the AstroMundus
Master Programme (http://www.astro- The students were trained
in several topics, such as how to write
a good ALMA proposal. A full account
of this event is available (The Messenger
163, 51, 2016).

There was also an impressive series of

ESO Workshops in 2016 on various
scientific and technical topics, ranging
from Discs in Galaxies to Data Simula-
tions, Supernovae and Planets. See the
ESO Workshops web page for further
details (
ESO/B. Tafreshi (

The clear Chilean skies allow the Milky Way to shine

brightly above the Paranal telescope platform. In this
long-exposure photograph, ESO has been spelled
out with a red flashlight.

ESO Annual Report 2016 23

Allocation of Telescope Time

The table shows the requested and The LaSilla P

aranal Observatory and The ALMA Proposal Review Committee
scheduled observational resources APEX statistics include only proposals for the allocation of time in Early Science
allocated for Periods 98 and 99 (April submitted during the two periods (P98 Cycle 4 (covering October 2016 Sep
September 2016, October 2016 March and P99). Current Large Programme runs tember 2017) met in Vienna, Austria on
2017, respectively P98 and P99) for the approved in previous periods, Guaranteed 19 24 June 2016. The table shows the
LaSilla Paranal Observatory and APEX. Time runs and Public Survey runs are not requested and scheduled resources for
These are specified as the length of each included. The pressure is computed as the ALMA Observatory in Cycle 4. The
run in nights, the usual allocation unit the ratio between the requested and the request and allocation statistics, listed
for the LaSilla Paranal Observatory and allocated time. The last two columns pre- by ALMA frequency band, for ESO and
APEX. sent the total telescope time allocations the world (including North America,
and the fractions per instrument. East Asia, ESO and the host country
Chile) are both included. The scheduling
unit for ALMA is hours of array time.


VISTAs infrared view of the Small Magellanic Cloud

(SMC) galaxy.

24 ESO Annual Report 2016

Telescope Instrument Requested Scheduled Requested % Scheduled % Pressure Total %
runs runs time time allocation

UT1 NACO 86 39 100 15.1 % 47 26.9 % 2.13 49 19.8 %

FORS2 393 123 429 64.7 % 106 60.0 % 4.07 117 47.1 %
KMOS 80 20 134 20.2 % 23 13.1 % 5.81 82 33.1 %
Total 559 182 663 176 3.77 248

UT2 FLAMES 105 31 167 19.9 % 40 19.2 % 4.21 74 30.1 %

UVES 210 59 229 27.3 % 58 28.2 % 3.93 59 24.2 %
X-SHOOTER 363 113 444 52.8 % 109 52.7 % 4.07 112 45.7 %
Total 678 203 841 207 4.06 245

UT3 SPHERE 215 89 185 46.3 % 78 67.7 % 2.39 102 40.2 %

VIMOS 95 17 106 26.4 % 15 13.3 % 6.91 119 47.1 %
VISIR 102 25 109 27.3 % 22 18.9 % 5.04 32 12.6 %
Total 412 131 400 115 3.49 252

UT4 SINFONI 166 35 212 29.8 % 24 33.5 % 8.88 48 38.5 %

MUSE 322 43 415 58.3 % 34 47.9 % 12.13 60 48.3 %
HAWKI 103 17 84 11.8 % 13 18.6 % 6.34 16 13.2 %
Total 591 95 712 71 9.96 124

VLTI AMBER 41 27 25 35.9 % 17 41.4 % 1.44 18 38.4 %

PIONIER 50 34 44 64.1 % 24 58.6 % 1.82 29 61.6 %
GRAVITY 64 30 35 50.5 % 25 59.2 % 1.42 54 114.5 %
Total 91 61 69 42 1.67 47

3.6-metre HARPS 110 94 538 100.0 % 242 100.0 % 2.22 338 100.0 %
Total 110 94 538 242 2.22 338

NTT EFOSC2 67 39 260 65.3 % 133 63.2 % 1.96 175 61.7 %

SOFI 31 26 139 34.7 % 78 36.8 % 1.79 109 38.3 %
Total 98 65 399 211 1.89 284

APEX ARTEMIS 2 0 6 3.3 % 0 0.0 % N/A 4 4.3 %

LABOCA 14 8 43 23.8 % 26 35.8 % 1.67 26 29.4 %
SEPIA 21 9 42 23.4 % 19 27.0 % 2.18 24 27.2 %
SHFI 26 10 90 49.6 % 27 37.2 % 3.35 34 39.1 %
Total 63 27 181 72 2.52 88

ALMA Band Requested proposals Requested hours Scheduled proposals (A+B) Scheduled hours (A+B) Pressure (by hours)
3 523/231 3738/1840 148/46 794/309 4.71/5.95
4 142/62 672/250 41/15 127/46 5.29/5.43
6 747/300 4778/2034 237/84 1323/473 3.61/4.30
7 561/240 3108/1432 172/57 836/229 3.72/6.25
8 83/37 308/133 28/15 113/55 2.73/2.42
9 76/30 279/98 23/9 63/17 4.43/5.76
10 17/6 50/23 2/0 1/0 50.0/inf
Total 1571/657 12933/5810 475/226 3257/1129 3.97/5.15

ESO Annual Report 2016 25

ESO/B. Tafreshi (

This picture shows the ESO 3.6-metre telescope,

located at the LaSilla Observatory in Chile. The
night sky overhead is dominated by the Moon.
In the foreground, a red rock is marked with pre-
historic engravings. Several such engravings can
be found around LaSilla, but this particular rock
is part of the richest site in the area.

26 ESO Annual Report 2016

Publication Digest

In 2016 there was a steep increase in VLT/VLTI LaSilla Survey APEX ALMA Total
the number of refereed papers that use telescopes
ESO data in the research they present. 1996 350 350
With 940 articles published in a single
1997 389 389
year, the ESO user community has set a
new all-time record, surpassing last 1998 405 405
years number of papers by more than 1999 29 324 348
70. About 60 % of these papers involved 2000 52 300 342
VLT/VLTI data, while around 20 % were 2001 105 316 399
provided by facilities located at LaSilla.
2002 159 288 408
Both observing sites show a stable out-
put of data papers in comparison with 2003 260 305 512
previous years. 11% of all ESO data 2004 342 316 588
papers utilised observations made with 2005 359 297 607
the survey telescopes VISTA and VST,
2006 413 279 12 640
while 5 % and 14 % of the papers used
2007 495 312 1 718
data obtained during APEX and ALMA
ESO observing time, respectively. VISTA 2008 486 289 8 689
with VST, APEX and ALMA were the larg- 2009 473 260 15 660
est motors for the increase in papers in 2010 510 277 2 28 738
2016, as their productivity has increased
2011 555 286 13 27 786
since 2015 by 15 % (from 94 to 108
papers), 48 % (33 to 49), and an impres- 2012 614 270 30 40 16 865
sive 76 % (73 to 129), respectively. 2013 565 273 38 44 40 840
2014 563 267 73 47 47 871
The numbers of papers resulting from 2015 555 211 94 33 73 865
the individual observing sites, as well
2016 566 198 108 49 129 940
as the total number per year, are shown
in the table. An overview of ESO publica- Total 7101 6212 358 304 305 12 960
tion statistics is available on a dedicated
webpage ( Refereed papers using ESO data, 19962016. national allocations of time) are not included.
Papers can use data from more than one facility. Survey telescopes: papers using data generated by
telbib_pubstats_overview.html), which
VLT/VLTI: papers using data generated by VLT and ESOs survey telescopes VISTA and VST.
includes links to the corresponding VLTI instruments, including visitor instruments for APEX: papers using data generated by APEX,
records in the telbib database. which observing time is recommended by the ESO including visitor instruments for which observing
OPC, for example, VLT ULTRACAM, VLTI PIONIER. time is recommended by the ESO OPC, for example,
LaSilla: papers using data generated by facilities Z-Spec. Only papers based (entirely or partly) on
A total of 566 refereed papers published
on LaSilla, including visitor instruments for which ESO APEX time are included.
in 2016 were based on VLT/VLTI data with observing time is recommended by the ESO OPC, ALMA: papers using data generated by ALMA. Only
UVES and FORS being the most produc- for example, NTT ULTRACAM. Papers based on papers based (entirely or partly) on European ALMA
tive instruments again, contributing to data from non-ESO telescopes or observations time are included.
obtained during reserved periods (for example
123 and 118 papers respectively. Perhaps
surprisingly, the Multi Unit Spectroscopic
Explorer (MUSE), which entered opera- data have led to 46 papers so far 70 % This number is quite stunning, considering
tions in 2014, already appears among the of all the 66 papers published to 2016; that the number of facilities operated by
top five most productive VLT instruments for SPHERE, the equivalent number of ESO on LaSilla has decreased over the
in 2016; it almost tripled its number of commissioning and Science Verification past years. For instance, the Wide Field
publications from 17 in 2015 to 47 in papers was 49 % of the total by the end Imager (WFI), which has not been operat-
2016. SPHERE, for which observing data of 2016 (22 out of 45 papers). ed by ESO since October 2013, contrib-
started to appear in publications only last uted data obtained during ESO observing
year, has increased its productivity by The pie chart (following page) shows time to 15 refereed papers. The statistics
almost a factor of two (16 papers in 2015, VLT/VLTI instruments, ranked by the of individual LaSilla instruments are once
29 in 2016). number of papers to which they contribut- again led by HARPS, which produced
ed in 2016. Further statistics for individual 83papers in 2016, accounting for more
An integral part of the commissioning of instruments can be found in the Basic than 40 % of all papers from this observ-
a new instrument at the VLT is the Sci- ESO Publication Statistics report, availa- ing site (83 out of 198).
ence Verification phase, which includes a ble at
set of scientific observations chosen to edocs/ESO/ESOstats.pdf. As usual, non-ESO telescopes and
verify and demonstrate to the community instruments hosted at LaSilla, such as
the instruments capabilities. For MUSE, Almost 200 papers used data from LaSilla the Swiss 1.2-metre Leonhard Euler Tele-
commissioning and Science Verification telescopes operated by ESO in 2016. scope, the Gamma-Ray burst Optical/

ESO Annual Report 2016 27

Near-infrared Detector (GROND), and No. of Papers per VLT/VLTI instrument 2016 Refereed papers pub-
lished in 2016 using
the Danish 1.54-metre telescope, are
VLT/VLTI data. Note that
not included in the ESO publication sta- UVES: 123
papers can use obser-
tistics since their observing time is not FORS2: 109 vations from more than
evaluated by the Observing Programmes VIMOS: 75 one facility. FLAMES
X-SHOOTER: 67 papers are assigned to
Committee (OPC).
ESOs two public spectroscopic surveys, NACO: 38
Gaia-ESO, using FLAMES spectra HAWK-I: 34
obtained with UVES and/or the GIRAFFE ISAAC: 34
spectrograph at the VLT, and the Public GIRAFFE: 33
ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient SPHERE: 29
Objects (PESSTO), carried out with the FORS1: 21
Son OF ISAAC (SOFI) and the ESO Faint AMBER: 13
Object Spectrograph and Camera 2 CRIRES: 13
(EFOSC2) instruments at the NTT, were PIONIER: 11
very productive in 2016, leading to 17 and KMOS: 10
16 refereed papers, respectively. VISIR: 8
The telescopes specifically dedicated to
surveys, VISTA and VST, also continue VISTA and VST papers Number of refereed
to be very successful. They provided data 120 publications per year
for 108 papers in 2016, an increase of using data from ESOs
14 % compared to the previous year. The 100 survey telescopes,
development of the number of VISTA and
VST data papers since 2010 is shown in
the bar chart. 60

APEX provided data for almost 50 papers 40

based on ESO observing time in 2016.
ATLASGAL, the APEX Telescope Large 20
Area Survey of the GALaxy, was once
again an important pillar: half of the APEX 0
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
papers (25) used data from this survey
which combines data obtained during
ESO, MPIfR, and Chilean observing time (73papers based on ESO observations observations from programmes other
with the Large APEX BOlometer CAmera in 2015, 129 in 2016). As a result, almost than Science Verification.
(LABOCA). Among the APEX publications 40 % of all papers featured in ESO Press
was also the first one studying data ob Releases presented ALMA observations The ALMA bibliography is maintained
tained by the Architectures de bolomtres (from all partners) in 2016 (18 out of 46). jointly by the librarians at ESO and the
pour des Tlescopes a grand champ de NRAO in the USA as well as by the
vue dans le domaine sub-Millimtrique The first ALMA paper appeared in National Astronomical Observatory of
au Sol instrument (ArTeMiS). In 2016, 2012. In 2016, a clear trend can be seen Japan (NAOJ). Publications based on
APEX achieved the highest annual num- towards synergies in the evolution of data from all ALMA partners are record-
ber of publications since its inception refereed publications from ALMA and ed in telbib, but only those based on
in 2006. If observing time from all project VLT observations. While the fraction of European observing time are counted in
partners is considered, APEX provided papers that used data from both tele- the ESO statistics, unless otherwise
data for 77 refereed articles this year; scopes was around 1% until 2015, noted.
observations with ESO time were hence almost 4 % (21 out of 566) of the VLT
used in 64 % of all APEX data papers. data papers also deployed ALMA obser- The ESO Science Archive Facility (SAF)
vations in 2016. Another trend surfaced continues to be the backbone of the
ALMA achieved impressive results in in ALMA papers: in the early years of organisations research data ecosystem.
2016. A total of 229 papers used obser- ALMA data papers, the use of archival Observing data from ESO telescopes are
vations from all ALMA partners (ESO, data resulted typically from Science Veri- made available to the user community
North America, East Asia, Chile). Of fication data (between 80 and 100 % of as raw data and in various forms of data
these, 129 (or 56 %) were based on data the ESO ALMA archival data papers from products. In 2016, the facilities located at
taken during ESO observing time, which 2012 to 2015). In 2016, this fraction has Paranal (VLT, VLTI, VISTA and VST) led to
constitutes an increase of almost 80 % dropped to 70 %, indicating that ESO 654 refereed publications. As in previous
in comparison with the previous year papers increasingly deploy ALMA archival years, approximately a quarter of them

28 ESO Annual Report 2016

VLT/I impact (relative to AJ impact)
3.5 The statistics presented here are derived
from the ESO Telescope Bibliography
3 (telbib), a database of refereed papers
AJ impact VLT/I impact published by the ESO user community
2.5 that links publications with the data in
the ESO Science Archive Facility. telbib
2 is developed and maintained by the ESO

Library. It is compiled by scanning arti-

1.5 cles published in the major astronomical
journals for ESO-related keywords (e.g.,
1 telescope and instrument names). Jour-
nals routinely screened for ESO-related
0.5 keywords are: A&A, A&ARv, AJ, ApJ,
ApJS, AN, ARA&A, EM&P, ExA, Icar,
0 MNRAS, Nature, NewA, NewAR, PASJ,
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 PASP, P&SS, and Science. All papers
included in the database have been
Impact of VLT/VLTI papers relative to AJ papers, citations these papers have accumulated. inspected visually by the curators to
using the median number of citations.
However, here we apply a methodology ensure that they directly use ESO obser-
suggested by Crabtree (Crabtree, D., vational data. Further information about
telbib and various statistics and reports
(158 papers, or 24 %) used archival data, 2014, A bibliometric analysis of obser
can be found on the web (http://www.
either exclusively or in combination with vatory publications for the period 2008
principal investigator (PI) observations. 2012, Proc. SPIE 9149, 91490A). For
Some 43 % of these (68 out of 158) made each publication year, the median num- The full list of papers published by the
use of Data Products, calibrated data ber of citations of VLT papers published ESO user community in 2016, based
which are either provided by external in a given year was calculated and divid- on data generated by ESO facilities,
users such as the ESO Public Survey con- ed by the median number of citations can be found at
sortia and the Large Programme teams of papers published in the Astronomical ESODataPapers2016.php. Publications
or produced by ESO using science-grade Journal (AJ) in the same year. The result by ESO scientists, with or without use
reduction pipelines. Once again, this is shown in the image above, treating of ESO data, are available as a separate
highlights the important role the SAF the median AJ citation as a measuring list at
plays in providing data to astronomers. stick and normalising it to 1 for all years. telbib_info/AR/ESOStaffPapers2016.pdf.
On average, the impact of VLT papers is
While the above-mentioned numbers higher than that of AJ papers by a factor
show the continued success of ESOs of 1.7. More recent VLT papers (published
observing facilities, it is also necessary 2013 2016) are even cited approximately
to evaluate the statistics in context. In 2.5 times more often than an average
order to do so, we investigated the impact AJ paper, suggesting that VLT papers may
of VLT/VLTI papers. The impact of scien- have a more immediate impact among
tific publications is typically measured the astronomy community than the typi- The southern plane of the Milky Way from the
through the total or average number of cal AJ paper. ATLASGAL survey.
ESO/APEX/ATLASGAL consortium/NASA/GLIMPSE consortium/ESA/Planck

ESO Annual Report 2016 29

ESO/S. Lowery

30 ESO Annual Report 2016

The Paranal site, home to the VLT, captured as
the Sun slips below a false horizon of clouds, from
Cerro Armazones, the future home of the ELT.

ESO Annual Report 2016 31

ESO/B. Tafreshi (
LaSilla Paranal Observatory

The Directorate of Operations is Operations were invested in the installation and com-
responsible for all activities related missioning of the 4LGSF and 62 nights for
to science operations, including the The VLT at Paranal operates with four the installation of the DSM and its com-
preparation and execution of observ- 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes (UT) and a missioning in non-adaptive optics mode.
ing programmes, the operation of the suite of nine first-generation instruments
LaSilla Paranal Observatory (LPO) and three of the four second-generation Of the available science time for the VLT,
at its LaSilla, Paranal and Chajnantor instruments. The LGSF on UT4 provides 2.8 % was lost to technical problems and
sites, and the delivery of raw and cali- an artificial reference star to one of the about 12.7 % to adverse weather condi-
brated data. This role involves user three instruments on the VLT supported tions. On LaSilla bad weather accounted
support, dataflow management, opera- by adaptive optics. The VLTI combines for losses of about 22.3 %, and technical
tions technical support and the devel- the light of either the four UTs or the four problems for about 0.8 %. VISTA delivered
opment and maintenance of a science ATs to feed one of the three interfero 294 nights of survey observations out
archive provided by the Data Manage- metric instruments with a coherent wave- of 363 scheduled and the VST delivered
ment and Operations (DMO) Division. front. The survey telescopes VISTA and 288 nights of survey observations out of
The SAF holds all the data obtained the VST are in regular operation. 359 scheduled. Both survey telescopes
with ESO telescopes as well as highly were affected by about 17.2 % weather
processed, advanced products derived On LaSilla, the NTT and 3.6-metre losses. The technical losses for VISTA
from them. In addition the Directorate telescopes operate with an instrumen are, at 1.7 %, now noticeably smaller than
of Operations includes ESOs contri- tation suite of three instruments. The those for the UTs. For the VST, the posi-
bution to ALMA operations and devel- LaSilla site also supports seven hosted tive trend of reduced technical losses has
opment through the European ALMA telescope projects. continued and reached 2.5 % for the first
Support Centre (EASC). time, a value comparable to the UTs.
The Observatory further provides opera-
This years highlights include the tional support for APEX with its 12-metre The 2014 16 El Nio event led to excep-
increasing scientific productivity of sub-mm radio antenna located on the tionally high weather losses at the obser-
ALMA, with over 80 % of the delivered high plateau of C
hajnantor at an altitude vatories, culminating in May with some
data sets producing at least one pub- of 5100 metres; it has a suite of hetero- 30 % losses for the UTs, 40 % for the sur-
lished science paper within 3 years. dyne and bolometer facility instruments vey telescopes and 70 % at LaSilla,
By the end of the year ALMA data and several visitor instruments. though followed by a quick improvement.
have been used in 557 refereed publi- From August, the weather patterns had
cations. ALMA Band 5 receivers have For Periods 97 and 98 the scientific com- mostly returned to the seasonal normal.
been built and are being installed, munity submitted respectively 1020 and
ready to be offered in Cycle 5. Con- 901 Phase 1 observing proposals for the Complementing regular VLT operations,
struction of the ALMA Residence was LPO including APEX. These figures mark the VLTI was scheduled for an additional
completed. APEX achieved a new a return to the stable level seen across 136 nights to execute scientific obser
record of more than 4763 hours of on- Periods 90 to 95 and document the con- vations using baselines with either the
sky science time. Two new science tinuing high demand for ESO observing UTs or the ATs. Of the scheduled VLTI
instruments are being developed for facilities. Some 85 % of the proposals are science time, 7.7 % was lost to technical
the NTT and the 3.6-metre telescope, for the P aranal site with the VLT, VLTI, problems, and 16.3 % to bad weather.
and the LaSilla Observatory is now VST and VISTA. Seventy engineering nights and 140 com-
powered by solar energy. At the Paranal missioning nights were invested during
Observatory, GRAVITY began science The Observatory continued its efficient 2016 in the continued commissioning of
operation with the ATs and continued operation via the high availability and the VLTI infrastructure and GRAVITY with
commissioning with the UTs, and the low technical downtime of its telescopes the ATs and UTs.
AOF commissioning of the 4 Laser and instruments key elements for pro-
Guide Star Facility (4LGSF) and the ductive scientific observations. In 2016, The combination of high operational effi-
DSM on UT4 have been exciting devel- a total of 1886 nights were scheduled for ciency, system reliability and availability
opments. DMO has deployed a web- scientific observations with the four UTs of the LaSilla and Paranal telescopes and
based Phase 2 user interface in at the VLT and with the two major tele- instruments for scientific observations
Paranal and MUSE science data prod- scopes at LaSilla. This is equivalent to has again resulted in a high scientific pro-
ucts are now routinely produced and about 86 % of the total number of nights ductivity. The statistical breakdown is
distributed through the SAF. in principle available over the whole year. presented in the Publication Digest (p.27).
The remaining 14 % have been scheduled Since starting operations in 1999, the VLT
for planned engineering and maintenance and VLTI have produced a total of 7101
activities to guarantee the continued per- publications and add a further dozen
formance of the telescopes and instru- every week. Interestingly the veteran work-
The 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT)
ments and include time slots for commis- horse instruments UVES and FORS2
at the LaSilla Observatory aligned with the Bulge sioning new instruments and facilities. both commissioned at the same time as
of the Milky Way. On UT4, 33 nights of commissioning time the VLT still lead the publication statis-

ESO Annual Report 2016 33

ESO/F. Kamphues
tics for all ESO instruments in 2016, reproduce all the functionalities of the The most powerful laser guide star system in the
world sees first light at the Paranal Observatory.
closely followed by VIMOS, X-shooter regular secondary mirror (M2) unit of the
and MUSE. VLT which had operated flawlessly on
UT4 for more than 15 years. After suc- stars produced by the 4LGSF and feed
cessful first light on the night of 24Octo- them to their wavefront sensing systems,
Paranal Observatory ber, the commissioning of the new DSM which, with the help of a real-time com-
in non-adaptive mode together with the puter (RTC), provide the required control
Telescopes telescope and its three instruments, and signals to eventually operate the DSM
The deployment of the AOF on Yepun also the single PARLA-fed laser guide in fully adaptive mode during the coming
(UT4) continued this year with the instal star still required by the SINFONI instru- year.
lation of the remaining laser guide star ment, and the interferometer, was con-
units of the 4LGSF. First light with the cluded successfully and UT4 returned to Instrumentation
4LGSF was achieved on 26 April, making regular science operations on 19 Decem- The first second-generation VLTI instru-
it the most powerful laser guide star sys- ber. With this achievement, the AOF pro- ment, GRAVITY, has arrived at P aranal.
tem in the world. The first light event ject not only took a major step towards GRAVITY is a four beam combiner instru-
was an impressive demonstration of the a fully adaptive UT but also provided the ment for the VLTI working in the K-band.
quality and power of the four new lasers, Paranal Observatory with a very nice Its main operation mode makes use of
which can now be seen easily even from Christmas present, in the form of a fully all four UTs to measure astrometric dis-
the P aranal basecamp. The heart of the functional spare M2 Unit. tances between objects located within
AOF is a large DSM that was installed the 2 arcsecond field of view of the VLTI.
on UT4 in the last quarter of the year. The The next steps for the AOF will be to With the sensitivity of the UTs, 4 milliarc-
DSM has a diameter of 1120 mm and commission the already installed GRAAL second imaging resolution and an
adaptive correction is provided by 1170 adaptive optics module for the High expected 10 microarcsecond astrometric
actuators acting up to a thousand times Acuity Wide-field K-band Imager (HAWK-I) precision, GRAVITY will revolutionise
per second on the 2 mm-thick glass shell. and to install and commission the dynamical measurements of celestial
GALACSI adaptive optics module for the objects, in particular probing the physics
Despite these amazing new capabilities, MUSE instrument. Both adaptive optics close to the event horizon of the Milky
the first goal for the new DSM was to modules acquire the artificial laser guide Way Galactic Centre black hole. The core

34 ESO Annual Report 2016

ESO/E. Vernet

ESO and F. Eisenhauer (MPE)


North (mas)


50 0 50
East (mas)

The DSM and two of the four Laser Guide Star Units ing of the four STS for the UTs were Reconstructed image of the GRAVITY observations
of the 4LGSF on UT4. of the Galactic Centre, showing the star S2 and the
combined with upgrades of the four
detection of a flare associated with the black hole.
existing Multiple Application Curvature
of GRAVITY, the Beam Combiner Instru- Adaptive Optics (MACAO) modules and
ment (BCI), was moved into the VLTI lab- the preparations for the installation of the the Galactic Centre with the complete
oratory in early October of 2015 and the Coud Infrared Adaptive Optics (CIAO) GRAVITY system. On September 20 and
first fringes with four ATs were obtained wavefront sensing systems for GRAVITY. 21 the last nights on which the Galactic
shortly after. The commissioning of the First fringes of the STS with four UTs and Centre could still be observed by the VLTI
imaging mode of GRAVITY with the ATs the Precision Integrated Optics Near- this year the observations succeeded.
progressed according to plan, allowing infrared Imaging ExpeRiment (PIONIER) This event marked a major milestone
this mode to be offered to the community were obtained in February and commis- for the fruitful collaboration between the
from October. sioning was completed in March, just in GRAVITY Consortium and ESO.
time for the first GRAVITY commissioning
Commissioning GRAVITY with the UTs with the UTs. ESPRESSO is a fibre-fed, cross-
requires four Star Separator (STS) dispersed, high-resolution chelle spectro-
systems to operate in the coud focus Excellent atmospheric conditions on graph and can be considered a super-
stations of the four UTs. The STS is an 18May allowed an early critical test of HARPS. With a radial velocity precision
opto-mechanical system, designed to GRAVITY: the first observations of the of better than 10 cm s 1, Earth-mass
separate the light from two astronomical Galactic Centre with four UTs using the planets in the habitable zone of a low-
objects and feed it into the interferometer optical wavefront sensors of MACAO. mass star can be detected by this high-
to allow simultaneous interferometric Inspired by this success, the installation precision, ultra-stable instrument.
observation of the two objects or to use of the four CIAO units in the coud focus ESPRESSO uses the incoherent focus
one of the two objects as a reference stations of the four UTs was concluded of the VLT located in the combined coud
source. The installation and commission- just in time to attempt an observation of laboratory where a front-end unit picks
up the light from any one, or all four,
UTs and feeds it to the spectrograph.

Combining the precision and stability of

ESPRESSO with the collecting power
of the UTs also makes this instrument a
powerful tool for the measuring variations
in the physical constants and analysing
the chemical composition of stars in
nearby galaxies.

The 60-metre tunnel, that leads to a new focus in

the laboratory beneath the VLT platform where
ESPRESSO will reside, is here seen during an align-
ment test with green laser light being reflected from
a reference surface 60 metres away.

ESO Annual Report 2016 35

The coud train is composed of a set

ESO/G. Lambert
of prisms, mirrors and lenses which
deliver the pupil and the image from the
telescope to the combined coud labo
ratory and it also includes an atmos
pheric dispersion compensator (ADC).
The use of mainly refractive optics and
total internal reflection inside the prisms
ensures the highest throughput, espe
cially in the blue region of the spectrum.
During 2016, three of the four coud
trains were installed and first light was
achieved in the combined coud labora-
tory using the complete chain of relay
optics from UT4 on 26September, just
before UT4 went out of operation for the
installation of the DSM. The first light of
the coud train deployed on UT1 was
obtained on 13December.

Obsolescence projects this year with the last installation on UT2 The domes of the two first SPECULOOS telescopes,
shortly after their installation in November 2016 at
The extensive work on the 8-metre coat- during the M1 coating in December.
Paranal Observatory.
ing unit continued during the year accord-
ing to the work plan and under contract Hosted telescopes at Paranal
to the Danish company Polyteknik AS. A second hosted telescope project, research community. In addition, the
After completion of the refurbishment pro- SPECULOOS (Search for habitable Planets high-speed, triple-beam imager ULTRA-
ject and successful recommissioning EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars), is comple- CAM was offered up to 25 % of NTT time
of the 8-metre coating unit, the primary mentary to the Next Generation Transit in exchange for cash contributions to
mirror (M1) of UT1 was recoated at the Survey (NGTS) telescope already operat- NTT operations. The NIRPS project will
end of August 1014 days after the last ing, and will carry out a photometric become the red arm of HARPS on the
coating of a UT M1 mirror. The aluminium survey designed to discover Earth-sized 3.6-metre telescope, creating the most
coating achieved an average reflectivity planets transiting the brightest southern powerful opticalnear-infrared precision
of 90.5 %. A 0.16 magnitude gain in the ultra-cool stars. The SPECULOOS observ- radial velocity machine in the southern
zeropoints of FORS1 was measured on ing facility consists of four 1-metre robotic hemisphere.
sky after the reinstallation of the freshly telescopes equipped with CCD cameras
coated M1 in UT1. The second recoating, operating in the very-near-infrared. The While an agreement has been signed with
of the primary mirror of UT2 in December, civil works for the telescopes and control the consortium for the NIRPS instrument,
confirmed the successful recovery of the building were concluded this year and are the negotiations with the SOXS instru-
coating facility. ready to receive the enclosures and tele- ment consortium and the ULTRACAM
scopes early next year. consortium are still ongoing. ULTRACAM
Another ongoing obsolescence project is ready to be used at the NTT visitor
at Paranal was to align the VLT Emergen- focus; SOXS and NIRPS are expected to
cy Stop and Safety chain system with LaSilla Observatory arrive at LaSilla in 2019. SOXS would
the safety standards that have evolved then replace SOFI and EFOSC2 on the
since the construction of the VLT. With LaSilla Observatory continued to operate NTT while NIRPS would be integrated with
the deployment of the programmable successfully according to the streamlined HARPS on the 3.6-metre telescope.
logic controller (PLC) based safety chain operations model. The LaSilla 2010+
system on UT2 in 2013, UT1 and UT4 model supports the continued operation This new instrument complement at
last year and on UT3 this year, the safety of the ESO 3.6-metre telescope with LaSilla provides the Observatory with
chain project was successfully complet- HARPS, and the NTT with SOFI, EFOSC2 an exciting new perspective into the
ed, allowing a seamless integration of and visitor instruments. mid-2020s and has triggered the devel-
the critical safety systems of the 4LGSF opment of matching plans for the
on UT4. Following a call for new instruments in required extension of the lifetime of the
2014, the medium-resolution (R = 5000) observatorys infrastructure and its oper-
The obsolescence project to replace the optical and near-infrared (0.4 1.8 m) ation model.
custom-made M1 cell electronics with spectrograph SOXS was selected as the
commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electron- future workhorse instrument at the NTT. LaSilla Observatory further continued to
ics, thereby ensuring the long-term avail- SOXS addresses in particular but not support scientific projects at other hosted
ability of spares, was also completed solely the needs of the time-domain telescopes, i.e., the 2.2-metre Max-

36 ESO Annual Report 2016

Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG) telescope, the

1.54-metre Danish telescope, the Swiss
1.2-metre Leonhard Euler telescope, the
Rapid Eye Mount (REM), the Tlescopes
Action Rapide pour les Objets Transitoires
(TAROT) South, the TRAnsiting Planets
and PlanetesImals Small Telescope
(TRAPPIST), and the ESO 1-metre tele-
scope. The LaSilla QUEST survey project
on the ESO 1-metre Schmidt telescope
was completed after eight years and
operation was discontinued as planned
at the end of March 2016. The agreement
with the Max-Planck-Insitut fr Astronomie
(MPIA, Heidelberg, Germany) for the 2.2-
metre MPG telescope has been extended
to 30September 2019. Under a new
agreement, the Universidad Catlica del
Norte (UCN), in collaboration with the
Pontificia Universidad Catlica de Chile
(PUC), has upgraded the ESO 1-metre
telescope and installed the FIber Dual Inauguration of the Enel Green Power photovoltaic available at Chajnantor. In 2016, a total
plant at LaSilla.
Echelle Optical Spectrograph (FIDEOS). of 255 days and nights were scheduled
for science observations with APEX out
The first hosted telescope at LaSilla, the has invested some US $ 3.4 million in the of which 231 could be used. This repre-
61-cm Bochum telescope installed in construction of the 1.7 MW facility. It is sented more than 4763 hours of on-sky
1968, was relocated to the Observatorio the first utility-scale PV plant in the world science time an increase of 6.5 % with
Astronmico Pocuro, (Calle Larga, Chile) to combine the use of innovative bifacial respect to 2015 and the highest number
in the Aconcagua valley after Bochum and smart PV modules with conventional of hours achieved with APEX so far.
University, Germany, donated it and its modules and not only produces power
dome to Valparaiso University, Chile. for research at the LaSilla Observatory The APEX project is a partnership
but also serves as a research facility for between the Max-Planck-Institut fr
A new telescope project by the Institut PV technologies. The PV solar plant Radioastronomie (MPIfR, Bonn, Germany,
de Plantologie et dAstrophysique de supplies LaSilla Observatory with clean 50 % share), ESO (27 % share) and the
Grenoble (IPAG, France), ExTrA, began energy through a power purchase agree- Onsala Space Observatory (OSO, Sweden,
construction during the year and science ment. The total capacity amounts to 23 % share). In ten years of science oper-
operation is expected to start in 2017 for 1.7MW and its yearly output is approxi- ation APEX has produced over 500 sci-
a period of five years. A second new pro- mately 4.75 GW h, which is delivered to ence papers and over 10000 citations,
ject, by Leiden Observatory, MASCARA Chiles Central Region Interconnected and remains a major catalyst to engage
began construction, reusing the former System (SIC). The annual output from the the ESO user community in sub-mm sci-
site of the Interface Region Imaging Spec- solar plant is equivalent to the electricity ence. The instrumental capabilities are
trograph (IRIS) helio-seismological experi- needs of approximately 2000 households highly complementary with ALMA, thanks
ment of the University of Nice. Two new and more than 50 % of the observatorys to its wide-field bolometer arrays, state-
telescope projects, BlackGEM (Radboud annual power consumption. The clean of-the-art heterodyne receivers and flexi-
University Nijmegen, the Netherlands and energy generated by the plant avoids the ble observing model, allowing optimal
University of Leuven, Belgium) and the emission of over 2000 equivalent tons use of the best weather conditions at
Test Bed T elescope (TBT, European of CO2. LaSilla Observatory is from now Chajnantor.
Space Agency, ESA) are under discussion on observing the stars powered by our
with a view to hosting them at LaSilla. own star, the Sun. Given the continued success of the pro-
ject, the APEX partners expressed a
After a two-year construction period, wish to extend the current APEX agree-
the LaSilla photovoltaic (PV) solar plant APEX ment beyond the end of 2017 after a criti-
was inaugurated on 23 September in cal external review of the status of the
the presence of the Chilean Minister of APEX continued to operate its 12-metre project. The review of the APEX project
Energy, the Spanish Ambassador, a antenna and suite of heterodyne and was held at APEX Sequitor between 22
representative of the Italian embassy, the bolometer facility instruments and visitor and 25 January, coinciding with the cele-
head of Enel Green Energy in South instruments in a quasi-continuous 24-hour bration of 10 years of successful APEX
America, several local authorities, and operation mode, which maximises the science operations. The review report
ESO representatives. Enel Green Power exploitation of the exceptional conditions strongly supports an extension of the

ESO Annual Report 2016 37

ESO/Christian Herrera

project to 2022, and the partners further During the celebrations to mark ten years of APEX
operations, distinguished visitors pose in the
detailed their plans for major investments
sunshine outside the APEX base station in Sequitor,
in the APEX antenna, instruments, site San Pedro de Atacama.
and infrastructure to ensure its competi-
tiveness during the fourth extension
period. By the end of the year all partners ties and therefore on the results of the
had secured the necessary funding and ongoing and future receiver developments
approvals for an extension of the APEX by the APEX partners. The Swedish-ESO
agreement until the end of 2022, on con- PI receiver for APEX (SEPIA) instrument
dition that the shares are redistributed was initially equipped with an ALMA
as MPIfR 55 %, ESO 32 %, and OSO 13 % Band 5 receiver (160 to 210GHz) but can
as of 2018. A new agreement has been host up to three ALMA-type receivers.
prepared and is expected to be signed by To take advantage of this opportunity,
the three partners early next year. ESO developed an agreement with the
Netherlands Research School of Astron-
One key component of future APEX oper- omy (NOVA) to build a dual-polarisation,
ation is to relocate all science operation double-sideband (DSB) Band 9 receiver
activities to the base at Sequitor and to (610 to 720 GHz); this was installed in
cease science operation from Chajnantor. SEPIA in early 2016. The replacement of
The SciOps-R[emote] operation model this DSB Band 9 receiver with a dual-
required the installation and commission- polarisation, sideband-separating (2SB)
ing of a new antenna drive system PLC Band 9 receiver and the construction
in February. The PLC software also con- of a third receiver band for SEPIA are
tains algorithms recently developed in expected to form part of the instrumen
collaboration between APEX, MPIfR tation plan for the extension of the APEX
and VERTEX Antennentechnik GmbH, project.
Duisburg, Germany. The Sequitor control
room has been upgraded to match the The new bolometer array ArTMiS,
requirements of remote observing. Numer- which was developed by CEA (Saclay
ous tests with the critical Sun Avoidance and G renoble, France), the Institut
System (SAS) have been conducted, dAstrophysique Spatiale (France) and
simulating remote daytime operation from the University of Manchester (UK), in
Sequitor. SciOps-R is expected to start collaboration with ESO, was successfully
regular operation with the new observing installed in May and simultaneously The 12-metre APEX telescope beneath the
blue sky, high up in the Chilean A
season in 2017. provides seven detector arrays at 350m Desert, on the C
hajnantor plateau.
and three at 450 m. The second new
The competitiveness of APEX in the era bolometer, a millimetre-wave kinetic
of a fully operational ALMA strongly inductance detector (A-MKIDS) from
depends on its instrumentation capabili- MPIfR is still being commissioned.

38 ESO Annual Report 2016

N. Aros Marz/ESO

ESO Annual Report 2016 39

ESO/Y. Beletsky
The Milky Way arches over VISTA, the Visible and
Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy.
Data Management and Operations

The Data Management and Operations

ESO/M. Zamani
(DMO) Division is responsible for off-site
operations for the LaSilla Paranal Obser-
vatory, including user support and back-
end operations, as well as the ESO SAF.
The Division enables our community to
use the facilities efficiently, and with high
scientific return. A development pro-
gramme for the data-flow system will
ensure that the VLT and the ELT are inte-
grated in a coherent end-to-end opera-
tions framework, to the benefit of our

User Support

The USD is responsible for front-end

support to the users of LaSilla Paranal
Observatory facilities, assisting Service
Mode (SM) observers in preparing their
observations, following up observation their Survey Management Plans and final- A presentation at the NEON Archive School held at
ESO Headquarters in May 2016.
and programme execution, providing ise their observing strategies.
troubleshooting, and help with questions
related to their observations or resulting The suite of instruments supported by as well as specific hands-on tutorials
data. The department is also in charge USD continues to evolve. The VISIR concerning K-band Multi-Object Spectro-
of the ESO Users Committee, organisa- upgrade concluded shortly after several graph (KMOS) and X-shooter observa-
tion of travel for astronomers visiting the new modes were offered to the com tions and data reduction.
observatories in Chile, and the definition munity for SV over four nights in February,
of requirements for observation handling and three half-nights in March. Despite
tools, as well as overall monitoring of the very bad atmospheric conditions with high Back-end operations
effectiveness of SM operations. humidity, 12 out of 22 SV programmes
were successfully completed, while six ESOs mission includes the provision of
Within the standard operations, Phase2 received partial datasets. GRAVITY the best science data to our astronomical
observation preparation support was joined the suite of Paranal instruments in community. A continuing challenge for
provided for 857 newly scheduled SM operation in 2016. USD participated in its the exploitation of data from the instru-
runs in periods P97 and P98, as well January commissioning run, shortly after ments comes from the steady increase
as for 107 Directors Discretionary Time which the imaging mode of GRAVITY was in the volume and complexity of the data.
(DDT) runs scheduled during 2016. In offered in the Call for Proposals for P98. ESO addresses this challenge in two
2016, 937 ESO internal and 1179 exter- The instrument was used for the first time ways: on the one hand, by providing users
nal users received help in response by the community during two SV runs in with tools to process and calibrate data
to e-mails, handled June and September. Of the 20 scheduled so that science information can be
through the PROP helpdesk ticketing SV runs most were completed, while five extracted; and on the other, by publishing
platform. The Visiting Astronomers Travel were partially completed and two were already processed and calibrated data
Office arranged 591 journeys for LaSilla, found not to be feasible owing to very in the SAF. The latter removes from users
Paranal and APEX observers. The new resolved targets. USD contributed active- the need to perform data processing
Garching Remote Access Facility has ly both on-site and off-site to the Phase2 on their own and thus enables them to
been operated by USD on behalf of preparation, to observation execution on proceed with the scientific analysis more
Paranal Science Operations since the Paranal, and to pipeline validation and quickly.
end of 2015, and was frequently used in data reduction.
2016 by the AOF and GRAVITY projects, In this respect, the activities in support
supporting their commissioning activities. An example of a direct interaction with of the exploitation of science data from
Moreover, seven new VISTA Public Sur- the user community that was greatly the MUSE instrument were a highlight of
veys have been added to the suite of appreciated is the ESO/OPTICON Data 2016. The state-of-the-art facility MUSE
12ongoing surveys, anticipating comple- Reduction School (a NEON Archive at the VLT is capable of obtaining, simul-
tion of the first generation of VISTA sur- School), held at ESO Headquarters in taneously, images and spectra for every
veys in the near future. USD members May 2016. Over one week, 24young celestial object within its field of view,
of the ESO Survey Team helped new PIs researchers with 17 nationalities received thus opening up a tremendous opportu-
of the VISTA Public Surveys to prepare presentations about observing at ESO, nity for exciting new discoveries. MUSE

42 ESO Annual Report 2016

data are, however, correspondingly com- Illustrative examples of
p rocessed and calibrated
plex and require sophisticated tools for
science data (images
their handling. During 2016, the MUSE derived from mosaiced data
data processing software underwent sev- cubes) from the MUSE
eral upgrades that significantly increased instrument, generated at
ESO. Left: the strong lensing
the quality of the resulting products (for
galaxy cluster Abell 1367;
example, wavelength calibration, spatial Right: the globular cluster
alignment, updates to the interactive user 47 Tucanae.
experience). In parallel, the entire backlog
of science raw data was processed and
calibrated to a level at which science
measurements can be performed directly.
The resulting products are publicly availa-
ble from the SAF. A dedicated ESO Reflex
workflow was also publicly released, ena-
bling scientists in the community to further
process these products and tailor them to Dataflow projects rent desktop preparation tool P2PP3, and
address their specific science goals. The complements the programmatic Phase 2
workflow makes use of the Zurich Atmos- Dataflow applications and services of the interface published in late 2015 which was
pheric Code to disentangle the signal of end-to-end VLT/ELT dataflow cover the further evolved during 2016. The new ser-
a celestial object from the imprint of the proposal submission system (Phase1), vice became operational for Visitor Mode
Earths atmosphere, which acts as a dis- observation specification and execution observing on UT1 and UT2 at the period
turbance to the science measurements. (Phase 2), archiving and retrieval of change in October 2016 and is publicly
raw frames, data reduction, the ingestion available at
The SAF contains a wealth of processed of data products including catalogues Within seconds of creating an Observing
data that can be used immediately for (Phase 3) and their publication and explo- Block with this user interface, it is availa-
scientific measurements. They stem from ration. These services ensure the astro- ble on Paranal for observation, where it
two channels. The first comes from the nomical value of products delivered to the will be picked up by the new Visitor Mode
processing pipelines running at ESO for user community and a high operational observing tool vOT4. Conversely, Observ-
selected instrument modes, like the efficiency and effectiveness both in ing Blocks created or edited on Paranal
MUSE data described above. The prod- Garching and at the Observatory. In 2016, using vOT4 will be instantaneously visible
ucts g enerated are free from instrumental a number of software solutions were final- and editable on the web. Additionally,
and atmospheric signatures, calibrated ised and brought into operation. the new solution allows dynamic adapta-
in physical units and checked for quality. tion of the observing strategy through
They cover virtually the entire data history A highlight was the deployment of an programmatic or user-interface-driven
of the corresponding instrument modes, entirely new, zero-install, web-based definition of a visitor execution sequence
independent of specific science cases. Phase2 user interface. It replaces the cur- that can be edited any time during the
The second channel that populates the
SAF with processed and calibrated data
relies on contributions from the communi-
ty. These datasets are optimised to serve
specific science cases and often include
advanced products, such as source cata-
logues or stacked or mosaiced images
and spectra. They are quality-checked
and validated in a joint effort between the
providers and ESO before ingestion into
the archive.

Products of both origins are in great

demand by science users. Between July
2011, when the first data products were
published, and January 2017, nearly 2000
unique users have accessed processed
products of either origin.

Visitor execution sequence in the Phase 2 web appli-

cation for UVES at the VLT.

ESO Annual Report 2016 43

current observing period. This feature
is very beneficial to science cases such
as exoplanet hunting with ESPRESSO,
where dynamic reprioritisation of the
observing queue is required.

The unified GuideCamTool was further

developed, offering support for MUSE
and GALACSI and an interface to the
new web-based Phase 2 to push finding
charts and parameters into a selected
Observing Block. The Java-based soft-
ware framework associated with the
unified GuideCamTool is becoming a
standard development platform for instru-
ment-specific observation preparation
tools and allows plug-ins to be developed
by the instrument consortia. To the bene-
fit of the astronomical users, this platform
will significantly reduce the number of
tools users have to download for obser-
vation preparation. The Multi Object
Optical and Near-infrared Spectrograph
(MOONS) observation preparation tool
required for fibre positioning will be the
first plug-in to be developed following this

A major upgrade to the Phase 3 infra-

structure, which allows ESO and external
astronomers to submit data products to
the SAF, was developed and rolled out
into full operation. The new solution
reduces both the time to publication of
Phase 3 data and the operational over-
heads of ESO staff in charge of managing
the Phase 3 process. Much attention was
given to improving usability and guiding
the user through a submission workflow
in the solutions Phase 3 Release Manager
web application (
The requirements analysis was also final-
ised for the two major emerging data flow
projects a web-based Phase 1 system
and new archive services. Both projects
are now entering the development phase.

All the activities mentioned above are

part of a large effort to prepare for joint
VLT and ELT science operations over
the coming years. ESOs dataflow tools
will become seamlessly integrated into
a common end-to-end operations frame-
B. Tafreshi/ESO

44 ESO Annual Report 2016

In this image of the ALMA Observatory strong
winds and thick clouds are approaching at sunset,
resulting in an amazingly dramatic and fiery scene.

ESO Annual Report 2016 45

ALMA and the ESO ALMA Support Centre

ALMA is a large interferometer for radio


wavelengths ranging from 0.3 to 9.6 milli-
metres. ALMA was constructed between
1999 and 2014 via an international collab-
oration between Europe, North America
and East Asia with the cooperation of the
Republic of Chile. The ALMA Observatory
comprises 66 high-precision antennas
with state-of-the-art receivers located at
the ALMA Array Operations Site (AOS)
on the Chajnantor plateau, 5000 metres
above sea level in the district of San
Pedro de Atacama in the Chilean Andes.

The ALMA Observatory is supported by

various bodies operating across the
global ALMA partnership. The EASC is
ESOs offsite operations unit for ALMA
and a division in the Directorate of Oper
ations. It is one of the three ALMA Sup-
port Centres which are based at the
three ALMA Executives in Europe, North View of the ALMA Operations Site at 5000metres tects Kouvo & Partanen and was then
altitude on the Chajnantor plateau.
America and East Asia to support JAO adapted to the Chilean market by Rigotti
and ALMA onsite operation. The EASC & Simunovic Arquitectos, a Chilean firm
comprises the ALMA Regional Centre, of architects. The Residencia consists
ALMA offsite technical maintenance and success of ALMA, both for its perfor- of a central building with an entrance hall,
development support, ALMA computing mance as a scientific instrument and for the kitchen and dining area, recreational
and ALMA science and outreach. ESO as a partner in the ALMA project. facilities, and a terrace with a barbecue,
and six dormitory buildings with 20rooms
The high-level scientific representation each.
and guidance of the European ALMA ALMA Residencia
project is provided by the European Pro- In October 2016, the construction of the
gramme Scientist, who works closely Given the harsh desert environment, ALMA Residencia was completed and
with the VLT and ELT Programme Scien- remote location and shift working (both the buildings accepted by ESO. Before
tists to exploit the scientific synergies with day and night) by the ALMA staff, the being able to use the Residencia, the
ESOs other major programmes. EASC Residencia was designed to provide a (basically empty) buildings need to be
is the face of ALMA for the European sci- pleasant on-site environment for staff fitted out with furniture, IT infrastructure,
entific community and the international and visitors who come from as many telephones, kitchen equipment, etc. This
ALMA partners for ALMA operations. The as 20 countries worldwide. The design activity was begun during 2016 and will
EASC is an important component for the was undertaken by the Finnish archi- stretch into 2017.
ESO/Rigotti + Simunovic Arquitectos

ALMA Residencia
design: general view of
the array of buildings.
The large V-shaped
building contains the
dining room, kitchen
and leisure facilities.
It is accompanied by
six dormitory buildings.

46 ESO Annual Report 2016

ESO/W. Wild

Views of the completed Residencia main building Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden middle of 2016, a large backlog in the
from outside and inside, and of the dormitory
and the United Kingdom, along with a quality assurance and data delivery
centre of expertise in Portugal), with ESO to ALMA users had accumulated in all
coordinating the activities and working ALMA regions. The European ARC is
The ALMA Regional Centre in Europe closely with the ALMA Observatory. The actively engaged in reducing this backlog
ARC nodes have strong ties with their and making the delivery time as short
The ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) is the respective communities and are based as possible in the near future. To this end,
department of the EASC that is respon within observatories and universities with the ARC started running the data reduc-
sible for providing user support to the active research environments. One of the tion pipeline locally in the fourth quarter
European community and for providing strengths of the European ARC network of 2016.
operations services to the ALMA Obser- is that it brings together many of the mm/
vatory in Chile. The department interfaces submm experts throughout Europe. The By the Cycle 4 deadline on 21 April
with the integrated science operations European ARC network is actively involved 2016, 657 European ALMA observing
team and hosts subsystem scientists, in ALMA commissioning and in enhancing proposals had been submitted, com-
who provide scientific guidance to the the Observatorys capabilities. The ARC pared to a total of 1571 proposals for all
development of several key components, has been working to make ALMA acces- three ALMA regions. After the completion
such as the ALMA archive, the observ- sible to all European astronomers, to of the proposal review process in July,
ing tool, the Snooping Project Interface optimise the scientific return, and provide the PIs of the approved projects were
(SnooPI) tracking tool, and the ALMA tools to the users and the Observatory. asked to convert their Phase 1 observing
data reduction pipeline (until June 2016). projects into schedulable Phase 2 prod-
The ARC department also contributes In 2016, the European ARC has again ucts (scheduling blocks). From Cycle 4
to astronomer-on-duty shifts at the Oper- been heavily engaged in performing onwards, ALMA PIs are responsible for
ations Support Facility (OSF) in Chile. Level 2 Quality Assurance for ALMA data the process of retrieving their approved
obtained by European PIs. All Cycle 1 programmes from the archive, overseeing
The ARC department is embedded in a and 2 data were delivered before the end any scientifically motivated changes and
unique distributed network of ARC nodes of January 2016 and quality assurance submitting the Phase 2 products before
(located in the Czech Republic, France, for Cycles 3 and 4 is ongoing. By the the Phase 2 deadline. ALMA Contact

ESO Annual Report 2016 47

frequency projects (Bands 7 and below,
i.e., wavelengths longer than 1 mm,
scheduled for about one third of ALMA
time), half of ALMA publications make
use of the data from the higher-frequency
bands, in particular Bands 7 and 9, which
are used in 46 % of ALMA publications.
This suggests that the highest frequen-
cies enable significant new science and
a larger effort should be made by the
Observatory to enable these observa-
tions, for which ALMA is uniquely suited.

New capabilities Band 5

New science capabilities were charac
terised in 2016 and will be made avail-
able as part of Cycle 5. Most notable is
the availability of the first major ALMA
upgrade: the new Band 5 receiver that
The display of the ALMA Observing Tool at Phase 2, paper within three years of delivery. At was developed by a consortium of Euro-
where ALMA users verify their source characteristics
the time of writing, ALMA data have been pean institutes and has been produced,
and make changes if required.
used in approximately 600 publications integrated and tested as part of a col
in professional scientific journals, 5 % of laboration that included contributions
cientists (CS), mostly at the ARC nodes,
S which are in high-impact journals with a from NRAO and NAOJ. SV was carried
and staff of the Phase 2 group at ESO broad scientific audience. First authors out in 2016 by an ESO team in collabo
have been available to assist with this from ESO Member States are associated ration with the JAO EOC (Extension and
process. In total, the Phase 2 generation with more than 40 % of the total number Optimisation of Capabilities) team and
of 313 Cycle 4 projects has been sup- of publications, as compared to 32.5 % of the EU ARC network. Fully calibrated
ported in Europe. the ESO share of ALMA time. These fig- datasets were released in December 2016
ures, together with the fact that the high-
est ALMA proposal pressure is for ESO Fraction of ALMA projects that produced at least
Scientific impact of ALMA time, confirm the strong engagement and one publication as a function of time since delivery
support of the ESO Member States for to the original PI. Note that the proprietary time, after
Some prominent ALMA science results ALMA science. which datasets (raw and processed data) become
available in the ALMA Science Archive for general
published in 2016 are presented among user download, is 12 months. Neglecting the first
the Research Highlights (p. 15). A quali While most of the ALMA time in the last few projects which all resulted in publications, the
tative change in the way science is done three cycles has been allocated to low- publication fraction exceeds 85 %.
with ALMA has been emerging in 2015
and 2016: the increasing role of archival 100 %
research. ALMA counts as archival
papers those published by an author list
Fraction of ALMA projects with publications

that does not include any of the original

80 %
proposers for the dataset(s) concerned.
Excluding the use of SV datasets, which
are a special case, the fraction of scien
tific publications that make use of archival 60 %
research in 2016 has exceeded 15 % of
the total number of publications based
on ALMA data. This figure has been
steadily increasing since 2013 when the 40 %
first ALMA dataset became available for
archival research. A description of the
ALMA Science Archive has been present-
20 %
ed (The Messenger, 167, 2, 2017).

In general, the scientific productivity of

the ALMA Observatory remains very high, 0%
with over 80 % of the delivered datasets 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
producing at least one published science Time since data became available (month)

48 ESO Annual Report 2016

58.0 58.0

57.8 57.8

57.6 57.6
ICRS Declination

ICRS Declination
57.4 57.4

57.2 57.2

57.0 57.0

56.8 56.8

181356.6 181356.6

04 h31m38 s.48 38 s.44 38 s.41 38 s.38 04 h31m38 s.48 38 s.44 38 s.41 38 s.38
ICRS Right Ascension ICRS Right Ascension

Image of ALMA Band 7 SV data of HL Tau. support and hardware development

Left: Cycle 3 pipeline result with simple imaging
projects. In 2016, the ATT provided sup-
parameters leading to under-cleaning; Right: Cycle 4
pipeline result with new threshold and iteration heuris- port, specific knowledge and assistance An assembled ALMA Band 5 receiver cartridge.
tics enabled. The cleaning is clearly much improved. to the ALMA Observatory in the areas
of antennas, antenna transporters, front Tier 3 maintenance on water vapour
ends, calibration devices, water vapour radiometers was performed.
and are currently being used by groups in radiometers, back end, correlator, and Contracts in Europe, placed by the ATT,
the community for scientific exploitation, site infrastructure (in particular the antenna are in effect for the off-site maintenance
and in preparation for Cycle 5 proposals. stations and the power system). In addi- of digitisers, digitiser clocks and the
The new receivers will allow the study tion, ATT staff manage hardware develop- correlator tunable filters.
of water in the Local Universe and molec- ment projects, currently for Band5 and A joint technical review of the antenna
ular and atomic gas at high redshift. Band2+3, and contribute to development transporters was called by EASC. The
studies. review was held in November and
New capabilities VLBI with ALMA included staff from ESO, JAO and the
The use of ALMA for VLBI was always The ATT at ESO is the European part of manufacturer. The scope of the review
anticipated, but deferred on grounds of the ALMA-wide Integrated Engineering was to assess aging, reliability and
cost. The ALMA Phasing Project, led Team, IET (also called IET-EU). It has pro- maintenance procedures after almost
by the Massachusetts Institute of Tech- vided remote (off-site) maintenance and seven years of operation.
nology (MIT) Haystack Observatory, with on-site support of the ESO deliverables
major contributions from MPIfR Bonn throughout 2016. This included:
and OSO, has enabled the operation of In the antenna area, Tier 3 maintenance ALMA Computing Team
ALMA as a phased array, equivalent to a tasks were taken care of, including
single antenna of diameter 84 metres. missions to the site as necessary. Main- The ALMA Computing Team at the EASC
This can be used with other telescopes tenance documents for the encoder is responsible for developing and main-
around the globe to form a VLBI array system were updated and released to taining several software subsystems for
with the unprecedented resolution of JAO. Antenna maintenance scripts the ALMA Observatory in the areas of
20 micro-arcseconds at a wavelength of were ported from Matlab to Python and archive services, common infrastructure,
1.3 mm. The primary science drivers distributed to JAO for use. The require- observing preparation, observatory inter-
are imaging the shadow of the black hole ments and the scope of work for a faces, telescope calibration and software
event horizon at the Milky Way Galactic maintenance contract of the Antenna engineering, and quality management.
Centre and studying the formation of rela- Control Unit and Drive System have The team also contributes significant
tivistic jets in active galaxies. ALMA was been collected and prepared. resources to groups led by other ALMA
first offered for use in 1.3 mm and 3 mm In the front end area, a reliability issue partners, namely in the areas of the
VLBI arrays in Cycle4, as part of the with the cryogenic cold heads has Common Astronomy Software Applica-
Event Horizon Telescope and the Global been detected by JAO. Technical sup- tions (CASA) package, the science pipe-
Millimetre VLBI array, respectively. The port and follow-up were taken care line and integration testing.
first science observations are planned for of, including missions to the site and
March April 2017. the manufacturer. In 2016, further work was done on the
S  ome reliability issues were found with calibration and imaging pipelines,
the cabling of the calibration devices. as usual with contributions from many
ALMA Technical Team An investigation was initiated, collecting different groups, including computing,
failure reports and requesting the science, engineering and the ARCs.
The ALMA Technical Team (ATT) in the shipment of faulty cables to ESO for For ALMA Cycle 4, the target imaging
EASC is responsible for off-site technical inspection. pipeline functionality has been improved

ESO Annual Report 2016 49

(Left) ALMA interfero-

F. Villa, INAF/IASF-Bologna
metric Band 6 SV image
(inset), compared with
a simultaneous red visi-
ble light full solar image
from the Solar Dynamics
Observatory Helio
seismic and Magnetic

(Right) Band 2+3 test

receiver pre-assembled
before being inserted
into the ALMA test cry-
ostat: the horn, ortho-
mode transducer (OMT),
and University of Man-
chester and Low Noise
Factory amplifiers in the
two separate polarisa-
tion channels are all visi-
ble. The warm electron-
ics and the lens are not
visible in this picture.

significantly. Previously it was just a a European consortium of NOVA and Development studies
simple configuration with a fixed number the Group for Advanced Receiver Devel-
of CLEAN iterations, usually leading opment (GARD) at Chalmers University, Major progress was achieved on various
to under-cleaning and failure to reach the Sweden. The project is proceeding as aspects of the ESO ALMA Upgrade Stud-
desired image quality. For Cycle 4 the planned and delivery of all 73 receivers to ies in 2016.
sensitivity calculation and cleaning thresh- Chile is expected before the end of 2017.
olds were adjusted, leading to major By the end of 2016, 41 cold cartridges Solar observing modes
improvements. These improvements had been shipped to the Observatory for The first solar observations as part of
were coded by developers at the MPIfR, integration with ALMA antennas. The ALMA Cycle 4 were carried out towards
Bonn, in close collaboration with the Warm Cartridge Assemblies (WCA) have the end of 2016. The SV data obtained in
ALMA imaging expert team. For Cycle5 all been delivered by NRAO. ESO is also previous campaigns were worked on to
further improvements are planned. responsible for supplying the required ensure proper calibration and imaging
auxiliary equipment for the Band 5 receiv- and were packaged for public release in
ers, all of which have been provided to early 2017.
ALMA Development the Observatory in 2016 as well.
Band 23 test receiver
The ALMA partnership foresees continu- The integration of Band 5 cartridges into In 2016, as part of a collaboration between
ous upgrades and the development front ends and ALMA antennas, which ESO, the University of Manchester, the
of new software, front ends (for example, started in May 2015, was progressing Science and Technology Facilities Coun-
additional receiver bands) and other reasonably well. By the end of 2016 cil (STFC, UK), the National Institute for
hardware or system capabilities during 31 cartridges had been integrated into Astrophysics (INAF, Italy), the University
the operations phase. In 2016, the SV front ends and tested in the Front End of Chile, GARD and NAOJ, the compo-
activities for Band 5 were completed and Integration Centre at the OSF. All Band 5 nents developed for a Band 2+3 test
Band 5 was approved for inclusion in receivers installed in front ends meet receiver were fully assembled, tested at
the Cycle 5 science capabilities. A report specifications. In particular, the sensitivi- room temperature and prepared for cold
on ALMA Band5 SV has appeared ty, sideband rejection ratio and polarisa- tests in the laboratories of the INAF
(TheMessenger, 167, 7, 2017). In addition, tion purity performance are well within Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale di Bologna.
a number of development studies were the tight specifications. Unfortunately, the The test receiver, fully compatible with a
completed, or advanced towards com- integration rate decreased in the second standard ALMA test cryostat, was assem-
pletion, and a new Call for Studies was half of 2016 as a result of a cryogenic bled from components developed as
issued. maintenance problem with the ALMA part of the previous efforts by the interna-
cryostats. At the end of 2016, 26 anten- tional collaboration. Following the room-
The main development project currently nas (7 of which are 7-metre antennas and temperature validation of all the passive
being carried out by ESO is to equip all 19are 12-metre antennas) were available components in 2015, the receiver was
66 ALMA antennas with Band 5 receiv- with Band 5 receivers at the AOS. Engi- tested with the full signal chain at room
ers. The Cold Cartridge Assemblies neering verification for most of these has temperature and validation of the system
(CCAs) are designed and produced by been completed and no issues found. at cryogenic temperatures will occur in

50 ESO Annual Report 2016

early 2017. The active components cur- cost-effective cooling of the receiver The detailed study report was the basis
rently under test include a set of Low cartridges. The final review of the study on which to set up an ALMA Develop-
Noise Amplifiers (LNAs) developed by material and publication as an ALMA ment Project to develop the system start-
the University of Manchester in collabo memo are expected in early 2017. ing in 2017.
ration with Caltech and the Jet Propul-
sion L aboratory (USA), and a set of LNAs Data analysis software ALMA upgrade studies
developed by the company Low Noise The deployment of the MAGIX (Modeling A new call for ALMA upgrade studies
Factory in Gothenburg, Sweden. Both and Analysis Generic Interface for eXter- was released on 24 May 2016, after posi-
LNA designs are expected to cover the nal numerical codes) and myXCLASS tive recommendations from the European
full Band 2+3 frequency range extending (eXtended CASA Line Analysis Software Science Advisory Committee (ESAC)
from 67 GHz to 116 GHz. Suite) packages in CASA is proceeding and the Scientific Technical Committee
as planned. The prototype line identifi (STC). An ALMA Developers Workshop
Next generation digitisers cation tool is also in an advanced stage was organised in Gothenburg (Sweden,
The initial design study for the upgrade of development. The initial concepts for 25 27May), where the call was adver-
of the digitisers was nearly completed in the interface between these packages and tised. Seventeen valid proposals were
2016. The final review of the study out- the Adaptable R adiative Transfer Innova- submitted by the deadline in early Sep-
come is expected in early 2017, and it will tions for Submillimetre Telescopes (ARTIST) tember. Seven proposals were recom-
be followed by the development of proto- package have also been developed. mended for priority funding following
types applying the new concepts. technical/scientific evaluation including
Integrated alarm system the input from ESAC. The first of the
Cryocooler operations The study of an observatory-wide soft- new studies are expected to start in early
STFCs Rutherford Appleton Laboratory ware system to provide a more accurate 2017.
(RAL) has completed a study to optimise and fast diagnosis of problems and fail-
the operation of the ALMA receiver ures across the entire observatory was A European ALMA antenna takes a ride on Otto,
cryostats, with the aim of achieving more completed in the first part of the year. one of the ALMA Transporters.

ESO Annual Report 2016 51

A few of ALMAs 66 telescope dishes, each
equipped with an assortment of receivers to allow
them to observe the cosmos across a wide range
of wavelengths in the millimetre and submillimetre

52 ESO Annual Report 2016

P. Horlek/ESO

ESO Annual Report 2016 53

Instrumentation for the LaSilla Paranal


The Directorate of Programmes (DOP) Paranal instrument commissioning accommodate the new spectral format.
is responsible for the management and This general refurbishment will prolong
delivery of ESOs construction projects GRAVITY is a second-generation VLTI the life of the instrument.
within ESOs matrix organisation. The instrument that combines the signals from
work is organised into programmes, four telescopes in the K-band. GRAVITY CRIRES+ passed its Final Design Review
each of which includes several pro- enables spectroscopic imaging and will (FDR) in April 2016. One outcome of the
jects. The major programmes active in measure the astrometric separations of review was that two items were added to
2016 are ELT construction and instru- objects located within its 2-arcsecond the original scope: the polarimetric unit
mentation, the Paranal instrumentation field of view with a precision of 10micro- now includes linear polarisation (in addi-
programme and the technology devel- arcseconds. 2016 was a very intense tion to circular), operating from Y- to
opment programme. year for GRAVITY: after installation in the K-band; and a Fabry-Prot (etalon) inter-
renovated VLTI Laboratory, the instrument ferometer has been added to the cali
At its June meeting ESO Council was commissioned first with the ATs and bration unit for non-simultaneous high-
authorised placing all ELT Phase 1 pro- then with the UTs and the MACAO mod- precision wavelength calibration. All the
curements on a schedule leading to ules. GRAVITY then went through several major optical and mechanical compo-
first light in 2024. Thanks to a huge commissioning runs together with the nents have been received and CRIRES+
effort, which is still ongoing, 80 % of the CIAO infrared modules. While the instru- is currently undergoing its assembly, inte-
material cost for Phase 1 of the ELT has ment is offered to the community with the gration and verification (AIV) and testing
now been committed. Agreements ATs and with MACAO and the UTs for phase. Provisional Acceptance Europe
were signed for Phase A studies for the spectroscopy, commissioning of GRAVITY (PAE) is planned by the end of 2017 and
Multi-Object Spectrograph for Astro- will continue in 2017 to optimise astrome- shipment of the instrument to P aranal in
physics, Intergalactic medium studies try and to test the CIAO on-axis mode. the first quarter of 2018.
and Cosmology (MOSAIC) and the
high resolution spectrograph HIRES. NACO was originally supposed to be
Instrument upgrades decommissioned after its removal from
Progress has been made across the UT4, but it has been decided to keep
board on all projects under the P aranal X-shooter is a very popular instrument, it in operation to continue the monitoring
Instrumentation Programme. The but for some time its ADCs were inopera- of the Galactic Centre and support
GRAVITY instrument has gone through ble because of mechanical instabilities. observing of the peri-event of star S2 in
several commissioning runs, including 201718. However, the re-installation of
with the CIAO modules. This achieve- The project team finalised a design for NACO does carry some risk, because of
ment was enabled by the VLTI Facility an upgrade of the ADC drive mechanism. the critical state of three major compo-
Project which has delivered all the Hardware was procured and after assem- nents of the instrument: the detector sys-
necessary infrastructure. The spectro- bly of the first unit, tests were conducted tems, the field selector and the real time
scopic mode of GRAVITY has been both at room temperature and in the cold. computer. ESO therefore began a project
released to P aranal operations with The behaviour was found to be excellent to ensure that NACO can be operated
both the UTs and the ATs. Progress and, after a review, the three remaining and maintained until 201920. Spares
on the AOF has been very impressive, units (one for each arm of the spectro- were procured and tested for all compo-
starting with installation of the three graph) were tested. A detailed plan was nents, Aladdin infrared detector arrays
remaining laser guide star units and prepared and submitted for the interven- (from CRIRES) were sent for repackaging
culminating in the installation of the tion on UT2 to exchange all the ADC and the first unit was returned to ESO for
DSM with the first on-sky tests. Two drives, insert and align the prisms in the tests.
new spectrographs are now under new drive and commission X-shooter with
development for LaSilla: NIRPS for the the new hardware. The ADCs will be
ESO 3.6-metre telescope and SOXS available to X-shooter users in the second Instruments under construction
for the NTT. quarter of 2017.
ESPRESSO is an ultra-stable, high-
The ESO technology development CRIRES is undergoing a major upgrade resolution, fibre-fed optical spectrograph
programme is well under way and is (to CRIRES+). The upgrade includes a for the VLT. It is contained in vacuo for
now supporting areas such as the new gas cell to achieve a radial velocity increased stability and is equipped with
development of key adaptive optics precision of 23ms 1, in order to search a reference source to characterise instru-
components for the ELT, fast deforma- for planets of super-Earth masses in the mental drifts simultaneously with the
ble mirrors with large numbers of habitable zones of M-dwarf stars, and science observations, following the same
actuators and continued development a novel polarimetric unit that can be used concept as HARPS. ESPRESSO will be
of laser guide star technology. to characterise stellar magnetic fields in able to observe with any of the UTs, or
low-mass objects. A cross-disperser will with all four together.
increase the simultaneous wavelength
The VLT Interferometric Tunnel situated coverage by a factor of about ten, and During 2016 almost all the hardware
beneath the surface at P
aranal Observatory. three new HAWAII 2RG detectors will was delivered to the consortium. The

ESO Annual Report 2016 55

ESPRESSO in advanced construction in the labora- Crossed-dispersed continuum echelle spectrum
tory at the Observatoire de Genve. taken with ESPRESSO during testing of the red

vacuum vessel has proved to be extremely targets, including asteroids, young stellar the final test phase should be accepted.
air-tight; outgassing tests with the system objects and AGN. Once problems with The PAE for the instrument control soft-
fully integrated are continuing and look the laboratory air-conditioning system at ware was decoupled from the system
very promising so far. The improved the Observatoire de la Cote dAzur had PAE and took place in January 2017.
echelle grating mosaic, with enhanced been solved, and the detector electronics Here, some issues were identified which
throughput, and the final large collimator had been repaired at the beginning of will not be resolved until the final PAE
mirror have been integrated into the opti- the year, the integration and verification tests. Owing to some unforeseen prob-
cal bench, and the instrument had its phase continued without major problems. lems with the detector peculiarities and
first technical light in June using a com- In the course of these activities, the first the subsequent data calibration, addi-
mercial camera. The final cryo-vacuum N-band fringes were obtained in April and tional testing and analysis were needed,
system was integrated at the end of the first M-band fringes in August. with the result that the PAE has to be
the year, and system tests with the blue shifted by two months to September
camera are ongoing. In preparation for PAE, the Test Readiness 2017. The AIV phase at P aranal will start
Review took place on 12 December, in November 2017 and first fringes are
Much progress has also been made on with the conclusion that the planning for expected in February 2018.
the data reduction and data analysis
software, the first version being tested
on real ESPRESSO data.

The coud train subsystem necessary

for ESPRESSO went through PAE in April
and the UT1 and UT4 coud trains were
installed and aligned in Paranal. Starlight
reached the combined coud laboratory,
the location of ESPRESSO, for the first
time on 23 September. The image quality,
field of view and stability are well within
the ambitious specifications. PAE for the
spectrograph, its integration in Paranal
and first light are foreseen for 2017.

The second-generation VLTI instrument

MATISSE (Multi-AperTure mid-Infrared
SpectroScopic Experiment) is a four-way
beam combiner for the L- to N-bands
(313 m). MATISSE will provide closure- Laboratory detection of
phase imaging and spectroscopy at inter- fringes in the M-band
ferometric resolution of a wide range of with MATISSE.

56 ESO Annual Report 2016

Instruments in design

ERIS will be a new adaptive optics sup-
ported infrared facility for the J- to
M-bands (15 m) at the UT4 Cassegrain
focus. The adaptive optics bonnette will
feed both an infrared imager (NIX) and
the upgraded SPectrometer for Infrared
Faint Field Imaging (SPIFFI) of SINFONI.
ERIS will use the AOF deformable mirror
and one of its lasers, to improve both the
spatial resolution and sky coverage com-
pared to the current NACO and SINFONI
instruments. The project kicked off on
27November 2015, and the agreement
with the consortium was signed in Octo-
ber 2016. At the very beginning of the
year an intervention on SINFONI was car-
ried out, aimed at improving its transmis-
sion and spectral resolution. The instru-
ment also needed a thorough service
after several years of operation. The ERIS will be installed on VISTA. Its unique Signing of the agreement with a consortium led by
the Leibniz-Institut fr Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP) to
Preliminary Design Review (PDR) took capabilities result from the combination
build 4MOST.
place in February 2016 as planned, and of a large field of view, medium and high
the FDR is scheduled for May 2017. spectral resolutions in the visible range
for both Galactic and extragalactic astro- March and in April a first-light event took
MOONS is a 0.81.8m multi-object physics and very high multiplex capabili- place with the projection of four laser
spectrometer designed to work at the ties. Two major milestones were achieved guide stars. The system has been fully
Nasmyth focus of the VLT. The instrument in 2016: commissioned in stand-alone mode and
will have 1000fibres patrolling a total field Preliminary Design Review (June). The further tests will proceed on-sky. Valida-
25 arcminutes in diameter. There will be board stated that the work performed tion of the interfaces with the GRAAL
two spectral resolving powers: R ~ 4000 is of high quality and of appropriate instrument, the GALACSI instrument, and
spanning the full near-infrared wavelength level. In some areas the level exceeded the DSM will also be carried out.
range; and a higher-resolution mode that expected at the preliminary design
which gives R ~ 9000 in the I-band win- stage. The PAE for GALACSI took place in
dow and R ~ 20 000 in a region of the T  he agreement between ESO and the April 2016 and completed the series of
H-band window. The lower-resolution 4MOST consortium was signed in PAEs for the AOF project. The DSM
mode is optimised for measuring galaxies Potsdam in August. was shipped to Paranal in early Septem-
with redshifts greater than one and the ber, re-integrated and transported to
higher-resolution mode is optimised for The project team is now preparing the final UT4. Part of the DSM installation consist-
stellar surveys. design. In 2017, there will be two interme- ed of the removal of the old Dornier M2
diate reviews the Data Flow Design Unit. This intervention was very delicate,
MOONS has two main parts: the rotating Review and the FDR for long-lead items. as it had not been performed since the
front end, which is at the focal plane and The objective is to install 4MOST on VISTA installation of the four M2 units on the
houses the fibre positioners, acquisition in 2022. UTs. In October, several reference meas-
system and the metrology system for the urements were taken to quantify the per-
fibres; and the cryogenic spectrograph, formance of UT4 including the complete
which houses the spectrograph optics, Infrastructure projects instrument suite of the telescope. Later
gratings and detectors. The two parts are in October, the LGSF Launch Telescope
connected by fibres. The MOONS PDR AOF was dismounted to be refurbished later.
was held in October 2015 and the Optical The AOF made fundamental steps The Dornier M2 unit was then removed
FDR in October 2016. This latter review towards completion in 2016. The com- and the DSM hub installed. During the
allowed the consortium to begin the ten- missioning is now in full swing all sub- intervention, a campaign of accurate laser
dering process for long-lead optical com- systems have been shipped and most tracker measurements was underway to
ponents. The full FDR will be held in are installed on UT4. By early 2016 the characterise the position and mechanical
March 2017. three remaining laser guide star units had alignment of the M2 unit. This proved
been installed on the telescope. Verifica- extremely valuable, allowing the new M2
4MOST will be a world-class facility for tion of proper functioning in the environ- unit hub to be p ositioned with mm accu-
fibre-fed multi-object spectroscopy and ment of the telescope was completed in racy. The DSM was then inserted into the

ESO Annual Report 2016 57

hub, a long operation masterfully con- the measurement of vibrations on the UTs

ESO/M. Zamani
trolled by the Garching and P
aranal without using GRAVITY on-sky. This
mechanical team. tool will help to identify the origin of the
residual vibrations and to maintain the
Having ensured that the DSM perfor- vibration at a low level.
mance and functionality were preserved
in the telescope environment, the DSM The FDR for the adaptive optics of the
team could move to the next phase of ATs (NAOMI) was held in November. In
tests on-sky. To the teams delight, the December, the first deformable mirrors
very first pointing of UT4 with the newly manufactured by ALPAO were delivered
installed DSM found the target within to IPAG and the integration phase is
arcseconds of the expected position, ongoing, both in G arching and Grenoble.
amply verifying the careful alignment work The last pair of differential delay lines
done by the optical engineers. The DSM developed by the Observatoire de Genve
performed well in static mode (with no passed PAE in December 2016; they
adaptive optics correction). The GRAAL will be installed in P aranal in February
Maintenance and Commissioning Mode 2017. Under a development contract with
was then brought into operation, using an external company, the Interferometer
the 4040 ShackHartmann sensor Supervisory Software (ISS) is being
to quantify the image quality in the UT4 upgraded as well. In addition to support-
focal plane. When full confidence was ing the star separators in all telescopes
reached about the marriage of the DSM and CIAO off-axis on the UTs, it provides
with UT4, the telescope was handed over many new interfaces with the complex
to Paranal Operations for instrument GRAVITY instrument. Further ISS devel-
characterisation. The same tests carried opments are expected in 2017, in prepa-
out before the M2 exchange were repeat- The Ground Atmospheric Layer Adaptive OptiCs ration for the arrival of MATISSE.
for Spectroscopic Imaging (GALACSI) instrument in
ed and the results were satisfactory. In
the laboratory in G
arching, ready for shipment to
the last days of December, the GALACSI Paranal. In November 2016, Thanh Phan Duc
module was shipped to P aranal and it retired from ESO. Thanhs dedication and
will be integrated in early January 2017. the positive spirit which he brought to the
Next year will then focus on the commis- remains to be solved. A similar vibration VLTI project over many years were much
sioning of the AOF systems in their vari- mitigation activity is continuing for the appreciated.
ous modes. UTs and some cooling pumps are being
replaced to reduce vibrations. Meanwhile
VLTI Facility in Garching,
a vibration metrology sys- LaSilla instruments
Begun in the summer of 2014, the VLTI tem, inspired by the metrology for PRIMA
Facility Project is at its mid-point. Provi- (the decommissioned Phase-Referenced After four years of development, the
sional Acceptance Chile has been grant- Imaging and Micro-arcsecond Astrometry contract to provide a turn-key laser fre-
ed for the service station of the ATs, the facility), is being developed. It will allow quency comb (LFC) system for HARPS is
four star separators in the upgraded ATs,
the four star separators in the upgraded
coud areas of the UTs, and the upgrad-
ed VLTI Laboratory. These installations
and upgrades permitted the integration of
the four CIAO systems and the commis-
sioning and release into operation of the
spectroscopic mode of GRAVITY with
both UTs and ATs.

The maintenance of the coud train of

the ATs is at the halfway stage and the
replacement of the M4, M5, and M6
mirrors has noticeably improved their
transmission. The operation will continue
in 2017 with the replacement of M7
and M8, as well as with the recoating of The new pair of differ
ential delay lines for
M2. Vibrations on the ATs have been the VLTI under test at
mitigated, as observed by the GRAVITY the Observatoire de
fringe tracker; only the impact of wind Genve.

58 ESO Annual Report 2016

close to completion. The LFC provides Two new spectrographs are under devel- echelle spectroscopy from 3501750nm
a series of precisely equally spaced and opment for LaSilla, one for the 3.6-metre at the NTT. It will be geared towards rapid
stable spectral lines for unprecedentedly telescope and one for the NTT. NIRPS follow-up of transiting objects. The PDR
precise wavelength calibration. Following will complement HARPS by providing for this instrument is expected to be in
some technical difficulties, the LFC was 1ms 1 precision spectroscopy for the the second half of 2017. A Memorandum
repaired in October and it has been oper- infrared Y-, J- and H-bands. NIRPS is of Understanding with INAFOsservatorio
ating every night since, enabling the eval- now in the final design phase, albeit the di Brera is expected to be signed early in
uation of the overall (HARPS+LFC) system signature of the Memorandum of Under- 2017. This agreement will only cover the
stability at a level never reached before. standing with a consortium under the design phase. In 2018, a decision on the
More work is necessary to operate the leadership of the Universit de Montral construction and implementation phase
LFC reliably in standard operations, and and the O bservatoire de Genve has can be expected.
some non-compliances are being evalu- been delayed (it is now expected in early
ated, but the HARPS LFC is expected to 2017). The other instrument, SOXS, will The installation of the Deformable Secondary Mirror
be offered in 2017. provide instantaneous cross-dispersed in UT4 in October.

ESO/E. Vernet

ESO Annual Report 2016 59

ESO/H. Drass et al.
This spectacular image of the Orion Nebula star
formation region was obtained from multiple expo-
sures using the HAWK-I infrared camera on the VLT.
Technology Development

Breakthroughs in experimental science Quantum efficiency of Mark13 SAPHIRA e-APD The laboratory-
1.0 measured quantum
are often driven by advances in the
efficiency of a Saphira
associated key technologies. The ESO QE H-band device at two settings
QE K-band
technology development programme of the avalanche gain.
aims to develop and secure the technolo- 0.8 Excellent performance
AR coating to wavelengths below
gies that ESO will need to successfully
J-band was seen.
conduct its scientific programme in the
Quantum efficiency

future. Of course a great deal of develop- 0.6

APD gain = 1
ment already takes place within projects APD gain = 161
to build new instruments or telescopes,
in both ESO and the community. Instead, 0.4
the new programme promotes a longer-
term view and aims to tackle riskier devel- FILTER H FILTER K
opments. ESO is working closely with 0.2
European industry, and in collaboration
with different institutes, to enhance the
chances of success of these develop- 0.0
ments and to reduce costs. 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500
Wavelength (nm)
The requirements of the ELT continue to
drive the current technology development The contrast level
2 n eeded to be able to
programme. In particular, the develop-
Sun-like star detect some Solar
ment of key adaptive optics components 1 S ystem planets transit-
for the ELT was well underway in 2016 ing a solar-type star.
under the project title Common instru- 0 VISIR-AO will work in
the 1012m region,
ment systems. Of great importance are
1 where the required con-
fast, low-noise visible and infrared detec- trast ratio of 10 7 to
tor arrays, to be used for real-time meas- 2 10 6 is less demanding
Hot Jupiter
urement of the distortions in the wave- than in the visible part
of the spectrum. From
front of light, so that this can be compen- 3
Flux (Jy)

Seager & Deming, 2010,

sated with a deformable mirror. ARA&A, 48, 631.
Following difficulties with the previous 5
contract for the development of a visible-
wavelength complementary metal-oxide- 6
semiconductor (CMOS) device, in 2016
ESO began a new procurement of an 7
800800 pixel device with associated 8 Earth
Peltier cooling package, called the large
visible sensor module (LVSM). Evaluation 9 Mars
of the industrial bids and selection of a
manufacturer are underway. In addition, 10
0.1 1.0 10.0
2016 saw infrared avalanche photodiode Wavelength (m)
detectors (APDs) for wavefront sensing
being tested in the laboratory, with the
aim of improving performance and under- studies in 2016 for new approaches to A project to study the laser return flux
standing their characteristics. A further solving the problems. One contract for as a function of key parameters, such
development of infrared APDs to larger a compact deformable mirror (DM) and as zenith angle and polarisation, was
format (512512 pixel) has been under two contracts for high-order DMs were successfully completed in collaboration
discussion with partner institutes and signed with industry. Following initial with the Instituto de Astrofsica de
industry. prototyping, ESO plans to select promis- Canarias (IAC) at El Teide Observatory
ing approaches for a further round of during the year. A collaborative project
Fast deformable mirrors with large development funding. with Durham University, Laboratoire
numbers of actuators will be necessary dtudes spatiales et dinstrumentation
to achieve the image quality, and there- A critical future technology is that of en astrophysique (LESIA), Paris and the
fore the wavefront correction, required for the sodium laser, used to create the artifi- IAC has started at the William Herschel
future ELT and VLT instruments. In order cial guide stars 90 km above the Earth Telescope to operate in closed and open
to explore new technical ideas and solu- to act as reference sources for the wave- loop laser guide star adaptive optics,
tions, ESO launched a number of design front sensing and correction process. with a baseline geometry similar to the

62 ESO Annual Report 2016

600 Image of an elongated
200 laser guide star during
500 the experiments on
LaPalma, showing the
150 sodium profile in the
Y (arcseconds)


Relative flux
upper atmosphere.
The profile image was
100 300 taken at a distance of
400metres from the
200 WHT telescope and at
a rate of 150 Hz, similar
to the ELT case.

0 0
0 50 100 150 200 250 86 000 88 000 90 000 92 000 94 000 96 000
X (arcseconds) Altitude (m)

ELT. The goal is to collect real field data many other technological challenges. In ability to search for potentially habitable
and evaluate adaptive optics perfomance. 2016, ESO, represented by the Director planets around Alpha Centauri, the closest
General, signed an agreement with the stellar system to the Earth. The experi-
Detecting and studying potentially habita- Breakthrough Initiatives (founded in 2015 ment will explore new high-contrast
ble planets orbiting other stars will be by Yuri and Julia Milner to explore the observing techniques to allow a careful
one of the main scientific goals of the Universe, seek scientific evidence of life search programme to be conducted in
ELT. Although the increased aperture size beyond Earth, and encourage public 2019.
of the ELT will be essential to obtaining debate from a planetary perspective). The
images of planets at larger distances in agreement provides funds for VISIR to be The sky around the bright star Alpha Centauri AB
the Milky Way, their detection will face modified in order to greatly enhance its the closest star system to the Solar System.

Digitized Sky Survey 2 | Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin/Mahdi Zamani

ESO Annual Report 2016 63

The Extremely Large Telescope

During 2016 the ELT continued to follow The June 2016 resolution was necessary New industrial contract awards
its original plan and schedule as approved to enable the secondary (M2) polishing
by Council in December 2014. The ESO contract to be placed in time for first light Among the many contracts awarded in
team has worked hard to finalise the in 2024. Without this resolution, the M2 2016, the single most important one by
technical documentation required by the polishing contract signature would have size (about 400 million euros) and criticality
very high rate at which the industrial con- had to be postponed to cope with global for the overall programme schedule was,
tracts are being placed. This preparation ESO cash-flow constraints. without doubt, the contract for the final
implies a significant engineering effort design, manufacturing, transport, erection,
upstream, such as defining interface con- At Armazones, the main site preparation installation and commissioning on site of
cepts, generating related drawings and activities, namely the construction of the dome and main telescope structure
documents, addressing and solving spe- the access road and the flattening of the (DMS). At a ceremony in ESO Headquar-
cific system engineering issues, updating, top platform, were completed by the con- ters on 25 May 2016, ESO signed the
when needed, system-level documents tractor ICAFAL (Chile) in late 2015. During contract with the ACe Consortium (Italy),
and ensuring that the ultimate scientific 2016, an amendment was signed and consisting of Astaldi, Cimolai and the
performance will be achieved. By the end brought to completion for some addition- nominated sub-contractor EIE Group.
of the year, about 640 million euros al work, including the preparation of the This is the largest contract ever awarded
had been committed, at least 80 % of the platform for the dry coolers (providing by ESO and also the largest single con-
material cost for ELT Phase 1. a displaced heat exchanger for the dome tract ever in ground-based astronomy.
and telescope), additional safety meshes,
Although it may not be entirely obvious, crash barriers and other minor works to The DMS contract signing was the result
each contract award is the result of an enable a smooth handover of the site to of a long competitive tendering process,
intensive effort that rigorously follows the Dome and Main Structure (DMS) con- initiated in 2012 with issue of a Prelimi-
the ESO procurement process. It usually tractor for mobilisation on site in 2017. nary Inquiry. The ELT dome and tele-
starts with a non-binding Request for scope structure will take telescope engi-
Information that helps to optimise the pro- Another very significant site preparation neering into new territory. The contract
curement strategy. Then follows a Pre milestone, on 27 May, was the First Stone includes not only the 85-metre-diameter
liminary Inquiry aimed at selecting capa- event with the company SAESA (Chile) rotating dome, with a total mass of around
ble bidders based on their experience to mark the extension of the Chilean elec- 5000 tonnes, but also the telescope
and company profile. Finally, the process trical grid to the southern end of the mounting and tube structure, with a total
ends with a competitive call for tender Paranal/Armazones property. This con- moving mass of more than 3000 tonnes.
among the pre-selected bidders. Most of nection will enable ESO to connect its Each of these structures is by far the
the effort from the ELT engineering team observatories to the grid by autumn 2017 largest ever built for an optical/infrared
in 2016 went into preparing documents and will lead to significant savings in telescope. The dome is almost 80 metres
associated with each step in this pro- operational costs, and reduce the carbon high and its footprint is comparable in
cess, in particular the technical require- footprint of the Observatory. area to a football pitch.
ment specifications and statements of
work for the many items to be procured.

At the strategic management level, the ESO/EuropeanSpaceImaging

year saw the very important resolution

by ESO Council at its June meeting to
authorise the ELT Programme to place
all Phase 1 procurements on a baseline
schedule leading to first light in 2024.
This decision might require taking up
financial instruments (viz., loans). Indeed,
the original green light resolution from
December 2014 to build the ELT Phase1
was based on achieving first light in 2026.
Only if additional funds become available
will Phase 2 be built as well. This revised
schedule enables scientific synergies
with several facilities such as the Large
Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), ESAs
Euclid mission and in particular the JWST.

Map of the Paranal Armazones area, showing the

planned connections to the Chilean electrical grid.

64 ESO Annual Report 2016

red imager with slit spectroscopy
MAORY (Multi-conjugate Adaptive
Optics RelaY), an MCAO module to
feed MICADO and an auxiliary port;
METIS (Mid-infrared ELT Imager and
Spectrograph), an adaptive-optics-
assisted imager/spectrometer for the
thermal infrared;
MOSAIC, an optical to near-infrared
multi-object spectrograph (Phase A
HIRES, an optical to near-infrared high-
resolution spectrograph (Phase A study).

The instruments in the construction

METIS) are now approaching the mid-
points of their preliminary design phases
and the PDRs are scheduled during the
course of 2017 and 2018. Baseline end-
to-end optical designs for the instruments
are largely defined and significant efforts
The signing of the DMS contract. with Siemens (Chile) for the supply and are underway within the systems engi-
installation of the pre-fabricated medium- neering teams of all instruments to flow
The second most important contract of voltage power substations that will allow down the requirements to the instrument
2016, signed on 6 July, was that with ESO to connect to the Chilean electricity subsystems. The HARMONI consortium
Reosc (France) for polishing the second- grid. Last but not least, at its November has fixed its basic architecture, including
ary mirror M2. Owing to its highly aspheric meeting, the Finance Committee approved the location of the laser tomography adap-
shape and its dimensions (a diameter the award of the second-largest ELT con- tive optics (LTAO) module and its wave-
of more than 4 metres), this mirror, when tract to Reosc, for polishing the M1 seg- front sensors. METIS finalised its baseline
finished, will arguably be a true jewel ments. This contract, to be signed later in common fore optics, which is the back-
amongst ground-based astronomical tele 2017, will be unique in many respects. At bone for the instrument and supports key
scopes. Its early procurement was neces- its peak, the production rate of polished functional systems (chopping mecha-
sary to mitigate the schedule risk asso segments will be about one per day. nisms and cold stop) as well as important
ciated with its manufacturing challenges scientific functions, such as corono-
(in particular testing) and thus secure the graphic masks. MICADO and MAORY
ELTs first light by 2024. Instrumentation have agreed on a baseline optical design
and are working towards the definition
Later in the year, the ESO Finance Agreements for feasibility studies of two of the interface of the adaptive optics
Committee approved the award of seven new instruments were signed in 2016. modules and the camera, including the
other major contracts. The blank for M2 They cover Phase A studies for MOSAIC, control software. The guidelines of the
and the blank for M3 will be produced and for HIRES. These agreements are joint development of the single conjugate
by SCHOTT (Germany) in Zerodur and the result of an open call for proposals adaptive optics (SCAO) mode have been
delivered to Reosc for polishing. The con- that resulted in high quality proposals with established and agreed by both consortia,
tract to polish the M3 mirror was awarded substantial backing from community with the detailed plan being worked on.
to Reosc. The design and manufacture scientists and instrument builders formed
of both the M2 and M3 support structures into large consortia.
(cells) were awarded to SENER (Spain) Science aspects
in a single contract in order to profit from The instruments in the pipeline (not in
the synergy between these very similar priority order) are therefore: Scientific supervision is now well integrat-
pieces of equipment. The serial produc- HARMONI (High Angular Resolution ed into the ELT Programme. Continuous
tion of a total of 4608 edge sensors for Monolithic Optical and Near-infrared scientific inputs are provided across the
the hexagonal segments of the primary Integral field spectrograph), an adaptive- various ELT work packages, to facilitate
mirror will be undertaken by the FAMES optics-fed integral-field spectrograph the definition of the subsystem require-
consortium, specifically created by for the o
ptical and near infrared; ments and to ensure that the observatory
FOGALE (France) and MICRO-EPSILON MICADO (Multi-AO Imaging Camera for top-level requirements are met. Substan-
(Germany) to combine their expertise in Deep Observations), a multi-conjugate tial work is also continuing to define the
high-tech sensors. A contract was signed adaptive optics (MCAO)-fed near infra- operation and calibration strategy for the

ESO Annual Report 2016 65

telescope and instrumentation, and pro-

ESO/G. Hdepohl (

vide the scientific input to the develop-
ment of the wavefront control strategy.
With the support of the Project Science
Team (PST), initial discussions have
begun in respect to the end-to-end sci-
ence data flows for the ELT and the
coordination with Paranal operations.

The development of the scientific instru-

ments is also being followed very closely
by the ELT instrumentation project group
and the ELT Programme Scientist, in
order to ensure that the scientific goals
will be achieved. During the PDR phase
in parallel with the technical develop-
ment the consortia instrument teams
assess the feasibility of the science cases
and are developing sophisticated end-to-
end simulators to better understand the
science performance. Supported by the
PST and the instrument consortia, work
is continuing to evaluate the science
cases for the second-generation instru- area 150 by 300 metres in size and ready The appearance of Armazones at the end of the
contract for flattening of the platform and construc-
ments MOSAIC and HIRES. to welcome the DMS contractor who will
tion of the access road.
proceed with excavations for the founda-
As part of the engagement with the tions of the dome and the telescope. The
public and the scientific community, the 24 km road from the intersection with the end of the year, the polishing of the
status of the ELT Programme and its the B710 Chilean road up to the top of optical surface of the first two shells was
scientific goals were presented at several Armazones is complete, including the successfully completed. The next step is
conferences and workshops, including final asphalt coating and all necessary the thinning down to the final 1.95 mm
the ESA-Euclid annual meeting, the Thirty signs. The two junctions with the public thickness. All the remaining shells have
Meter Telescope (TMT) science forum, routes B710 and B750 were formally already entered the manufacturing phase.
the German/Dutch astronomy meeting accepted by the relevant Chilean authori- So far, the production is on schedule,
and a JWST meeting, with the aim of ties. ICAFAL carried out some additional with an increasing schedule margin of
enhancing synergies between the new work for ESO such as extra drainage, two years for the last shells. The shells
facilities. The ELT programme was also additional rock-retaining meshes, creation will then be delivered to AdOptica (Italy)
presented at the Irish National Astronomy of laydown areas and other earthworks for integration into the support unit.
meeting, and was perceived as a strong needed for the next stages of the ELT
motivation for Ireland to seek to join ESO. construction. The second contract signed with AdOptica
In order to enhance the engagement with is for the final design and manufacture
the scientific community, approximately The two contracts placed in summer of the support unit housing the 5316 con-
monthly updates of the ELT Programme 2015 for the design and manufacture of tactless actuators and sensors able to
are provided in the ESO Science News- the M4 adaptive optics mirror are pro- bend the thin 2.5-metre mirror, made up
letter and an ELT Symposium has been gressing well. The contract for manufac- of the six shells, at the high frequency
proposed for the next IAU General Assem- turing the M4 shells, signed with Reosc, required to correct for atmospheric turbu-
bly in Vienna in 2018. will deliver the six shells (plus six spares) lence. The design and development of
that will constitute the M4 deformable this extremely high-tech product have
mirror, a very delicate mirror 2.5 metres advanced very well and it is progressing
Running contracts in diameter but only 1.95 mm thick. By towards a FDR in 2017. A significant step
early 2016, Reosc had successfully com- was reached with the completion of the
Historically, 2016 can be seen as marking pleted the qualification of the manufac design of the Reference Body, a very
the end of a first generation of ELT con- turing and handling process on dummy stiff and accurate silicon carbide plate-like
struction contracts. Indeed, the contract shells and passed the production readi- body to which the actuators and sensors
with ICAFAL, started in early 2013, for ness review that allowed the actual pro- are attached, and which serves as a ref-
the construction of the access road and duction to begin. erence for the actual shape of the mirror
the flattening of the platform on Cerro optical surface. The manufacture of this
Armazones came to a definite end. The The Zerodur blanks were all delivered very large lightweight silicon carbide
top platform is an impressive flattened by SCHOTT and accepted by Reosc. By structure has begun at Boostec (France).

66 ESO Annual Report 2016

Engineering model of
MAORY & MICADO Consortia

H. Werij, TNO, the Netherlands

the M1 segment support
system (with an alumini-
um dummy segment) as
designed and devel-
oped by VDL/TNO.

CAD view of MAORY and MICADO on the

asmyth platform.

The design for the optical test set-up for In September, a joint visit to Armazones
M4 was also successfully completed. was organised to witness the final status
Furthermore, extensive prototyping activi- of the mountain after completion of the
ties on the electronics and actuators, as site preparation work, including the plat-
well as breadboards (for example, for form for the dry coolers. The start of ACe
qualifying the adhesive bonding of mirror activities on site, with site handover and
pads), have allowed the design of this ELT base camp preparation at Armazones,
subsystem to be optimised and validated. is currently planned for mid-2017. The
The optimisation is particularly important recruitment of a dedicated ESO DMS site
for this sub-system as it is critical for ELT manager to follow and coordinate the
science performance. work on site has been initiated. Through-
out the year, ESO has made on-demand
The two parallel contracts, with VDL calls on the expert services provided by
(the Netherlands) and CESA (Spain), for Ramboll (Denmark), as part of an ongoing
the final design and qualification of the consulting contract signed in 2013.
M1 segment supports reached their final
design in 2016 and advanced towards Good progress can also be reported for
the production of a set of engineering the M2 polishing contract with Reosc
and qualification models. These models which began in July, in particular in three
will be used to fully validate the final critical aspects: the bonding for the mir-
design, before launching a separate con- ror mounting interfaces; the procurement
tract in 2017 for the manufacturing. An of the blanks for the optics of the metrol-
One of the polished shells of the ELT M4 mirror at industry day was organised to help poten- ogy tower; and the technical specifications
Reosc, before cutting into petals.
tial manufacturers prepare themselves for the supply of the M2 blank. Good pro-
well in advance. gress has also been made in the design
of the test set-up and several tools for
AdOptica & Boostec

Among the contracts initiated in early manufacturing and pad glueing. Work has
2016, the DMS can already report good started on preparing the existing work-
progress. By the end of the year, a num- shop for the M2 polishing activities.
ber of design trade-offs had been under-
taken and some optimisation performed, Finally, the two consultancy contracts
in particular to simplify the manufacture initiated at the beginning of 2016 to pro-
and assembly. An important achievement vide support to the ELT Programme
has been the redefinition of the Nasmyth Office in the areas of quality assurance
Platform interface with the science instru- (QA) and independent software verifica-
ments, replacing the original 1-metre tion and validation (ISVV) have entered
grid of interface flanges by much stiffer their steady-state operational phase.
attachment flanges with 3-metre spacing. The first is with ISQ (Portugal) and the
The more widely spaced instrument second with Critical Software (Portugal).
The test version of the silicon carbide M4 support attachment points relieve several design The responsiveness of both contractors
structure. difficulties on the instrument side. and their specific expertise have already

ESO Annual Report 2016 67

provided tangible added value in support the consortia designing the science ture, Supporting Systems, Instrumenta-
of several ELT engineering activities. instruments. tion, Science Data Operation). Further-
more, an oversight change management
Among the less visible activities which process with a short weekly meeting has
Other activities also took place during 2016 are the been put in place to ensure smooth and
development of the user requirements timely execution of the three main change
Despite having committed about 80 % and top-level concept in preparation for processes (technical change requests,
of the material cost of Phase 1 by the the pre-focal station (PFS) procurement, request for waivers and programmatic
end of 2016, many important smaller con- planned for early 2018. The PFS is a change requests).
tracts still need to be placed and signifi- key subsystem of the ELT as it houses
cant efforts continued until the end of the several wavefront sensors for controlling A new team and manager have been
year to define associated procurement the telescope and constitutes a direct established, with responsibility for AIV,
strategies and tender documentation. interface to the instruments. Another detailing all the tasks, activities and
This is the case for example for the M1 example activity is the development of the requirements that are scaled down to
position actuators (PACTs) for which a ELT Control System where, apart from the various projects. A dedicated facility
call for tender was released in Septem- the call for tender mentioned above, pro- will be constructed at P aranal to perform
ber. The PACTs are high-precision actua- gress has been made in identifying a the integration of the M1 segments and
tors used to move the M1 segment with suitable real-time platform and selecting related coatings in parallel with the inte-
nanometric precision in tip-tilt and in standards and tools for user interfaces for gration of the DMS at Armazones.
piston in order to properly phase the seg- the Control Software development tools,
mented primary mirror. Also the call for models, environment and processes. In September 2016, the position of Pro-
tender for the Core Integration Infrastruc- gramme Engineer, left vacant in early
ture (CII) software, part of the ELT Control 2015, was filled following a highly com-
System, was issued in December. Management and team life petitive internal recruitment process.
During most of 2015 and 2016, this role
In terms of procurement strategies, good Even though a number of industrial con- had been shared between the System
progress was made on the M1 segment tracts still need to be placed, the work Engineer and the Programme Manager.
washing and coating plant with a request of the ELT team is now increasingly With the increasing number of running
for information that led to favouring an moving from system and requirement contracts and general workload, this
integrated solution. Accordingly, one engineering activities towards contract configuration could not have been main-
prime contractor will be selected to pro- follow-up, involving more managerial tained much longer.
vide a complete process plant for wash- skills. Several internal assignments were
ing, stripping and coating the M1 seg- made to ensure that each contract has
ments. Furthermore, ESO will place a a contract manager, to be the single point Oversight
contract to carry out a study of the coat- of contact with the contractor, and a
ing removal process in order to reduce team of experts to support the execution In March 2014, ESO Council introduced
the risk on the bidders side. and follow-up of the contract. The Con- the ELT Management Advisory Commit-
tracts and Procurement Department is tee (EMAC) that is charged with providing
In order to enable these procurement part of each team and collaborates in appropriate and timely management
activities, a critical effort was made in the decision-making process and in the oversight and advice to assist in the deliv-
internal systems engineering activities, follow-up of the contracts, assigning a ery of the ELT. The new Council resolu-
such as the refinement of the M1 coating Contract Officer to each major contract. tion, placing the ELT in a position to be
strategy in connection with edge sensor Over 50 individuals constitute the pool the first of its class in the world, led
calibration issues, the acceptable number of managers assigned (often part-time EMAC at its meeting in December 2016
of missing segments, reliability budgets, only) to the proper execution of an inter- to congratulate the ESO Council for its
etc. The systems engineering team is also nal work package, an industrial con- vision in undertaking, on behalf of the
keeping up to date a number of foundation tract or an agreement with an instrument European astronomical community, the
documents, such as the Product Break- consortium. construction of the worlds largest opti-
down Structure (PBS), technical budgets, cal/infrared telescope. Very positive feed-
a requirements database including links The shift of activities from internal work back was also received from EMAC to
between requirements at different levels to contract follow-up has also triggered the ELT team: ...the entire team is to be
in the PBS, interface control documents some minor adjustment in the internal congratulated because of their dedication
(ICDs), etc. A high priority is also given programme-level communication scheme. and professionalism. The ELT is on track
to defining and prioritising the work of the Some new reporting and collaboration to provide the ESO community with a
Performance Analysis and Verification meetings have been put in place to unique, timely and powerful facility
(PAV) group in charge of defining the increase communication among the eight unmatched by any other ground-based
wavefront control algorithm and simulat- project managers working for the pro- observatory.
ing the overall telescope performance. gramme (DMS, Opto-mechanics, Optical
This work is also particularly important to Control, Control System, Civil & Infrastruc-

68 ESO Annual Report 2016

ESO/L. Calada/ACe Consortium

Artists rendering of the Extremely Large

Telescope with eight laser guide stars.

ESO Annual Report 2016 69

ESO/F. Kamphues

70 ESO Annual Report 2016

The Directorate of Engineering pro- Mechanical Engineering Department technical and progress meetings and sup-
vides engineering resources and ported by analyses, such as a CFD sim
services to all ESO programmes as The department provides mechanical ulation studying the impact of the primary
well as to the operations teams at engineering support to almost all ESO mirror (M1) floor permeability on the ther-
the observatories and at ESO Head- projects. It consists of three groups: mal gradients around M1. An important
quarters. the Telescope & Large Structures Group; achievement was to develop, in close col-
the Instruments & Cryogenic Systems laboration with the DMS contractor and
During 2016 ESO technicians and Group; and the Structural Analysis Group. the instrument consortia, an improved
engineers contributed to the develop- Department members are responsible mechanical design of the ELT Nasmyth
ment of instruments and observing for the definition, design, analysis, pro- platforms around the instrument interfac-
facilities at LaSilla Paranal and to curement and assembly of mechanical, es. This was much appreciated by the
maintaining all existing ones. The opto-mechanical, cryogenic and vacuum consortia thanks to the high load capaci-
Directorate has also been very active systems for advanced telescope and ty and flexibility of the interface flange
in preparing the statements of work instrumentation systems. The department locations.
for the ELT and its instruments and operates the mechanical workshop and
following running industrial contracts. laboratory facilities in the technical build- The department played a leading role in
ing, manages the stock of standard com- the evaluation of the call for tender relat-
Many of the activities carried out by the ponents and technical gases and provides ed to the contracts for the ELT M2 and
Directorate of Engineering are under maintenance and operations support to M3 cells and the completion of the pro-
the governance of the Directorate of the detector test facilities. Several com- curement documentation including tech-
Programmes or of Operations and are puterised engineering tools are operated, nical specifications, statements of work,
reported from different perspectives in such as finite element modelling (FEM) interface control documents (ICDs) and
the corresponding sections. for structural analysis, a computer-aided interface drawings. After the clarification
design (CAD) system, computational fluid phase, the contract with the selected bid-
The Directorate is responsible for the dynamics (CFD) software and product der started in January 2017. Many other
development and maintenance of data management (PDM) for configuration opto-mechanical subsystem contracts,
the engineering standards used by all control. Department staff install and com- such as the M1 unit, polishing the M1 seg-
projects. The Directorate maintains mission previously designed systems ments, M2 and M3, and the M4 Unit and
the laboratories, workshops and inte- on ESO telescopes and instruments dur- PACT, were closely followed up and sup-
gration halls, and develops test facili- ing frequent missions to Chile and sup- ported with mechanical expert advice,
ties for detectors. port on-site mechanical teams engaged interface drawings and analyses.
in upgrade projects. An understanding
Behind the scenes, the Information of mechanical systems and close collab- The ELT PFS conceptual design, including
Technology (IT) department continued oration with other engineering disciplines the metrology unit, the sixth mirror (M6C)
to provide all its users with an IT infra- are essential skills available in the depart- unit and the Phasing Diagnostic Station
structure to meet the challenging ment. (PDS), was developed so as to allow the
requirements and the administrative writing of the tender documentation.
assistants patiently did their utmost to The main activities in 2016 were dedi Structural analyses of the PFS structure
facilitate a smooth and efficient work- cated to supporting the ELT, the P
aranal to demonstrate compliance with perfor-
ing environment. instrumentation programme and LaSilla mance and safety requirements were
Paranal projects. The ELT DMS contract completed. Several department members
was closely followed up in numerous were following up the mechanical aspects

Velocity vector




(m s 1)

Modelling of the air

The four laser beams of the Adaptive Optics velocity streamlines
Facility propagating from Unit Telescope 4 0 10.0 20.0 (m) over the ELT primary
of the Very Large Telescope. 5.0 15.0 mirror cell structure.

ESO Annual Report 2016 71

Johann Kolb

CAD model of the new Auxiliary Telescope station.

of the four contracted ELT instruments

and attended numerous meetings. In
addition, the ELT AIV management
responsibility was assigned to a depart-
ment member and the associated team The CIAO infrared adaptive optics Unit 1 in final Installation of the ESPRESSO M4 mirror unit on VLT
c onfiguration at VLT Unit Telescope 1. Unit Telescope 3.
in charge of planning AIV activities com-
prises mainly department staff. An AIV
presentation was provided to external the SPIFFI upgrade, the VLTI infrastruc- opportunity to put into perspective the
experts auditing the ELT project status. ture upgrade, the Facility for Infrared competences available within the depart-
Array Testing (FIAT) and detector devel- ment as compared to those requested
Mechanical engineering support was opment. Mechanical engineering and by the various programmes, with the goal
provided to the Observatory with the cryo-vacuum expertise was provided for of mitigating the risks associated with the
procurement of spare parts for the Rota- on-site installations of all the GRAVITY challenging ELT programme.
tion Mechanism (RTM). The VLT enclo- CIAO units in the lead-up to PAE. All four
sure bogie lifetime problems were further ESPRESSO M4/P4 (Prism 4) units were Electronics Engineering and Workshop
investigated and that practical experience successfully installed on the UTs. Groups
was fed back into the design activities Mechanical design support was provided The design work associated with the
for the ELT dome. Measurements with for setting up the bench for the NAOMI obsolescence management of instrument
the ESO laser tracker were carried out on AT adaptive optics system. The exchange and telescope local control unit (LCU)
UT1 to evaluate the alignment accuracy of the VLT M2 Unit with the AOF DSM systems was finalised this year. This is a
of the installed bogies. As-built documen- Unit was prepared in detail and success- major success as it will allow existing
tation of the new AT station on Paranal fully led by a department member. Paranal instruments to be maintained for
was provided and a 3D CAD model was the next 15 years. At telescope level,
built with input data from construction the upgrade of the VISTA control system
drawings and on-site measurements illus- Electronics Engineering Department was prepared and is foreseen for mid-
trating the final configuration and major 2017. The group participated in the final
dimensions. The large variety of skills available in the integration of the 4LGSF and the STS-UT
department, from compliance engineer- for GRAVITY which are now fully com
The document Vacuum and Cryogenics ing to detector system design, led to missioned, and also worked on the
Standard Components was updated involvement in most of the projects run- 4MOST, ESPRESSO, CRIRES+, MOONS,
and a preliminary version released. It de ning at ESO. At management level, we VLTI-BEACON and GALACSI projects.
scribes vacuum/cryogenic design and have worked to develop the identity
components standards for both the of the different groups and also worked The team has continued to give support
LaSilla Paranal Observatory and ELT on a long-term development plan. One to several ELT subsystems, including the
instruments. Department members were outcome of this exercise was the detector local control system (LCS) for M1, PACT,
heavily involved in many P
aranal instru- system management plan that was the edge sensors and the DMS. Work
ment and technology development pro- approved and released with the aim of was carried out on the M4 project Key
jects, including GRAVITY and CIAO, describing how to organise the detector Milestone reviews and a warping harness
ESPRESSO, MOONS, NAOMI, CRIRES+, group technically and managerially for control system prototype was developed
4MOST, MATISSE, AOF, GALACSI, ERIS, the next ten years. This exercise was an for the M1 cell. For the PFS project, a

72 ESO Annual Report 2016

baseline architecture was developed to Detectors Group Systems Engineering Department
be used during negotiations with the On the ELT instrument front, interaction
future industrial partner. between the detectors team and the Each of the four groups that constitute
HARMONI, MICADO and METIS consor- the department focuses on a different
For ALMA, work was carried out on the tia has increased considerably, reflecting area: adaptive optics; instrument sys-
replacement of defective power supplies, good progress. First light was achieved tems; systems analysis; and systems
on the installation of a monitoring system with the new CMOS adaptive optics engineering processes and standards.
for off-line analysis and on the Power detector controller; this is a major achieve- The four groups together cover all the
Supply Unit (PSU) failure modes. In addi- ment for the ELT as it qualifies ESO con- essential systems engineering functions,
tion, the correlator fibre splicing work was trollers for use with the ELT-selected including disciplinary integration and
planned for early 2017 and a drive moni- CMOS wavefront sensors. Further devel- technical coordination, system architec-
toring system was developed for the opment together with the industrial part- tural design and systems analysis. The
antennas. ners is still needed to bring the prototype departments services are employed in
to production level. A development plan adaptive optics, instruments, telescopes
At the infrastructure level, we have initiat- roadmap for the evolution of the New and infrastructure projects and contribute
ed a plan to upgrade the existing detector General detector Controller (NGC) for use prominently to the projects described in
test infrastructure, which will culminate in the ELT is now in place and key tech Programmes (p. 55).
next year in the commissioning of the FIAT nical choices have already been made.
test facility. Adaptive Optics System Group
On the VLT front, first light was achieved The mission of the Adaptive Optics (AO)
Compliance Engineering Group in Geneva in December with the last group is to provide the ESO astronomical
Members of the team were involved in ESPRESSO blue detector. Detector per- community with world-class ground-based
the call for tender relating to the three sistence was quantified and high-speed AO observing capabilities that overcome
substations for the connection to the detector operation was demonstrated the limitations caused by atmospheric
Chilean national grid. The team partici- for use in ERIS. The team has also worked turbulence. The AO group is involved in
pated in the kick-off meeting of the DMS on the replacement of the ESPRESSO delivering AO modules for the second
project, and several of the technical red detector and on the delivery to generation of VLT instrumentation, partic-
specifications for forthcoming ELT con- MATISSE of the L-/M- and N-band detec- ipating in the ELT programme, and devel-
tracts were authored and reviewed, such tor system to replace the damaged ones. oping the technology required by the next
as the M1 segment support, M1 polish- For CRIRES+, the KMOS HAWAII-2RG generation of AO systems.
ing, edge sensors, PACT, the cells for M2, (H2RG) engineering grade detector was
M3 and M4 and the instruments. On the found to be acceptable for the instrument Following the installation of the new M2
safety and compliance engineering side, slit viewer and three H2RG detectors were unit on UT4, a series of functional tests
a team has continued to work on ELT successfully read simultaneously with was performed with the AOF in December.
system hazard analysis (involving identifi- the same NGC controller. The MOONS For the first time the DSM, the 4LGSF
cation and reporting of inter-system safe- HAWAII-4RG detectors have been ordered and GRAAL were all working together.
ty hazards and organisation of the hazard and will be the very first 4k 4k infrared The complete AOF acquisition sequence
analysis evaluation team). detectors available at ESO before the ELT has been used to automatically preset
era. The group also worked on the FIAT the telescope to the target, propagate
monochromator system and was able to the four 4LGSF lasers, acquire them with
The model of the ELT warping harness Interface calibrate and use it to test persistence the four wavefront sensors of GRAAL
Connection Box, based on an ESO design. mitigation methods at 5 m for the H2RG. and then close the ground layer adaptive

The AOF Real

Time D isplay
panel. On the left
are the 4 laser
guide star wave-
front sensors each
viewing their own
source. At upper
right, the display
of the tip-tilt sen-
sor and, at lower
right, the defor-
mation of the DSM
are visible.

ESO Annual Report 2016 73

Plot of the long-exposure (LE) Strehl ratio (SR) vs. 0.6
science field of view (FoV) radius resulting from laser
guide stars (LGSs). Blue curve: 6LGSs and 28 %
central obscuration; red curve: 6 LGSs and 57 %
central obscuration; yellow curve: 4LGSs and 57 %
central obscuration.

Average LE SR @ 2.2 m 0.4

optics (GLAO) loop by sending com-
mands to the DSM. Finally, the AOF took
over the telescope active optics by off- 0.3
loading the DSM signal onto M1 and the
telescope axes of the telescope.
6 LGSs full M1
System engineering support has been 6 LGSs doughnut M1
4 LGSs doughnut M1
provided to the MAORY consortium, 0.1 MICADO large FoV
focusing on laser tomography related
design trade-offs, such as the dimension-
ing of the post-focal deformable mirrors 0
and the laser guide star (LGS) asterism. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Science FoV radius (arcseconds)
In particular, the impact on pure tomo-
graphic error of the number of LGSs or the
diameter of the central obscuration has neering and for the coordination of engi- to ELT systems engineering. This includ-
been simulated using Octopus, the end- neering disciplines. ed: systems engineering management;
to-end simulation tool developed by the addressing system-level technical issues
System Analysis Group. The results show System Analysis Group that required a coordinated effort across
that a smaller number of LGSs is the The major group activities focus on the several engineering disciplines; system
main contributor to loss in performance. ELT and VLTI programmes. analysis to support the allocation of func-
tional and performance requirements to
Instrument Systems Group The group develops and consolidates ELT subsystems; requirements and inter-
The group provides technical system the wavefront control strategy for the face management, in particular estab
and project management leadership for ELT and contributes to the elaboration of lishing the proper linking from system-
instrument projects at ESO. Together wavefront control interfaces between level requirements down to subsystems
with the instrument scientists, members the telescope and the instruments. Under requirements; documentation and config-
of the group lead or support instrumen the supervision of the ELT AIV team, the uration management with the emphasis
tation projects in various roles, either as preparation of wavefront control commis- on the change control process; prepa
system engineer or project manager for sioning scenarios was undertaken. This ration and updating of technical budgets
both external instruments built by consor- will generate the requirements for the (for example, adaptive optics performance,
tia and internal instruments built at ESO. sky metrologies hosted by the telescope telescope mass and budget, telescope
phasing station. Critical components will setting time); and updating of the refer-
There are currently ten different instru- be tested and validated in the laboratory. ence verification requirements applied
mentation projects running seven for to contractors. On top of these systems
the P
aranal Observatory and three for The group assisted in the deployment engineering activities, the group also
the ELT project supported at different of the four CIAO systems at P aranal. The worked on the definition of the logistics
phases of their life cycles. Examples are few nights of technical time confirmed and transport approach for the ELT items.
the ELT instrument HARMONI heading that AO systems can nowadays be fully
towards PDR, with the first major review characterised prior to their first light. This
after project kick-off at the end of 2017, opens the way to bringing future AO sys- Optical Engineering Department
as well as CRIRES+ and MOONS, the tems into operation with minimum night-
former being in the integration phase. time cost. The group is also supporting The department supports ESO projects
the development of VibMet, a vibration in the areas of optical design for tele-
The groups activities also include the monitoring system for the VLTI. It will be scopes and instruments, active optics
definition of standard documentation a standard diagnostic tool, measuring and wavefront control, metrology for
and processes for instrumentation pro- optically the impact of piston motion on telescope alignment, laser guide stars,
jects, supporting the central role of vibrations. VibMet is now in its protot yping optical fibre technology and AIV of in
instrument development as an ESO core phase in G arching, the goal being to vali- struments. It also manages the optics
objective and competence. As a result date the concept in Paranal
next year. laboratories and the integration facilities.
of these activities, the ELT programme is
making increasing use of system engi- Processes and Standards Group Lothar Noethe retired as Head of Depart-
neering for ELT instrumentation provided Most of the effort of the Processes and ment after 33 years at ESO, where he first
by the group, for requirements engi Standards Group in 2016 was devoted pioneered and then established active

74 ESO Annual Report 2016

Monitoring of the rigid body motion the Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis,
ESO/H. H. Heyer

of M2 with res pect to M1 on VLT UT4

together with the Laser Guide Star Alli-
using an optical laser hexapod
c oncept. Red lines were added to the ance, the industrial consortium with whom
photograph to indicate the metrology they developed the key technologies
laser beam paths. behind the laser source of the 4LGSF.

The Laser Group is conducting a pro-

gramme of tests using an experimental
laser guide star unit on La Palma at
the Observatorio del Roque de los
Muchachos. These tests, which also
involve several European research insti
tutions, are intended to explore new
technologies and adaptive optics tech-
niques targeted at the new generation
of extremely large telescopes. This work
has also resulted in tests and a joint pub-
lication with collaborators including the
German Aerospace Center (DLR), INAF,
Gran Telescopio Canarias (GranTeCan),
and the ESA European Space Operations
Centre (ESOC), related to ground-to-
space laser communication.

Control Software and Engineering

optics as a key technology, culminating The group developed new stray light Department
in the renowned success of the VLT and analysis competences and re-initiated
paving the way towards the ELT. the experimental survey of the impact of The two software departments Sci-
contamination on Paranal mirrors to ence Control Software (SCS) and Control
In 2016, the department comprised 14 study stray light. Software Engineering (CSE) defined
staff and a PhD student who all actively the Directorates strategy for the software
provided optical engineering expertise A method of controlling optical telescope quality assurance (SQA) testing and
to the ELT, P
aranal instrumentation and alignment in closed loop through the development environment. Whereas there
research and development programmes analysis of spot elongation patterns in the was previously no consistent use of
across practically all their projects. During science image on VST OmegaCAM was terms and role definitions across different
the course of the year, department mem- successfully tested in February using projects/programmes, this document
bers contributed to a total of five confer- the G
arching Remote Access Facility and now gives common definitions that are
ence publications as first authors and the results have been published in SPIE used within the Directorate. Furthermore,
33publications as co-authors, and par- Proceedings. the document provides recommenda-
ticipated in 24 missions to Paranal to tions in relation to software projects, for
support the instrumentation. The in-house mirror phasing experiment example which roles should be assigned.
PEACE was restarted to explore possible The document was reviewed by and
Telescope and Instrument Optics Group phasing strategies and performance discussed with software project manag-
The group continued to establish the coupling between phasing and adaptive ers who also provided valuable input that
use of laser trackers and industrial soft- optics in the context of the ELT. Signifi- was included in the final version. The
ware metrology tools for optical align- cant efforts are still needed owing to the strategy document can now be referred
ment. For example, this technique was obsolescence of key components. to by project specific documents in the
successfully applied in the context of areas covered.
the replacement and realignment of the Laser and Photonics Group
DSM of the AOF. In addition, some ex A highlight of the year was the installation Triggered by a request concerning the
ploratory work was conducted to monitor of the four laser guide stars for the AOF on ELT control system, a cross-functional
the rigid body motion of telescope mir- UT4 in Paranal in April. This milestone is team with members from the two soft-
rors using multiple-fibre laser interferom- the culmination of many years of work for ware departments, SCS and CSE, and
eters. This technique was tested on the a team of ESO staff across the Directo- the P
aranal software group, evaluated
VLT by forming an optical hexapod rate working alongside external collabo- various modern technologies for graphi-
between the primary and secondary mir- rators and industry. In September, several cal user interfaces (GUIs). It was clear
rors, leading to possible applications in current and former members of the laser that Tcl/Tk, the technology used in the
the context of the ELT. group were honoured with third prize in VLT, is not an option for the ELT as it is

ESO Annual Report 2016 75

The NEON Archive School students and organising
ESO/M. Zamani

team at ESO Headquarters.

lished (The Messenger, 164, 50, 2016).

The NEON Archive School (913 May)
provided students with an introduction to
the end-to-end cycle of observation pro-
posal, data reduction and archive usage
for the X-shooter and KMOS instruments
(The Messenger, 165, 45, 2016).

The Dataflow Infrastructure Group devel-

ops tools for proposal submission, obser-
vation preparation and execution, archive
ingestion and retrieval, data organisation
and execution of pipelines. Highlights of
old and barely maintained any more and be continuously improved during use. 2016 included the release of the Phase 3
few people are knowledgeable about it Of course, it could also be used on other software that supports the preparation,
now. The detailed evaluation showed that projects. validation and ingestion of science data
Python/Qt fulfills the requirements best products in the SAF. The GuideCamTool
and it was therefore proposed as the new software architecture was fundamentally
standard for control software GUIs. Uni- Science Operation Software Department refactored from a monolith into a core
fying ELT and VLT GUI technology in the with instrument-specific plug-ins, in order
long term, i.e. retrofitting the new stand- Within project teams, members of the to support the development of obser
ard to the VLT, is an option that will be department develop the science operation vation preparation tools by the instrument
discussed in future. software for the end-to-end operation of consortia. A new web-based observation
the LaSilla Paranal Observatory, ALMA preparation tool (p2web) for designated
At the request of the ELT Control System and the ELT. The department participated Visitor Mode was installed at Paranal
project, a new development process in the organisation of two workshops in Observatory in October. A new version
covering the phases between PDR and 2016. The purpose of the Data Simulation (2.1) of the ALMA Dashboard was devel-
FDR was defined for ELT control soft- Workshop (1415 April) was to provide oped. The process and workflow for data
ware. The process is iterative and uses a forum for about 50 participants from the reduction and quality assurance for ALMA
many elements of agile software develop- instrument consortia and ESO engineer- Cycle 5 were finalised, and several ALMA
ment processes, like Scrum. However, it ing departments to exchange information, archive components have been upgraded.
is not a full implementation of Scrum as methods, and experience about the
several circumstances require adapta- respective simulation approaches and
tions, for example the fact than many results regarding ELT and VLT second- Screenshot of the Phase 3 release manager showing
project members will not be able to work generation instruments. A report was pub- entries for several ESO Public Surveys.
full time on the project as they also have
other assignments.

The new process was prototyped on a

small project (the software upgrade of
the ELT M1 test stand) in three iterations.
All participants in the prototype found
the process worked well and was efficient:
the results of the prototype exceeded
expectations, for example in terms of
realised content. In parallel with the proto-
typing, the tool environment was extend-
ed and built up. Important decisions,
such as the use of JIRA as the tracking
tool, were made and more concrete re
quirements were discussed and defined
for other tools. The process was con
sidered mature, so it will be used for all
ELT control software projects. As the
process contains a mandatory lessons
learned element in every iteration, it will

76 ESO Annual Report 2016

The Pipeline Systems Group handles
the scientific processing of data, the esti
mation of data quality with the exposure
time calculators, and the measurement
of data quality from observational data.
The highlights of 2016 include the release
of all ESO data reduction software as
RPM package manager and MacPort
packages to the public and to the Obser-
vatory, including many with new Reflex
workflows. The GRAVITY reduction pipe-
line was used for the SV observations
and the SPHERE pipeline was handed
over in October. Several algorithmic
improvements were made for Science
Grade Data Products, in particular for
KMOS, MUSE, and HAWK-I. The group
participated in project reviews for
CRIRES+ and in the 4MOST PDR.

The Software Engineering and Quality

Group provides the necessary tools to
support the development process, test-
ing, integration and release of scientific
operation software. The group contributed
to the successful delivery of the Visitor
Mode Observing Tool (vOT) to Paranal
with manual and automated testing cam-
paigns and deployment. For ALMA, new
metrics for software quality were pre-
pared, and work proceeded to enable the
transition to Git.

Information Technology Department

The IT Department delivers services and

supports users and science operations
in fulfilling the ESO mission, and provides
expertise and resources to ESO projects,
programmes and collaborations. The
Department ensures user satisfaction,
continuous operation and appropriate
project completion.

Major upgrades and projects in 2016

included: the implementation of a bi-
directional database replication model
for the support of observations tools; the
support of ESO projects for GRAVITY,
and MATISSE; the upgrade of the ESO
email infrastructure; and the exchange
and integration of the telephone system
ESO/G. Hdepohl

at Paranal into the ESO system.

Four lasers over P


ESO Annual Report 2016 77


78 ESO Annual Report 2016

Wide field near-infrared colour image of the full
extent of the Orion A molecular cloud.

Bernhardt + Partner (B+P)

The Directorate of Administration During 2016, contracts worth more glass, was prefabricated in Italy and
manages ESOs administration in than 470 million euros were placed; the assembled on site at ESOs Headquar-
Garching and in Chile. The functions largest fraction related to the DMS for the ters. A special 500-tonne crane installed
include human resources, financial ELT. The DMS contract was signed on it in a single lift. The design consists of
services, contracts and procurement 25May 2016. The Finance Committee 262 triangles representing constellations
services, the running of the facility, has already awarded contracts for 80 % of the southern sky. The glass panels,
logistics and transport, safety coordi- of the material budget of the ELT Phase1 together weighing another eight tonnes,
nation, the Enterprise Resource Plan- programme. These contracts include the were integrated into the triangular spaces
ning services, fundraising activities polishing of the M1 mirror segments, the after the Star-roof had been installed.
and the operation of the ESO Guest- glass ceramics for the M2 and M3 mir-
house. The ESO Supernova Plane rors, the design and construction of the Following the lead of the Headquarters
tarium & Visitor Centre project is also M2 and M3 supporting structure as well extension building, all other ESO build-
conducted by the Directorate in co- as the edge sensors. ings in Garching, including the ESO
operation with the education and Pub- Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre,
lic Outreach Department. The Director The Contracts and Procurement depart- were connected to the environmentally
of Administration provides support to ment compensates for the extra workload friendly district heating system.
the Director General in regard to exter- created by these ELT contracts with high
nal relations activities and functions. efficiency and experience, accurate plan- The Site Safety Manager supported the
The Administration Office deals with ning and close cooperation with the ELT ELT team during the design phase and in
arrangements for the Finance Commit- programme. Contract officers are an inte- reviews and also gave advice on the sys-
tee meetings. gral part of the project team and monitor tem-wide hazard and risk analysis. For its
all contracts above 10 million euros. first two years, ESO chairs the re-instated
Highlights of the year included: the ALMA Safety Advisory Group.
approval to place the ELT Phase1 The Finance Department reduced the
contracts and the signature of the exchange-rate risks considerably by During 2016, several new tools were
contract for the DMS; CTA as a sup- means of long-term currency hedging added to the ESO Enterprise Resource
plementary programme and the exten- and a change to the base currency for Planning system. These included online
sion of APEX; successful collective the ALMA on-site budget. Travel Settlements and Education Claims
bargaining in Chile; risk reduction to within the Employee Self-Service area.
exchange rate exposure; and the top- In April, the topping-out ceremony In addition to the new tools, a major sys-
ping-out ceremony and lifting of the (Richtfest) and the positioning of the tem upgrade was begun in February
Star-roof of the ESO Supernova Plane- Star-roof of the ESO Supernova Plane 2016, with the new version scheduled to
tarium & Visitor Centre. tarium & V isitor Centre took place. The go live in the first half of 2017.
roof, weighing 22 tonnes without its

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre

is nearing the final stages of construction. In the The details of the spectacular Star-roof are visible as
background, the ESO Headquarters Extension is it is put in place on the ESO Supernova Planetarium
visible. & Visitor Centre.

ESO Annual Report 2016 81

Finance and Budget

Financial Statements 2016

Accounting Statements 2016

(in 1000)

Statement of Financial Position 31.12.2016 31.12.2015 Cash Flow Statement 2016 2015

Assets Cash Flow

Cash and cash equivalents 79 268 55 053 Net receipts 214 821 212 682
Inventories, receivables, advances and other 81 934 22 960 Net payments 190 606 179 674
current assets Net Cash Flow from Operating Activities 24 215 33 008
Non-current assets 1 106 920 1 105 209
Total Assets 1 268 122 1 183 222 Net Cash Flow from Financing Activities 0 0

Liabilities Net Cash Flow = 24 215 33 008

Short-term borrowing 0 0 Net Increase/Decrease in Cash and Cash Equivalents
Payables, advances received and other 123 511 84 239
current liabilities
Non-current liabilities 567 611 529 373
Total Liabilities 691 122 613 612

Accumulated surpluses/deficits 569 610 545 245

Pension fund loss/gain 11 147 969
Other changes in net assets 22 570 765
Net surplus/deficit for the year 4 033 24 161
Total Net Assets 577 000 569 610

Total Liabilities and Net Assets 1 268 122 1 183 222

Statement of 2016 2015

Financial Performance

Operating Revenue
Contributions from Member States 158 533 197 898
Contributions to special projects 17 668 12 289
In-kind contributions 6 277 8 405
Sales and service charges 1 778 2 067
Other revenue 2 008 598
Total Operating Revenue 186 264 221 257

Operating Expenses
Installations and equipment 2 939 1 625
Supplies and services 43 149 44 103
Personnel expenses 75 176 83 700
Depreciation of fixed assets 66 120 66 510
Other operating expenses 4 249 1 123
Total Operating Expenses 191 633 197 061

Net Surplus/Deficit from Operating Activities 5 369 24 196

Financial revenue 3 776 4 942

Financial expenses 2 534 5 043
Net Surplus/Deficit from Financial Activities 1 242 101

Non-periodic and extraordinary revenue 94 66

Non-periodic and extraordinary expenses 0 0
Net Surplus/Deficit from Non-periodic and 94 66
Extraordinary Activities

Net Surplus/Deficit for the Period 4 033 24 161

82 ESO Annual Report 2016

Budgetary Reports 2016 Budget for 2017
(in 1000) (in 1000)

Income Budget Actual Budget Income Budget 2017 (Approved)

Contributions from Member States 207 936 195 428 Contributions from Member States 194 388
Income from third parties 18 541 20 058 Income from third parties 5 560
Other income 3 532 1 218 Other income 1 435
Consolidated entities 2 093 699 Consolidated entities 612
Total Income Budget 232 102 217 403 Total Income Budget 201 995

Expenditure Budget Expenditure Budget 2017 (Approved)

Programme 96 691 119 566 Programme 116 315
Technical infrastructure and production 7 737 8 977 Technical infrastructure and production 8 666
Operations 70 483 75 371 Operations 74 315
Science support 8 419 9 590 Science support 9 834
General activities 24 506 26 611 General activities 26 988
Financing cost 33 34 Financing cost 39
Consolidated entities 1 485 755 Consolidated entities 686
Total Expenditure Budget 209 354 240 904 Total Expenditure Budget 236 843

In 2016, the National Audit Office of The net assets of the Organisation have The 2017 approved income budget
Finland* took up their mandate to audit increased by 7.4 million euros and as at amounts to 202.0 million euros. It
ESOs accounts. They have expressed 31 December 2016 amount to 577.0 mil- includes the regular contributions from
their opinion that the financial statements lion euros. the ESO Member States, income from
for 2016 give a true and fair view of the third parties and partners, and other
affairs of the Organisation. The cash flow in 2016 was positive by income, as well as additional income for
24.2 million euros. The cash position at the ELT from all Member States and
The accounting statements for 2016 31 December 2016 stood at 79.3 million funding from the Klaus Tschira Stiftung
show a deficit of 4.0 million euros against euros. for the ESO Supernova Planetarium &
a positive result of 24.2 million euros in Visitor Centre. Conditional income from
2015. The difference compared to 2015 ESO Council approved the budget for Brazil will be added as soon as their
is caused mainly by lower income, pre- 2017 in December 2016. The approved ratification procedure is completed.
dominantly because Polands entrance 2017 expenditure budget amounts to
fee had a major impact on the income in 236.8 million euros. The increase in
2015. The lower income was partly com- comparison to 2016 mainly reflects the
pensated for by lower costs associated ELT Phase 1, offset by lower remaining
with operating activities in 2016. expenditure for the ALMA Residencia
and for the construction of the ESO
Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre.

* Jari Sanaskoski (Director for Financial Audit),

Klaus Krokfors (Principal Financial Auditor),
Pontus Londen (Principal Financial Auditor).

ESO Annual Report 2016 83

Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO

84 ESO Annual Report 2016

The Plane of the Milky Way loops above the
Paranal Observatory.

ESO Annual Report 2016 85

Human Resources

ESO/P. Horlek ESO/J. Girard ( ESO/Y. Beletsky

ESO/M. Zamani ESO/M. Zamani ESO/M. Zamani

The Human Resources (HR) Department ber, with the aim of attracting female were sent to all members of Council, the
manages all services provided to ESO candidates to engineering and technical Finance Committee and the delegates of
personnel in connection with their roles and promoting ESO as an interest- other ESO committees, as well as to
employment at ESO, from the definition ing place to work. national and international research cen-
of applicable policies to the execution tres and observatories. In addition, prom-
and conclusion of employment contracts. Human Resources continues to make inent advertisements for selected posi-
Within this remit, HR manages the follow- use of the broad networking capabilities tions were placed in appropriate
ing tasks: enabled by the relationship ESO has specialist publications and on recruitment
planning, definition and execution of with the Munich Dual Career Office. The web pages. All ESO advertisements con-
overall policies and strategies for per- aim is to support spouses of International tain a statement regarding ESOs com-
sonnel resources; Staff Members in their search for a job in mitment to equal opportunities.
coordination of recruitment and selec- the Munich area.
tion procedures; HR, together with the Directorate of Engi-
employment contracts; Continuing in its role as an observer on neering, extended the PhD programme
support to members of personnel with the GENERA Project, HR participated for engineers with an additional position
regard to the implementation of the in the GENERA gender equality policy in 2016.
applicable rules, regulations and con- survey in 2016.
tractual terms; The Foundation for Science and Tech
maintenance and storage of personnel nology of the Portuguese Ministry of
records; Recruitment, selection and reassignment Education and Science has advocated
occupational health and welfare; on-the-job training opportunities within
social security matters; During 2016, HR published a number of the Directorate of Engineering. Two train-
training and professional development; vacancy notices, prompting a total of ing opportunities were published by
family matters connected with employ- 1427 applications. The number of com- the Portuguese Ministry of Education in
ment contracts, including day-care and pleted recruitment campaigns according November 2016. The closing date for
provision of education at the European to contract type were: applications was December 2016 and
School Munich and the Bavarian Inter- profiles of potential candidates will be
national School; Contract type No. of No. of assessed early in 2017.
campaigns applications
performance management;
International Staff Members 31 787 The Federal Department of Foreign
Local Staff Members 14 376 Affairs in Switzerland invited HR to repre-
travel settlements.
Fellows 4 171 sent ESO at the International Career

Review of regulations for Local Staff All positions were advertised on the ESO
Members in Chile Recruitment Portal. For International An instruction session organised by HR at the
Staff Member positions, notifications h erCareer exhibition in Munich.
A working group led by the Director of
Administration with HR officers, repre-

Foto Pfuegl
sentatives from Local Staff and the
unions at Paranal and LaSilla, continued
to review the regulations for Local Staff
Members in Chile in light of developments
in Chilean labour law. Final recommen
dations from the working group are
expected towards the end of 2017.

Equal opportunities and gender balance

ESO took part in the 2016 Girls Day and

offered workshops on astronomy and
engineering, both hands-on and
theoretical, to more than 40 female stu-
dents aged between 14 and 17, to
encourage them to choose careers in
science and technology.

HR representatives were present at the

herCareer exhibition in Munich in Octo-

ESO Annual Report 2016 87

Spain Finland Sequitor LaSilla
8.5 % 0.5 % 12 16
8% 10 %
Denmark France
1.4 % 15 %

Germany United Santiago Paranal

29.6 % Kingdom 36 94
10.3 % 26 % 59 %
0.5 % Italy
16.2 %

Belgium The Netherlands

3.1 % 2.8 %

Austria Poland
1.2 % 0.9 %
(Left) Distribution of International (Above) Distribution of Local Staff
Other Sweden Portugal Staff Members by nationality as of Members by duty station as of
8.9 % 0.5 % 0.7 % 31December 2016. 31December 2016.

Day in Lausanne in April. This is the only As regulated in the ESO Fair Treatment, HR in Chile ran several drop-in talks and
event in Switzerland exclusively devoted Courtesy and Respect policy, the Direc- awareness sessions for all personnel on
to international organisations, and pro- tor General appointed four harassment The Art of Listening, Cultural Integra-
vides a forum for motivated early career Contact Persons as of November, after tion, Managing Negative Emotions and
graduates to meet recruitment specialists the 2-year terms of the current ones had General Communication Skills Training.
from these organisations. There were 49 ended.
international organisations participating The induction programme for newcomers
and around 2400 visitors. In 2016, ten staff members celebrated included the ESO policy on drug and
25 years of service and four celebrated alcohol misuse to increase awareness on
35 years of service. how drug and alcohol dependency can
Employee relations and communications affect family, friends and colleagues. Sev-
eral awareness sessions were offered to
The collective bargaining process took Collaboration and representation of HR staff in Chile.
place during November and, after profes-
sional and fruitful discussions, new Col- The 147th Finance Committee in Novem-
lective Contracts for Local Staff Members ber agreed to the extension of the Pro- Health and welfare and social security
in Chile were signed with the P aranal gressive Retirement Programme and the
Union, the LaSilla Union and the group of revised CERNESO agreement, which The annual CERN Pension Fund informa-
non-unionised Local Staff Members. The were both approved by the ESO Council tion meeting took place at ESO Head-
contracts entered into force on 1 Decem- in December. quarters in October.
ber 2016 and are valid for three years.
Human Resources continued to partici- The yearly review with the healthcare pro-
Since the International Staff Association pate in regular meetings of the HR Advi- vider Cigna in October resulted in minor
was not successful in holding elections sory Group of the JAO in order to discuss amendments to the scheme. The individ-
for new representatives in 2016, the cur- and resolve personnel issues of common ual insurance premium for 2017 remains
rent representatives operated in caretaker interest. unchanged.
mode throughout the year. This transi-
tional situation hampered the process of
consultation on changes to specific diver- Learning and professional development HR advice and administration
sity and family friendly policies presented
by HR. Human Resources continued to deliver a Human Resources also handles a wide
wide range of development activities spectrum of personnel-related activities.
In order to foster fruitful communication according to the Training Catalogue. As an integral part of this service, a varie-
between the ESO Management and the ty of pertinent documents, circulars and
International Staff Association, three In 2016 the trend towards individualised processes were reviewed during 2016.
working groups were formed in 2016. development needs continued and an
These working groups presented con- increasing number of activities have been The flexible working time policy, which
structive proposals to improve the work designed and specifically rolled-out to was rolled out in 2015 as a test model
environment. Several activities are targeted departments. and reviewed in October, was extended
planned to be implemented in 2017. for another year based on the positive
user feedback.

88 ESO Annual Report 2016

An electronic settlement process for edu-
cation claims was introduced for staff
members at ESO Headquarters in 2016.
Owing to differences in the school year,
the same process will be available for
members of personnel based in Chile in
2017. An electronic settlement process
for travel claims was tested during 2016
and is planned to be fully implemented by

Staff departures

Departures of staff in 2016 fall into the

following categories:

Reasons Staff Member Local Staff

Resignation 1 6
Expiry of contract 2
Retirement 10 1
Mutual agreement 1
Total 13 8

ESO/G. Hdepohl (

Aerial image of the P

aranal Observatory shortly
before sunset. The VISTA peak is to the left (north-
east) and the Residencia and support buildings to
the south-east.
List of Staff
As of 31 December 2016

Director General

Tim de Zeeuw

Directorate of Directorate of
Administration Engineering
Director General
Support Patrick Geeraert Michle Pron

Laura Comendador Patricia Adriazola Jos Antonio Abad Mark Desmond Herv Kurlandczyk Roland Reiss
Frutos Andrs Oldemar Arias Pastor Downing Przemyslaw Kurowski Javier Reyes
Fernando Comern Angela Arndt Roberto Abuter Philippe Duhoux Paolo La Penna Robert Ridings
Mara Gabriela Gajardo Katalin Baltayne Matteo Accardo Jorge Dupeyron Ulrich Lampater Jess Rodrguez Ulloa
Nikolaj Gube Korompay Eric Allaert Christophe Dupuy Mervi Johanna Calle Rosenquist
Priya Nirmala Hein Jean-Michel Bonneau Emmanuel Aller Sebastian Elias Egner Lampinen Marc Sarazin
Isolde Kreutle Sonia Bouchtita Carpentier Siegfried Eschbaumer Uwe Lange Marcus Schilling
Elena Llopis Liske Renate Brunner Domingo lvarez Michael Esselborn Miska Le Louarn Christian Schmid
Enik Patks Marcela Campos Mndez Sylvie Feyrin Samuel Lvque Dominik Schneller
Douglas Pierce-Price Karina Celedn Paola Amico Gerhard Fischer Steffan Lewis Babak Sedghi
Jasna Razmilic Claudia Silvina Cerda Luigi Andolfato Vincenzo Forchi Paul Jonathan Lilley Matthias Seidel
Diego Rioseco Mercedes Chacoff Javier Eduardo Andreas Frster Jean-Louis Lizon Paola Sivera
Jane Wallace Pauline Conlon Argomedo Zazzali Robert Frahm LAllemand Christian Snke
Jeremy Walsh Amal Daire Gerardo vila Christoph Frank John Lockhart Fabio Sogni
Andrew Williams Alain Delorme Pascal Ballester Armin Gabasch Simon Lowery Heiko Andreas Sommer
Evelina Dietmann David Bargna Fernando Gago Christian Lucuix Jrg Stegmeier
Andrea Dinkel David Barr Csar Enrique Lars Kristian Lundin Stefan Strbele
Sabine Eisenbraun Pablo Jos Barriga Garca Dab Pierre-Yves Madec Marcos Surez Valles
Emeritus Astronomers Willem Eng Campino Daniel Gaytan Antonio Ramn Dieter Suchar
Thijs de Graauw Alicia Garafulich Domenico Bonaccini Christoph Geimer Manescau Hernndez Helmut Tischer
Robert Fosbury Alain Gilliotte Calia Paolo Ghiretti Alisdair Manning Mirko Todorovi
Sandro DOdorico Rebonto Guha Henri Bonnet Bruno Gilli Enrico Marchetti Sbastien Tordo
Massimo Tarenghi Manuela Gunka Roland Brast Percy Glaves Juan Antonio Simon Mark Tulloch
Robert Hamilton Martin Brinkmann Andreas Glindemann Marrero Hernandez Arno Van Kesteren
Charlotte Hermant Paul Bristow Juan Carlos Gonzlez Stewart McLay Elise Vernet
Georg Junker Iris Bronnert Herrera Leander H. Mehrgan Andrs Vinet
Emeritus Physicists Nathalie Kastelyn Enzo Brunetto Justo Antonio Serge Mnardi Jakob Vinther
Gert Finger Katarina Kiupel Blanca Camucet Gonzlez Villalba Samantha Milligan Michele Zamparelli
Mara Francisca Labayru Alessandro Caproni Thomas Grudzien Andrea Modigliani Stefano Zampieri
Katjuscha Lockhart Sandra Mara Castro Ivan Maria Guidolin Christophe Moins Pablo Zuluaga Ramrez
Rodrigo Lorca Llus Cavaller Marqus Carlos Guirao Sanchez Antonio Ignacio
Qiao Yun Ma Cecilia Cern Stphane Guisard Molina Conde
Mara Madrazo Alberto Maurizio Chavan Pablo Gutierrez Michael Mller
Alessandro Martis Anne-Laure Cheffot Cheetham Michael Naumann
Alejandra Mena Gianluca Chiozzi Ronald Guzman Sylvain Oberti
Katarzyna Meyer Emanuela Ciattaglia Collazos Juan Carlos Palacio
Mara Anglica Moya Mauro Comin Wolfgang Hackenberg Valenzuela
Christian Muckle Livio Condorelli Pierre Haguenauer Ralf Palsa
Hlne Neuville Ralf Dieter Conzelmann Andreas Haimerl Moreno Pasquato
Claudia Ober Paula Cristina Correia Peter Hammersley Jrme Paufique
Ester Oliveras dos Santos Jochen Haucke Marcus Pavez
Thomas Penker Claudio Cumani Gerald Hechenblaikner Federico Pellegrin
Florence Perrault Pascaline Darr Florian Heissenhuber Martine Peltzer
Leonel Pizarro Bernard-Alexis Delabre Renate Hinterschuster Lorenzo Pettazzi
Mauricio Quintana Franoise Ronald Holzlhner Thomas Pfrommer
Fabian Reckmann Delplancke-Strbele Stefan Huber Werther Pirani
Mario Riedel Nicola Di Lieto Derek James Ives Dejan Popovic
Jrgen Riesel Carlos Daz Cano Olaf Iwert Eszter Pozna
Rosa Ivonne Riveros Canio Dichirico Gerd Jakob Marco Quattri
Francky Rombout Martin Dimmler Bogdan Jeram Jutta Quentin
Elke Rose Robert Donaldson Paul Jolley
Marcia Saavedra Dario Dorigo Andreas Jost
Johannes Reinhold Dorn Yves Jung
Schimpelsberger Dimitrios Kalaitzoglou
Heidi Schmidt Markus Kasper
Mara Soledad Silva Lothar Kern
Erich Siml Ahmed Mubashir Khan
Roswitha Slater Mario Kiekebusch
Alexandra Specht Jean Paul Kirchbauer
Steffi Steins Barbara Klein
Orsolya Szcsnyi Jens Knudstrup
Arnoldus Gregorius Franz Koch
Tromp Johann Kolb
Karen Vallejo Johan Kosmalski
Lone Veds Marschollek Maximilian Kraus
Maritza Vicencio
Michael Weigand

90 ESO Annual Report 2016

Joint ALMA Directorate of Directorate of
Observatory Operations Programmes

Pierre Cox Andreas Kaufer Adrian Russell

Itziar De Gregorio Sergio Abadie Mara Daz Trigo Eduardo Matamoros Silvio Rossi Robin Arsenault
Monsalvo Andrea Acua Danuta Dobrzycka Andrea Mehner Flix Alberto Rozas Christine Bachmaier
William Dent Gregorio Aguilera Adam Dobrzycki Alexander Meister Laura Ruiz Zorrilla Fabio Biancat Marchet
Diego Alex Garca Claudio Agurto Reinaldo Donoso Angel Mellado Fernando Salgado Claudio Cabrera
Serge Guniat Bernardo Ahumada Javier Duk Antoine Mrand Ariel Snchez Mark Casali
Jorge Ibsen Javier Alarcn Michael Dumke Alberto Micol Stefan Sandrock Marc Cayrel
Rdiger Kneissl Jaime Alonso Cristian Elao Steffen Mieske Sebastian Sanhueza Frdric Derie
Stphane Leon Tanne Jos Luis lvarez Marcela Estefana Julien Milli Eleonora Sani Philippe Dierickx
Massimiliano Marchesi Nicols lvarez Espinoza Sabine Mhler Pierre Sansgasset Virginie Gil
Sergio Martin Joseph Anderson Lorena Faundez Palle Mller Jorge Santana Roberto Gilmozzi
Gautier Mathys Paola Andreani Jos Figueroa Francisco Miguel Samuel Santana Frdric Gont
Hugo Messias Jimmy Arancibia Giorgio Filippi Montenegro-Montes Tschudi Christoph Haupt
Lars-ke Nyman Ivn Aranda Erito Flores Alex Morales Ivo Saviane Volker Heinz
Jos Parra Juan Pablo Araneda Nathalie Fourniol Ivn Muoz Luca Sbordone Norbert Hubin
Neil Matthew Phillips Pablo Arias Michel Frantz Juan Carlos Erich Schmid Lieselotte Jochum
Francisco G. Ruseler Mara Adriana Arrau Wolfram Freudling Muoz-Mateos Linda Schmidtobreick Marc Florian Kerber
Miguel Snchez Oriel Alberto Arriagada Eloy Fuenteseca Sangeeta Mysore Ricardo Schmutzer Bertrand Koehler
Armin Silber Karla Aubel Dimitri Gadotti Julio Navarrete Nicolas Schuhler Nicholas Charles
Giorgio Siringo Francisco Azagra Sergio Gaete Mark Neeser Fernando Selman Kornweibel
Donald Tait Rodrigo Badinez Julien Girard Hernn Nievas Waldo Siclari Ignacio Lopez Gil
Baltasar Vila Vilaro Jos Bez Andrs Gonzlez Vittorio Nurzia Peter Sinclaire Pascal Martnez
Eric Villard Pedro Baksai Edouard Gonzlez Francisco Olivares Nicols Slusarenko Katia Montironi
Nicholas Whyborn Giacomo Beccari Jaime Gonzlez Rodrigo Olivares Alain Smette Luca Pasquini
Juan Beltrn Javier Andrs Gonzlez Juan Osorio Gerardo Smith Jean-Franois Pirard
Thomas Bierwirth Leonardo Gonzlez Federica Palla Jonathan Smoker Gero Rupprecht
Andrew Biggs Sergio Gonzlez Laurent Pallanca Christian Spille Valrie Saint-Hilaire
Israel Blanchard Monika Gotzens Rodrigo Javier Parra Thomas Stanke Stefano Stanghellini
Maxime Boccas Patricia Guajardo Diego Parraguez Christian Stephan Josef Strasser
Henri Boffin Carlos Guerra Eduardo Pea Michael Fritz Sterzik Roberto Tamai
Carlos Bolados Juan Carlos Guerra Isabelle Percheron Felix Stoehr Mauro Tuti
Pierre Bourget Sylvain Guieu Juan-Pablo Sandra Strunk Gianluca Verzichelli
Stphane Brillant Juan Pablo Haddad Prez-Beaupuits Thomas Szeifert Andrew Wright
Erich Bugueno Nicols Haddad Dirk Petry Lowell Tacconi-Garman
Francisco Cceres Boris Hussler Jorge Pilquinao Richard Tamblay
Luis Alejandro Olivier Hainaut Juan Pineda Gie Han Tan
Caniguante Reinhard Hanuschik Andrs Pino Mario Tapia
Michael Cantzler Evanthia Hatziminaoglou Aldo Pizarro Pedro Toledo
Robin Capocci George Hau Emanuela Pompei Karl Torstensson
Rubn Crcamo Xavier Haubois Sbastien Poupar Konrad Tristram
Csar Crdenas Juan Pablo Henriquez Matteo Pozzobon Josefina Urrutia
Duncan Castex Cristin Herrera John Pritchard Guillermo Valdes
Mnica Castillo Gonzlez David Rabanus Elena Valenti
Roberto Castillo Cristin Herrera Ruztort Andrs Ramrez Jos Javier Valenzuela
Susana Cerda Pascale Hibon Christian Ramrez Mario Van Den Ancker
Claudia Cid Michael Hilker Jorge Ramrez Eelco van Kampen
Lodovico Coccato Gerhard Hdepohl Suzanna Randall Pierre Vanderheyden
Alex Correa Rodrigo Huerta Claudio Reinero Jos Velsquez
Alejandra Corts Christian Hummel Marina Rejkuba Paulina Venegas
Angela Cortes Wolfgang Hummel Jrg Retzlaff Sergio Vera
Carlos De Breuck Elizabeth Humphreys Claudia Reyes Ignacio Vera Sequeiros
Willem-Jan de Wit Valentin Ivanov Miguel Riquelme Jorge Vilaza
Diego Del Valle Nestor Jimnez Leonel Rivas Zahed Wahhaj
Nausicaa Delmotte Ismo Kastinen Thomas Rivinius Rein Warmels
Christine Desbordes Thomas Klein Florian Rodler Wolfgang Wild
lvaro Daz Carlos La Fuente Chester Rojas Markus Wittkowski
Mariano Daz Francisco Labraa Pascual Rojas Burkhard Wolff
Eva Montserrat Robert Alexander Laing Martino Romaniello Pavel Yagoubov
Daz Catal Cdric Ledoux Cristian Romero Bin Yang
Alfredo Leiva Rodrigo Romero Vronique Ziegler
Marcelo Lpez Grard Zins
Fernando Luco Elena Zuffanelli
Felipe Mac-Auliffe Martin A. Zwaan
Gianni Marconi
Pedro Mardones
Christophe Martayan
Stphane Marteau
Mauricio Martnez

ESO Annual Report 2016 91

Directorate for Science

Robert Julian Ivison

Adriano Agnello Wolfgang Kerzendorf

Susana Almagro Garca Anne Klitsch
Mathias Andr Sthabile Namakau
Fabrizio Arrigoni Battaia Kolwa
Daniel Asmus Martin Kornmesser
Ramona Augustin Harald Kuntschner
Elizabeth Bartlett James Leftley
Callum Bellhouse Bruno Leibundgut
Anupam Bhardwaj Jorge Lillo Box
Jan Bolmer Gaspare Lo Curto
Dominic Bordelon Hau-Yu Lu
Jutta Boxheimer Vincenzo Mainieri
Pamela Bristow Wing Shan Man
Anna Brucalassi Jorge Martins
Stella Maria Anna Faye Mc Leod
Chasiotis-Klingner Melissa McClure
Chian-Chou Chen Silvia Meakins
Lars Lindberg Dinko Milakovic
Christensen Anthony Mroczkowski
Aleksandar Cikota Csar Muoz
Michele Cirasuolo Borislav Nedelchev
Chiara Circosta Justus Neumann
Jess Corral Santana Cyrielle Opitom
Silvia Cristiani Paolo Padovani
Joana Mafalda da Cruz Blake Pantoja
Carmo Martins Ferdinando Patat
Annalisa De Cia Peter Christian Peest
Claudio De Figueiredo Andrs Felipe Prez
Melo Snchez
Bruno Dias Adele Plunkett
Richard Ellis Gergely Popping
Eric Emsellem Francesca Primas
Theresa Maria Falkendal Annagrazia Puglisi
Alexandre Gallenne Miguel Querejeta
Mara Eugenia Gmez Suzanne Ramsay
Lus Gonalves Calada Francisco Rodrguez
Ariadna Irene Markus Schller
Gonzalez Fernandez Christine Schulz
Uta Grothkopf Raquel Yumi Shida
Nicolas Guillard Ralf Siebenmorgen
Lizette Guzmn Jason Spyromilio
Naama Hallakoun Andra Stroe
Johanna Hartke Francisco Surot Madrid
Rubn Herrero-Illana Leonardo Testi
Richard Hook Svea Teupke
Renate Elisabeth Hoppe Owen James Turner
Gaitee Hussain Laura Ventura
Daniela Iglesias Jol Vernet
Katharina Immer Ruud Visser
Yara Lorena Jaffe Ribbi Frdric Vogt
Edmund Janssen Linda Watson
Paulina Jirn Julien Woillez
Evelyn Johnston Siyi Xu
Tania Johnston Hsi-Wei Yen
Matas Jones Anita Zanella
Hans-Ulrich Kufl Viktor Zivkov
Darshan Kakkad Herbert Zodet

The emission nebula LHA 120-N55 in the Large

Magellanic Cloud from VLT FORS2 imaging.

92 ESO Annual Report 2016


Organisational Structure December 2016

Director General
Tim de Zeeu DG Cabinet Office of Representation Internal
Laura Comendador in Chile Auditor
Frutos Fernando Comern Elena Llopis

Directorate of Directorate of Directorate of Directorate of Directorate for

Administration Engineering Programmes Operations Science
Patrick Geeraert Michle Pron Adrian Russell Andreas Kaufer Robert Ivison

Contracts and Information ALMA La Silla Paranal ESO ALMA Project
Procurement Technology Programme Observatory Support Centre Science
& Operations
Arnout Tromp Dieter Suchar Wolfgang Wild Andreas Kaufer Wolfgang Wild Jason Spyromilio
Michael Sterzik

Facility, Control Science Back-end Observing

Logistics, Software & Operations Operations Programmes
Programme Computing
Transport Engineering Paranal Martino Office
Roberto Tamai Erich Schmid
Erich Sim Jochen Haucke Steffen Mieske Romaniello Ferdinando Patat

Armazones Maintenance, Education and

Electronic User Support ALMA Technical
Finance Instrumentation Support Public Outreach
Engineering Marina Support
Renate Brunner Programme and Engineering Lars Lindberg
Christian Lucuix Rejkuba Silvio Rossi
Mark Casali Maxime Boccas Christensen

Paranal Logistics and Office for

Human Mechanical ALMA Regional
Instrumentation Facilities Paranal Science
Resources Engineering Centre
Programme Christine Garching
Heidi Schmidt Franz Koch Martin Zwaan
Luca Pasquini Desbordes Eric Emsellem

Infrastructure Technology Office for Science

Chile Development La Silla Chile
Jean-Michel Programme Ivo Saviane Claudio De
Samuel Lvque
Bonneau Mark Casali Figueiredo Melo

Science Project
Operation Management APEX
Software Adrian Russell Thomas Klein
Pascal Ballester (interim)


Close-up of the swimming pool and the adjacent

garden inside the Residencia building at P

94 ESO Annual Report 2016

ESO/M. Claro

ESO Annual Report 2016 95

Director General Support
ESO/M. Zamani
ESO/G. Filippi

96 ESO Annual Report 2016

The Cabinet of the Director General, Legal Affairs authorities, required for the construction
the Office of the Representation in of the gas pipeline for ALMA, which is in
Chile and the Internal Audit Office Following extensive negotiations among its final phase of evaluation. The negotia-
work together to support the Director the three ALMA Executives AUI, ESO tions for the power supply contract for
General. The Cabinet brings together and NAOJ led on behalf of ESO by the Armazones and Paranal, following their
a number of expert areas that are Office of Legal and International Affairs connection to the Chilean electricity grid
necessary to ensure ESOs function (LIA), the ALMA Management Agreement in the near future, are also beginning.
as an intergovernmental organisation. was signed on 17 November 2016. This
These include the areas of legal and agreement follows from the Trilateral As in previous years, LIA provided assis-
international affairs, internal communi- Agreement and concerns operations of tance to the Directorate of Administration
cation, corporate risks and intellectual ALMA, setting out in more detail how the on various legal matters. The main areas
property management, the Council Executives will work together in ALMA were procedural aspects of the collective
secretariat, scientific editing and the and with the JAO. Along with this new bargaining process with Local Staff in
protocol office. Within these areas of agreement, several associated and relat- Chile, labour law cases and contractual
expertise, the Cabinet additionally ed documents and policies were put in questions, in particular regarding con-
supports the ESO Council and Finance place, for example the policy on hosting tracts for the ELT.
Committee and other ESO committees other scientific projects on the ALMA site.
and working groups, as well as the
ESO senior management, as appropri- In 2016, progress was also made on International Relations
ate, in the development and imple- two other supplementary projects of
mentation of ESOs overall strategy. ESO. At its 141st meeting in December Positive steps were taken by Norway,
2016, Council approved the extension of Hungary and Ireland during 2016 in their
At the same time, Cabinet members the APEX project until the end of 2022 journey towards becoming ESO Member
participate in meetings of the Council, and ESOs participation in the CTA pro- States. Throughout 2016, Cabinet staff
Finance Committee, Tripartite Group ject. Both decisions were based on very supported astronomers from the Univer-
and various Council and Finance advanced draft agreements with the sity of Oslos Institute of Theoretical
Committee working groups. They also corresponding partners. For APEX, a Astrophysics in preparing an application
represent ESO on external boards completely new agreement was pre- to the Research Council of Norway for
and working groups, such as the pared, consolidating the initial agreement funds to join ESO. A decision is expected
CERN Pension Fund Working Group and several later amendments. in June 2017. Following several years of
on Governance, and participate in informal contacts, including a visit by the
negotiations with external entities, Among the most significant activities in Director General and Cabinet staff to
such as the CTA Consortium. Chile was the return to the Chilean Gov- Budapest in June, the Hungarian National
ernment of part of the land located within Research, Development and Innovation
From 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, the LaSilla Observatory to allow the con- Office, in partnership with Hungarian
ESO holds the Chairmanship of struction of a photovoltaic plant in that astronomers, continues to explore options
EIROforum, a collaboration between area, which is of importance as part of for ESO membership.
eight European intergovernmental sci- the Chilean Interconnected Electrical Grid
entific research organisations. ESOs System. Another highlight was the sub- After the Irish government announced
participation in EIROforum, as well mission of the Environmental Impact officially that ESO accession negotiations
as all activities arising from ESOs Study to the Chilean environmental would begin, ESO Management met
Chairmanship of EIROforum, are co
ordinated by members of the Cabinet.

(Upper) The participants at the signing ceremony

for the ELT Dome and Main Structure contract
that took place at ESO Headquarters in May.
Third from the left, just to the right of the ESO
Director General, is the Italian Minister of Educa-
tion, Universities and Research, Stefania Masahiko Hayashi
Giannini. (NAOJ Director General),
Ethan J. Schreier (AUI
(Lower) The ESO Director General, Tim de President) and Tim de
Zeeuw, far right, ESO senior staff and repre Zeeuw (ESO Director
sentatives of the Chilean electricity commission, General) signing the
at the ceremony to commemorate the connec- Management Agreement
tion of the P
aranal and Armazones sites to the concerning operations
national grid. of ALMA.

ESO Annual Report 2016 97

officials from Irelands Department of
Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation (DJEI) on
7July and 8 September to explore the
accession process and associated finan-
cial details. Whilst discussions were posi-
tive, Irish officials indicated that govern-
ment funding was unlikely to be available
until after 2018. The Director General and
Head of Cabinet subsequently attended
the Irish National Astronomy meeting on
9 September in University College Dublin,
where an entire afternoon session was
devoted to the subject of ESO and
Ireland. This event demonstrated that,
despite the budgetary outlook, the Irish
astronomical community is united in its
support of ESO accession.

There were no formal interactions

between ESO and the relevant Brazilian
authorities during 2016, attributable to posal to apply for funding under the The new ASTRONET Board held its first meeting at
ESO Headquarters in December, celebrating the sig-
the political situation in Brazil. Efforts, EUH2020 Framework Programme in
nature of a new Memorandum of Understanding.
however, continued to maintain contact 2017. ATTRACT aims to accelerate the Rob Ivison, ESO Director for Science, stands second
with Brazilian scientists and astronomers development of, and market for, high- from the right.
in order to keep a focus on ESO acces- performance detector and imaging
sion. technologies that are critical for ESO
facilities. ASTRONET partners, including ESO,
ESO had continued contacts with signed a Memorandum of Understanding
Australia concerning potential bilateral col- ESO strengthened its interactions with (MoU) to create a self-sustaining consorti-
laborations. On 29 November, ESO Man- key intergovernmental science organisa- um. On 9 December, the new ASTRONET
agement and a delegation of A ustralian tions throughout 2016. CERN and ESO Board convened at ESO Headquarters to
government officials and astronomers staff met in Geneva on 2 November to celebrate the signature of the MoU, to
started a discussion on a long-term stra- discuss implementation of the CERNESO continue steps to work with many nation-
tegic partnership between ESO and Cooperation Agreement signed in 2015. al agencies in Europe that have indicated
Australia, which would support Australias Similarly, following on from the ESAESO their intention to join, and to agree the ini-
future accession as an ESO Member Cooperation Agreement, also signed in tial workplan for the reborn ASTRONET
State. On 7 December, ESO Council 2015, the Directors General of ESA and collaboration.
received the details of the partnership ESO met on 18 October at ESO Head-
positively, and once the details are agreed quarters for the first ESAESO Coordi ESO is also an observer on the Astro
by both Australia and ESO, the partner- nation Board meeting, at which three particle Physics European Consortium
ship will be subject to a Council vote. adhoc Working Groups were appointed (APPEC), and attended the APPEC
on Science, Technology and Communi- General Assembly on 7 November, which
On 1 July, ESO assumed the Chair cation, with the aim of implementing approved the APPEC roadmap the
manship of EIROforum for one year. greater cooperation between the two European Strategy for Astroparticle Phys-
ESO organised the bi-annual EIROforum organisations. The ESO Director General ics and agreed to officially launch the
Director General Assembly on 13 Novem- and the Head of Cabinet attended the roadmap at the European Commission
ber in P aranal, at which the Directors ESA Ministerial Council on 78 December in Brussels in 2017. The roadmap lists the
General, or their equivalents, of the eight in Lucerne and the Director General CTA as its number one priority.
EIROforum organisations convened to was invited to submit a written statement.
discuss areas of shared interest and com- As a permanent observer at the United
mon challenges. Building on the Director Nations Committee for the Peaceful Uses Internal Communication
General Assembly on 2324 May in of Outer Space (COPUOS), ESO attended
Brussels, the Directors General discussed the relevant sessions in February and The Internal Communication Office con-
the accession criteria to EIROforum, long June. tinued to produce and publish the internal
term sustainability of research infrastruc- announcements and weekly internal
tures and the socio-economic impacts Following the successful conclusion of newsletter, which are the official channels
of research infrastructures. Furthermore, an EU-funded (FP7) initiative to develop for internal ESO-wide news. Over 400
ESO worked with several EIROforum ASTRONET a strategic coordination announcements were published during
partners to develop the ATTRACT pro- mechanism for astronomy in Europe the year.

98 ESO Annual Report 2016

A keynote session at ESOF2016 on the value of
Matt Wilkinson Photography/ESOF 2016

European collaboration in science, featuring left to

right, ESO Director for Science, Rob Ivison; Director
General of EMBL, Iain Mattaj; Director General of
CERN, Fabiola Gianotti; and chaired by the BBCs
Pallab Ghosh.

updated in 2016 with the purpose of

providing up-to-date information about
ESOs know-how that is available for
licensing, and to make publicly available
the ESO policy on intellectual property

The 2016 EuroScience Open Forum

(ESOF) took place in Manchester in July,
and ESO was present jointly with the
other EIROForum partner organisations
with a technology transfer booth and
The Internal Communication Office also aranal. The Astronomy for Everyone
P presentations about ESOs technology
coordinated the 2016 ESO Annual Over- talk series continued in Vitacura and at transfer activities.
view, on the theme of quality at ESO, Paranal, with ten presentations on topics
which took place on three half-days from including our place in the Universe, stellar The corporate risk management activities
79 March at all ESO sites. In a change evolution, observing from an aircraft, continue to serve ESO Management on
from previous years, the Directors were multiwavelength astronomy, and the lives different levels. In 2016, a new Manage-
asked to select coordinators within their of galaxies. ment Team Meeting structure was set
Directorates, to whom the responsibility up, which gave a fresh impetus to these
for selecting speakers and topics was A transit of Mercury took place on 9 May activities, as the management body
delegated. Thanks to the hard work of 2016. As one of the activities arranged responsible for maintaining the ESO Cor-
these coordinators and the speakers for this event at ESO, the Internal Com- porate Risk Register.
themselves, the Overview programme munication Office arranged for the obser-
covered a wide range of topics, with vations made with UT5 an amateur
speakers from all parts of the organisation. telescope located at P aranal to be Office of the Representation in Chile
Following the positive reception of the streamed to both Vitacura and G arching
presentation skills sessions run in the pre- for staff to watch live. ESOs role in Chile as a positive factor
vious year, this training was once again for regional and international cooperation
offered to overview speakers and other was highlighted during the visit of the
staff interested in improving their skills. Risk and intellectual property manage- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to
ment Chile in February 2016. President Rousseff
This years Overview topic of quality explicitly referred to ESO in her official
was not restricted to data quality or The year brought new tasks concerning statement as beneficial for science,
formal quality management, although corporate policies. In order to provide the industry and education. Chilean person-
some talks did address these aspects. required response from the Organisation alities who visited Paranal observatory
Instead, the broad theme was used to the EU General Data Protection Regu- during 2016 included: the former Minister
as a starting point to address quality in lation, ESO started a comprehensive for Foreign Affairs and Secretary General
the most appropriate way for each area. project to set up its own equivalent rules of the Organization of American States,
The overall goal was to discuss what is in the area of personal data protection. Jos Miguel Insulza; the Executive Secre-
being done, and what should be done, An ESO Anti-Fraud Policy, an Anti-Fraud tary of the United Nations Economic
to ensure that the quality needed in all Investigation Procedure, and an ESO Commission for Latin America and the
parts of ESOs programme is achieved. Conflict of Interest Policy were also draft- Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Brcena; the
ed in 2016, and, after proceeding through Executive President of the Corporation
The Coffee with the Director General the stages of internal approval, they will of Promotion, Eduardo Bitrn; the Direc-
events, which provide an informal forum be published before the end of 2017. tor of Energy, Science and Technology
for staff to ask questions and give feed- and Innovation of the Ministry of Foreign
back to senior management, continued in Targeting the public as well as industry Affairs, Gabriel Rodrguez; the Member
Chile in 2016. A total of six events aimed and research institutions, the technology of Parliament Denise Pascal Allende; the
at all staff were arranged in Vitacura and transfer pages of the ESO website were Director of International Affairs at the

ESO Annual Report 2016 99


ESO/J. C. Muoz-Mateos
The traditional cutting of the tricolour ribbon at the The Dutch Foreign Minister, Bert Koenders, in the
inaugural ceremony of the LaSilla solar photovoltaic VLT control room during his visit to P

Chilean Parliament, Jacqueline Peillard; In parallel with the progress of the agree- the US Air Force Office for Scientific
and the Regional Secretary of Economy, ment between ESO and the CTA for the Research, Charles Matson, and NASA
Gabriela Gmez. Furthermore, the Minis- hosting of CTA-South on the grounds of astronaut Ellen Baker. The ESO Observa-
ter of Energy, Mximo Pacheco Matte, the P
aranal Observatory, ESO has dis- tories also received visits from the Ambas-
visited LaSilla in September on the occa- cussed with the Chilean Government the sadors of Austria, B elgium, France,
sion of the inauguration of the new photo conditions under which this facility can Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and
voltaic plant. be established in Chile within the provi- Spain, as well as from non-member
sions of the 1995 agreement between states including Croatia, Greece, India,
Together with the other international ESO and its Host State. Israel and the United Arab E mirates.
observatories, ESO has continued its
involvement in efforts led by the Chilean Visits to ESOs facilities continue to be
Government to promote Chile as a refer- highly valued by officials of European Internal Audit
ence in astronomy worldwide at various governments and international institutions
levels. ESO is collaborating in initiatives visiting Chile. In the course of 2016, the The Internal Audit Office provided sup-
to enhance the protection of the dark Observatories have hosted visits by: the port to the external auditors in the perfor-
sky conditions in the north of Chile where Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert mance of their duties. All ESO sites were
the observatories are located and, in Koenders; the Swedish Minister of visited with the new external auditor team
conjunction with the other international Labour and Integration, Ylva Johansson; from the National Audit Office of Finland.
observatories, is considering optimal the former President of Finland, Tarja They started with their audit of the 2016
ways in which such protection may be Halonen; the Chief Scientific Adviser to Financial Statements and will continue
recognised at the supranational level by the UK Government, Sir Mark Walport; in 2017. Other activities during the year
the United Nations. the Head of Division for MERCOSUR were the audit certificate for ESO part-
countries at the European External Action ners as well as various audit certificates
The international observatories also par- Service of the EU, Adrianus Koetsenruijter; for EU-financed projects.
ticipated in a study, begun in 2015, to the President of the Max Planck Society,
examine the development of a country- Martin Stratmann; the Director of the The Internal Audit Office, which provides
wide strategy for the growth of astro- Division of Regional Studies of the independent objective assurance and
tourism. At the professional level, the Organization for Economic Cooperation consulting to the Organisation, also
support given by the fund established by and Development (OECD), Joaquim de performed several other audits, including
the ESO-Chile Joint Committee for the Oliveira Martins; the Deputy Executive the audit of internal commitments, the
development of astronomy in the country Secretary of the Economic Commission audit of the regulatory framework for
has continued to receive a record num- for Latin America and the Caribbean financial transactions and the audit of
ber of applications year after year, in 2016 (ECLAC), Antonio Prado; and the Presi- allowances. Additionally, the Internal
amounting to 56, an increase of over dent of the Olof Palme International Foun- Audit Office audited and certified the
30 % on the previous year. dation, Anna Balletb. Other visitors to financial statements of the International
the observatories included the Director of Staff Association.

100 ESO Annual Report 2016

ESO/M. Carette

The former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen,

third from right, in the garden of the P
Residencia. To her right stands Fernando Comern,
the ESO Representative in Chile.

The UK Ambassador to Chile, Fiona Clouder, second

from right, and the UK Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark
Walport, centre, on their visit to ESO Vitacura. They
are flanked, right and left, by the President of Council
Patrick Roche and the ESO Director General, Tim de
Zeeuw, with Fernando Comern, far left.

ESO Annual Report 2016 101

ESO/F. Char

102 ESO Annual Report 2016

One of the four 1.8-metre Auxiliary Telescopes on
Cerro P aranal. The flattened mountaintop of Cerro
Armazones, home of the future ELT, can be seen in
the distance.

ESO Annual Report 2016 103

ESO/G. Hdepohl (

104 ESO Annual Report 2016


As ESOs main governing body, Council of their successors from the National
determines the policy of the Organisation Audit Office of Finland for the period Council and Committee of Council 2016
with regard to scientific, technical and 20162018 was confirmed. Jim Hinton
administrative matters. Both Council and from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear President Patrick Roche
the Committee of Council (the informal Physics gave a presentation on the CTA (United Kingdom)
body of Council) normally meet twice which was well received by the dele-
during the year: however, in 2016 there gates. Guaranteed Observing Time was
Austria Joo Alves
were also two extraordinary Council agreed for the planned instruments Daniel Weselka
meetings which took place in October ERIS and NIRPS. Prior to the close of the
and November. The first ordinary Council meeting, Council thanked Antti Vihknen, Belgium Christoffel Waelkens
Sophie Pireaux
meeting of the year was kindly hosted who was taking up a new position and
by the Polish delegation in Warsaw on so was leaving Council, for his valuable Czech Republic Jan Palou (Vice President)
78 June, the second taking place on input during his time as a member of the Jan Burinek
78 December in G arching. For the Com- Finnish delegation.
Denmark Uffe Jrgensen
mittee of Council, the March meeting was
Ren Michelsen
held in Madrid on 23 March where the The final Council meeting of the year
delegates were warmly welcomed by took place in Garching in December. Fol- Finland Jari Kotilainen
their Spanish colleagues. For the second lowing the regular updates on the ESO Antti Vihknen
Committee of Council, a kind invitation programme, the Chair of the ELT Man-
France Denis Mourard
by the Swedish delegation saw the meet- agement Advisory Committee provided Laurent Vigroux
ing being held in the Chalmersska huset feedback on the status of the ELT pro-
in Gothenburg on 6 October. All meetings gramme, in light of their recent meeting. Germany Thomas Henning/Linda
were chaired by the Council President, The extension of the APEX contract to
Thomas Roth
Patrick Roche. 31December 2022 was approved, as
was the resolution regarding ESOs par- Italy Nicol DAmico
At the June meeting, the Council Presi- ticipation in the CTA project. The Long Matteo Pardo
dent and the ESO Director General pro- Term Perspectives document Reaching
The Netherlands Konrad Kuijken
vided an update on a number of ongoing New Heights in Astronomy was present- Mirjam Lieshout-Vijverberg
events and actions, and the respective ed to Council by the Director General.
Directors and Heads of Department pre- Elections took place for the appointment Poland Marek Sarna
Konrad Dbski
sented feedback on all aspects of ESOs of personnel to the various ESO Commit-

programme, including the status of tees including the ALMA Board, Finance Portugal Paulo Garcia
LaSilla, Paranal, ELT and ALMA. In con- Committee, Observing Programmes Paulo Ferro
junction with the ELT programme, Coun- Committee, Scientific Technical Commit-
Spain Rafael Bachiller
cil congratulated ESO on the recent sign- tee and the Tripartite Group. The re-
Fernando Ballestero
ing of the DMS Contract and approved appointment of the Council President and
the placement of all Phase 1 procure- Vice President was confirmed for a third Sweden Hans Olofsson
ments on a baseline schedule which term. A number of HR matters were Catarina Sahlberg
would lead to first light in 2024. Council discussed, including the extension of the
Switzerland Willy Benz
approved the Annual Report, as well as progressive retirement scheme within Bruno Moor
the Financial Statements for 2015, the ESO. As part of the discussions related
scale of contributions for 2017 and the to finance, approval was given for the United Kingdom Simon Morris
Colin Vincent
External Audit Report, with discharge ESO Budget 2017 and Forward Look
being granted to the Director General. 20182020. With the completion of the
Following the completion of their extended mandate of the current Director General,
mandate, the Portuguese External Audi- Tim de Zeeuw, in August 2017, Council
tors were unanimously thanked for their unanimously approved the appointment
constructive feedback and recommenda- of Xavier Barcons as the next Director
tions over the past seven years which General for a period of five years. Xavier
was much appreciated by both Council Barcons will take up his position on
and the Executive alike. The appointment 1September 2017.

The four laser guide stars of the AOF pointing

towards the Carina Nebula.

ESO Annual Report 2016 105

Finance Committee

The ESO Finance Committee carries the The meeting in November took place
Finance Committee 2016 general responsibility for advising Council in Santiago de Chile, followed by visits
on all matters of administrative and finan- to the sites of ALMA and Paranal. The
Chair Colin Vincent cial management. In 2016, it held two delegates were impressed by the tech-
(United Kingdom) ordinary and two extraordinary meetings. nology and the dedication of the ESO
Inmaculada Figueroa The meetings in February and May were staff. At the meeting, the Finance Com-
(Spain, as of July 2016)
chaired by Colin Vincent, the ones in mittee recommended that Council
September and November by Inmaculada approve the CTA as a supplementary
Austria Sabine Hertgen Figueroa. programme, the ESO budget, the
Adjustment of Remunerations for ESO
Belgium Alain Heynen
The Finance Committee received regular International Staff for 2017, the exten-
Czech Republic Pavel Keek updates on recent developments at ESO sion of the Progressive Retirement
and procurement statistics and reports Programme and an amendment to the
Denmark Ren Michelsen from the Working Group for the Process agreement between CERN and ESO.
of the Adjustment of Remuneration and
Finland Sirpa Nummila (Vice-chair)
Allowances for ESO International Staff, In total, the Finance Committee approved
France Patricia Laplaud and approved various contracts. The 17 contracts exceeding 500 000, four
Anne-Hlne Bouillon highlights were: amendments to existing contracts and
(as of September 2016)
A  t the extraordinary meeting in Febru- ten single-source procurements exceed-
Germany Gisela Schmitz-DuMont ary, the Finance Committee approved ing 250 000. Two of these contracts
the contract for the ELT DMS which is were approved by written procedure, as
Italy Giampaolo Bologna the largest single contract ever placed was the conclusion of Non Deliverable
Salvatore Vizzini
by ESO. Forward Agreements for the purpose of
(as of September 2016)
At its 145th meeting in May, the dele- securing Chilean Peso (CLP) exchange
The Netherlands Thijs Geurts gates recommended that the ESO rates.
Council approve the Financial State-
Poland Konrad Dbski
ments and the External Audit Report
Portugal Filipa Baptista Coelho for 2015, and the Scale of Contributions
for 2017.
Spain Inmaculada Figueroa T  he extraordinary meeting in Septem-
Fernando Mrida
ber focused on the indexation of the
(as of July 2016)
Member States contributions and the
Sweden Johan Holmberg preliminary budget figures for 2017.
Katrin Brandt The Finance Committee also approved
(as of April 2016)
a contract for medium-voltage substa-
Switzerland Astrid Vassella tions to connect Paranal and Armazones
to the Chilean grid, which will reduce
United Kingdom Maggie Collick the costs of power.

The Finance Committee

during its visit to

106 ESO Annual Report 2016

Scientific Technical Committee

The Scientific Technical Committee (STC) The STC appreciated the 2nd Generation
The Scientific Technical Committee 2016 advises Council and the Director General instruments lessons learned exercise
on scientific and technical priorities for and ESOs plan to incorporate the recom-
Chair Sofia Feltzing (Sweden) projects and programmes. It met twice at mendations into the planning of future
ESO Headquarters on 2627 April (STC87) instruments, both at the VLT and the ELT.
and 2526 October (STC88), continuing The STC agreed that an essential factor
Austria Franz Kerschbaum
with the new meeting format devised by in the development of world-class instru-
Belgium Hans Van Winckel (LSP) its Chair, Sofia Feltzing, and the Director ments is ESOs own in-house expertise
for Science. This format has reduced the in instrumentation and that this must be
Czech Republic Pavel Jchym number of regular presentations and the maintained. Whilst detectors and AO
STC now relies more on work done in the were identified as clear areas where ESO
Denmark Jes K. Jrgensen (ESAC)
STC sub-committees for ALMA (ESAC), must have world-leading experts, there
Finland Alexis Finoguenov (LSP) the ELT (ESC) and the LaSilla Paranal were also felt to be others, for example
Observatory (LSP), which now meet two interferometry, project management and
France Anne-Marie Lagrange
weeks before the STC. This allows STC systems engineering. The STC stressed
(ESC, Chair)
members to concentrate on timely issues, the importance of using the post-delivery
Germany Matthias Steinmetz (ESC) significantly increasing the amount of time period to ensure adequate knowledge-
available for discussion, both in open and transfer and data-reduction expertise.
Italy Livia Origlia
closed session.
The Netherlands Eline Tolstoy (LSP) Regarding 4MOST, the STC expressed
strong support for the science case,
Poland Grzegorz Pietrzyski 87th STC meeting but noted with concern that funding for
the full project has not yet been secured,
Portugal Andr Moitinho (LSP)
The STC were presented with new guide- reiterating that the STC would not sup-
Spain Almudena Alonso-Herrero lines (STC-569) for decommissioning port a significant de-scope, or significant
(ESC) VLT instruments by the VLT Programme cost overrun by ESO, without further dis-
Scientist. The STC supported the broad cussion.
Switzerland Francesco Pepe
principles, and described the proposed
United Kingdom Ian Smail (ESAC) long-term plan for decommissioning The STC were happy to see a practical
instruments as sensible and logical at the implementation of the new agreement
Chile Neil Nagar
current time. The STC supported a pro- between ESO and ESA, with the ESA
posal (STC-570) for the timely integration testbed telescope being installed on
Members at Large
of CRIRES+, acknowledged that the deci- LaSilla (STC-571); they supported the
Rachel L. Akeson (USA, ESAC)
sion was not a trivial one, and expressed view that time requested for supporting
Warrick Couch (Australia)
the hope that this kind of choice will not observations for the ESA PLAnetary
John D. Monnier (USA, LSP Chair)
be required too often in the future. The Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO)
Eva Schinnerer (Germany, ESAC Chair)
STC encouraged ESO to ensure that the mission be subject to the normal propri
Gillian Wright (UK, LSP)
two on-going VIMOS large spectroscopic etary period and peer-review processes.
surveys, VANDELS (deep VIMOS survey
of the CANDELS UDS and CDFS fields) The ELT Programme Manager, Roberto
Brazil Marcos Perez Diaz
and LEGA-C (Large Early Galaxy Astro- Tamai, presented an update on the status
physics Census), are given the resources of the ELT to the STC, which noted that
required to finish in a timely manner. the project is proceeding at an impres-
sive pace, with major procurements and
The STC noted the progress of the AOF contracts signed. The STC expressed its
and the VLTI, both large and complex support for the continued focus on achiev-
projects. In particular, the running of all ing first light in 2024. The STC noted that
four lasers at UT4 and the on-sky com- the date of the potential bifurcation in the
missioning of the GRAVITY CIAO system two-phase plan for achieving a complete
were regarded as impressive and exciting ELT is approaching and that this is close
achievements. The STC supported an ini- to some key milestones, such as PDR for
tiative described in STC-568 to define a some of the first-light instruments.
next-generation AO instrument to take full
advantage of the revolutionary AOF on The STC noted the extremely strong
UT4 and endorsed a plan to hold an open community interest in exploiting the
meeting in late 2016 to engage fully with growing scientific capabilities of ALMA,
the wider community. as evidenced by the very large number of
applications received by the Cycle 4 dead-
line. They appreciated the opportunity to

ESO Annual Report 2016 107

have a constructive discussion with the The STC congratulated ESO and the first light. The STC felt that ongoing stud-
ALMA Observatory Scientist and ALMA community consortia for the major ies of first-light instruments were pro-
Deputy Director. The STC expressed milestones reached in the previous six ceeding well, but was concerned about
concern about the slow progress towards months, including the installation and the potential loss of momentum in the
delivery of the ALMA imaging pipeline, first sky tests of the DSM on UT4, the HIRES and Multi-Object Spectrograph
noting that this might lead to significant acquisition of first fringes with GRAVITY (MOS) consortia, and the potential effect
delays in data delivery. The STC also on the Galactic Centre, the official com- on scientific competitiveness should their
expressed concern about the scheduling pletion of the c ontract for delivery of the start be delayed.
of ALMA observations, and emphasised European 12-metre antennas to ALMA,
the need for a long-term scheduling tool the successful ongoing integration of The STC was told of a significant backlog
and an efficient dynamic scheduling tool. the EU-constructed Band 5 receivers at in the delivery of ALMA data to PIs, which
ALMA, and the very good progress on has the potential to significantly impact
The STC endorsed the final report of the the ELT project, with 80 % of the Phase 1 the flow of science results from ALMA.
Single Dish Working Group. In particular, materials budget expected to be commit- The STC was pleased to hear that plans
the STC encouraged ESO to explore ted through major contracts by the end have been put forward to mitigate the
potential partnerships to provide its com- of 2016. The STC was also very interest- situation, including additional staff at ESO.
munity with access to a large single sub- ed to learn of the work on the Technology However, the STC noted that if this issue
mm dish (such as a 40-metre sub-mm Development programme. cannot be solved quickly, more radical
dish on the Chajnantor plateau) to ensure measures would need to be considered.
continuing European leadership in this The STC heard about a potentially excit-
field beyond 2025. ing project to search for exoplanets The STC thanked the Data Management
around the nearby Alpha Centauri AB Working Group for their report, which they
system using the AOF and an angular- believed was very thorough and raised
88th STC meeting groove phase mask coronagraph. While issues about the needs of the communi-
recognising the special case of this ty, where ESO leadership will be impor-
The STC recommended the extension of experiment, the STC expressed concerns tant in the future.
the APEX agreement to the end of 2022, about the effect on operations, instru-
as set out in STC-577, on the basis that ment availability, and the added stress to The STC felt that the report from the
the science return to the community from the LSP instrument programme. MOS Working Group identified a signifi-
APEX is very high and compares well to cant opportunity in the future astronomi-
the best ground-based observatories. The STC received a report from the com- cal landscape and encouraged ESO to
munity meeting on the next generation of continue to develop the case for such a
The STC recommended support for the AO instrumentation for UT4 (AO Commu- facility within the very limited resources
EU ALMA development studies and nity Days). The STC supported the devel- available.
accepted the funding priorities suggested opment by ESO of a pre-Phase-A study
by the ESAC sub-committee (STC-578). on the concept of a visible/near-infrared Finally, the STC was extremely supportive
The selected studies will enable impor- MCAO imager, where the end result of a pilot scheme for Engineering Fellow-
tant technical progress towards the sci- should be scientific drivers and a techni- ships at ESO, and hoped that it can be
entific priorities outlined in the ALMA2030 cal feasibility study, along with a recom- developed further if the pilot scheme
planning process. mendation on how to proceed towards proves successful.
Phase A.
In Council document 1694 it was pro-
posed that ESO participate in the CTA The STC noted the progression of
project. The STC noted the scientific 4MOST through the PDR process and
opportunities that CTA-South would pro- the signing of the consortium agreement
vide and the potential for the transfor with ESO. However, the continued lack
mation of the field of very-high-energy of funding for the third spectrograph was
gamma-ray astronomy to yield a wider a major concern, with implications for
scientific impact. The STC strongly scientific impact. The STC urged the con-
endorsed the stated plan for full reim- sortium to find new resources and/or
bursement to ESO for all costs arising partners to fund this third spectrograph.
from the building or operation of the CTA,
and called for clear guarantees that the The STC requested a detailed plan of how
CTA will have no effect on the resources key items will be incorporated into the
available to ESO for operations and ELT project timeline, including the critical
future investments in LaSilla/Paranal and dates for making decisions, such as the
the ELT. availability of the LTAO for HARMONI at

108 ESO Annual Report 2016

Observing Programmes Committee

During its meetings in May and November, for coordinated observations with the VLT
The Observing Programmes Committee 2016 the Observing Programmes Committee and XMM-Newton, ESO received one
(OPC) evaluated the proposals submitted application in Period 99, which qualified
Xavier Barcons (Chair) for observations to be executed in Peri- for allocation of telescope time. Time at
Timo Prusti (Vice-Chair, Period 99) ods 98 (1 October 2016 to 31 March 2017) both facilities was granted to two joint
Henk Hoekstra (Vice-Chair, Period 98) and 99 (1 April 2017 to 30 September proposals evaluated by the XMM-Newton
2017). The number of proposals for obser- Observing Time Allocation Committee.
Micol Bolzonella (Period 98) vations with ESO telescopes in these two
Sylvain Bontemps periods was 901 and 883, respectively.
Alessandro Bressan (Period 98) Targets of Opportunity
Marcio Catelan (Period 98) The fraction of submitted proposals
Pierre-Alain Duc (Period 98) (excluding Large Programmes) is 23.5 %, The number of Target of Opportunity
Fabrizio Fiore 16.0 %, 29.1 % and 31.5 % for A, B, C and proposals submitted in 2016 remained
Gianfranco Gentile (Period 98) D categories, respectively. In terms of similar to previous years. For Periods 98
Wolf-Rainer Hamann time requested, the fractions are 25.5 %, and 99, the OPC evaluated 46 and 41
Catherine Heymans (Period 99) 16.8 %, 30.1 % and 27.5 %. This confirms proposals respectively, of which 21 and
Peter Jonker (Period 99) the slight shift towards stellar science 24 were scheduled, amounting to a total
Badri Krishnan (Period 99) (categories C and D), compared to extra- of about 420 hours. FORS2, X-shooter
Elina Lindfors (Period 99) galactic science (categories A and B), and UVES are the instruments most in
Sebastian Lopez (Period 99) that has been observed during the last demand for Target of Opportunity obser-
Filippo Mannucci few years. The OPC categories are speci- vations with a total of 228 requested
Eduardo Martin (Period 99) fied in full at hours. These three instruments were allo-
Joanna Mikolajewska proposals/opc-categories.html. cated 54.3 % of the Target of Opportunity
Subhanjoy Mohanty time. The Target of Opportunity allocation
Goeran Oestlin (Period 99) In 2016, X-shooter mounted on Kueyen at the two survey telescopes, VISTA and
Philipp Richter (Period 98) (UT2) was the VLT instrument with the VST, for programmes dedicated to the
Roberto Saglia largest amount of requested observing identification of the counterparts of gravi-
Robert Schmidt (Period 98) time (444 nights), followed by FORS2 tational wave sources remained signifi-
Ignas Snellen (Period 98) (429 nights) mounted on Antu (UT1) and cant (79 hours, 18.8 %).
Lidia Tasca (Period 99) MUSE (415 nights) on Melipal (UT4).
Kueyen (UT2) is the most popular UT in
Pierre Antilogus (Member at Large, Period 98)
terms of requested time (841 nights). The Calibration Programmes
Sebastian Hoenig (Member at Large, Period 98)
UT with the highest ratio between request-
Andrea Lapi (Member at Large, Period 99)
ed and available time (9.96) is Melipal Calibration Programmes allow users to
(UT4). In Period 98 the availability of UT4 complement the existing coverage of
was significantly lower because of the the calibration of ESO instruments. Their
activities related to the AOF. The break- main evaluation criterion is the compari-
down of requested and allocated time by son of the potential enhancement of the
UT and instrument is tabulated on p. 25. outcome of future science that can be
expected from their execution, against
In 2016, PIONIER, the near-infrared inter- the immediate return from the science
ferometric visitor instrument designed for proposals for the current period that are
imaging and fed by four telescope beams, directly competing for the same resourc-
received requests totalling 44 nights, of es. In 2016, one Calibration Programme
which 24 were allocated. In Period 99, was submitted (Period 99). The proposal
the new instrument GRAVITY was offered was recommended for implementation by
for the first time with the four UTs. the OPC.

The OPC reviewed 14 open-time propos-

als for VISTA and 16 for the VST, of which Large Programmes
3 and 11 were scheduled, respectively.
Large Programmes are projects requiring
On LaSilla, HARPS and EFOSC2 continue a minimum of 100 hours of observing
to be in high demand. time that have the potential to lead to a
major advance or breakthrough in the
Within the framework of the continuing relevant field of study. Large Programme
agreement between ESO and ESA for execution is spread over several observ-
a joint telescope time allocation scheme ing periods with a maximum duration of

ESO Annual Report 2016 109

four years for observations to be carried tion to new and ongoing Large Pro- completed before the decommissioning
out with the LaSilla telescopes and of grammes in Periods 9899 at the 3.6- of VIMOS (expected for Period 100).
two years on the VLT/I and APEX. metre telescope and at the NTT was
142.1 and 108 nights respectively. This
A total of 48 Large Programme proposals corresponds to 42 % and 32.1 % of Directors Discretionary Time
were received in 2016, 26 in Period 98 the available science time at these two
and 22 in Period 99. Out of these, three telescopes. Proposals requesting Directors Discre-
were Guaranteed Time Observing (GTO) tionary Time (DDT) may be submitted
Large Programmes. throughout the year for programmes that
Public Spectroscopic Surveys present a level of urgency incompatible
Following the OPC recommendations, with the regular proposal cycles handled
seven new Large Programmes were The two Public Spectroscopic Surveys by the OPC. In 2016, the ESO user com-
implemented in Period 98, and five in Peri- approved in Period 88, PESSTO (NTT munity submitted 104 DDT proposals.
od 99. The trend towards using a large with EFOCS2 and SOFI) and Gaia-ESO After taking advice from an internal com-
fraction of the science time on the LaSilla (UT2 with FLAMES), were completed in mittee comprising ESO staff astronomers,
telescopes for the execution of Large Pro- Period 98. The other two, more recent, the Director General approved 63DDT
grammes, encouraged by ESO and spectroscopic surveys, VANDELS and proposals for implementation. The total
already embraced by the community in LEGA-C (both UT3 with VIMOS), are pro- amount of DDT time requested was
recent years, continued. The total alloca- gressing according to plan, and will be about 595 hours.

Near-Infrared view of the star formation region

Messier 78, in the constellation of Orion, taken with

110 ESO Annual Report 2016

Users Committee

The Users Committee is an advisory Committee appreciates being involved in

The Users Committee 2016 body to the ESO Director General com- ESO activities, such as the Data Manage-
posed of one astronomer representing ment Working Group and the recruitment
Chair Stefano Covino (Italy) each of the ESO Member States and for the Observing Programmes Commit-
Chile. It is a direct link with ESOs astro- tee. No major issues were reported, but
nomical community, focusing on opera- it was noted that pipelines are a recurrent
Austria Bodo Ziegler
tional aspects and the broad range of source of complaints from users. It was
Belgium Olivier Absil interactions between the users and the recognised that discussing pipelines is
LaSilla Paranal Observatory, APEX and healthy and useful, because pipelines
Czech Republic Michaela Kraus ALMA. The annual meeting of the Users and data reduction are high on the agen-
Committee is an important forum for da of astronomers. Furthermore, a clear
Denmark Lise Bech Christensen
open exchange of information. The 40th shift was noticed away from issues relat-
Finland Talvikki Hovatta meeting took place on 18 and 19 April at ed to the availability of pipelines towards
ESO Headquarters and for the first time questions related to their quality, the
France Philippe Delorme
included a representative from Poland, underlying algorithms and documenta-
Germany Maria-Rosa Cioni the most recent ESO Member State. tion. Improvements to documentation
(Vice-chair) have begun, in response to last years
Representatives from ESO gave pre recommendations.
The Netherlands Matthew Kenworthy
sentations to the Committee during the
Poland ukasz Wyrzykowski first day of the meeting, starting with As usual, the second day of the meeting
an update on the programme by the was devoted to a special topic, this
Portugal David Sobral Director General. Reports from the obser- time focusing on APEX operations. Fol-
vatories and from the G arching opera- lowing an introductory presentation from
Spain Mara Rosa Zapatero
Osorio tions departments, including the ALMA ESO, two experienced APEX users,
Regional Centre and the Observing Claudia Cicone (Switzerland) and Helmut
Sweden Sofia Ramstedt Programmes Office, followed. The Users Dannerbauer (Austria), gave their views
Committee was informed about the on the APEX operations and availability in
Switzerland Damien Sgransan
Paranal observing efficiency, and the the context of their science projects. The
United Kingdom Stephen Smartt status and plans for the newly estab- recently concluded review of the APEX
lished working group on Science Data facility, which resulted in a proposal for
Chile Thomas Puzia
and Archives, initiated after the ESO2020 extension of APEX operations, was dis-
Science Prioritisation process. cussed. This review went for discussion
to the Scientific Technical Committee and
Presentations from ESO were followed for decision to the Council. The Users
by feedback from the Users Committee, Committee expressed their support and
which was partly based on the outcome within their recommendations, which
of a survey designed and carried out by covered a range of items, also included
the Committee. The users are on average one to extend APEX operations in view of
very satisfied with ESO facilities and the the successful results and efficiency of
The 12-metre APEX on C
hajnantor. interaction with ESO staff, and the Users the facility.
ESO/M. Alexander

ESO Annual Report 2016 111

ESO/M. Kornmesser

112 ESO Annual Report 2016

Targeted investments in outreach Press activities Publications
have contributed to ESOs status as
the most visible ground-based obser- Forty-five press releases were issued in ePOD produces a wide range of print
vatory and among the best known of 2016 a slight reduction on the previous products (such as periodicals, posters,
observatories in general (ground and year. Twenty-seven of these were science brochures, flyers), merchandise and
space). This is supported by statistical releases, covering a mix of results from exhibition panels, for audiences with or
indicators, such as Google News, the all ESO facilities, including a rapidly grow- without a scientific background. Fifty-two
Alexa ranking of websites and social ing number from ALMA. The number publications and items of merchandise
media reach. The ESO education and of research papers sent to ESO for con- were produced, totalling 908 published
Public Outreach Department (ePOD) sideration as potential press releases pages during 2016. ESO Supernova
has become a point of reference for increased, however (and by implication, Planetarium & Visitor Centre print prod-
other outreach teams around the world, so did the number of rejected candidates). ucts began development, as well as stud-
as well as a rich source of high quality The outstanding science news event ies of how to make ESO print products
content. of the year was the discovery of the exo- more appealing to 1319 year olds.
planet Proxima b in August which saw
The ESO Supernova Planetarium huge interest from the media. The care-
& Visitor Centre, a major project, pro- fully planned communication campaign The ESO Supernova Planetarium &
gressed well towards its opening in around the discovery included blog Visitor Centre
May 2018. Key aspects of its infra- posts, infographics, direct interaction via
structure are the development of free social media, and press activities. Several With the ESO Supernova Planetarium
educational elements for teachers and news items were related to ELT progress, & Visitor Centre handover approaching,
planetarium material. the biggest of which was the signing many crucial developments have been
of the DMS in May, accompanied by an realised. New partnerships and collabo-
Diversification of communication online media telecon. rations were forged with key actors in
channels continued throughout the the planetarium community and in tour-
year and among the highlights were 122 formal interview requests were ism, education and the media, at local,
the Pale Red Dot integrated commu received from media worldwide. The ESO national and international levels.
nication campaign, the signature of Pictures of the Week are an increasingly
the ELT DMS contract and ESOs first valuable channel to report on news items A teacher training workshop for high
social media gathering, #MeetESO. that do not necessarily require a full press school teachers was held, in collabora-
The biggest science story of the year release or announcement. tion with the education partner Haus
was indisputably the discovery of
Proxima b.
ESO 2016: News Popularity

The ELT project continues to present 800 000

an excellent opportunity to commu
nicate ESOs leadership in designing 500 000
and building the most advanced
400 000
ground-based telescopes.
300 000

200 000

100 000

11-Pho-TW Hydrae

41-Sci-neutron star
3-Pho-IC 1613
4-Sci-2MASS J16281
5-Pho-IC 2631
7-Pho-RCW 106
8-Sci-IRAS 08544-4
14-Sci-Manx comet
16-Pho-LHA 120-N55
17-Org-ELT dome
18-Sci-Abell 2597
20-Sci-z = 7 oxygen
21-Sci-M67 planets
25-Sci-Deep Orion
26-Sci-Water snow l
27-Sci-Red dwarf bi
28-Pho-Messier 18
29-Sci-Proxima b
30-Sci-Terzan 5
31-Sci-Markarian 10
33-Sci-Hubble Ultra

39-Pho-MUSE pillars
35-Pho-Messier 78
36-Sci-RR Lyrae
37-Sci-Eta Carinae
38-Sci-QSO halos
40-Pho-exoplanets S
42-Sci-Dark Matter
43-Org-ESO Director
44-Sci-Spinning Bla
45-Org-Band 5 at AL
22-Org- GRAVIT Y Gal
24-Sci-Planet 3 sun

The relative popularity of the 45 ESO press releases in the metric is the number of online newspaper articles
2016 as measured by three methods: Google Analyt- about a particular news release. These three metrics
ics (green) measures the number of visitors to the have widely different values and have been scaled to
news release web page on; Eurekalert the range of Google Analytics. The most popular
Artists impression showing a possible view of (yellow) counts how many journalists followed the release by far concerned the discovery of the planet
the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the news release link on the Eurekalert website (a news around Proxima Centauri (eso1629) in August, fol-
red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star aggregation and distribution site for journalists); Melt- lowed by other e xoplanet releases, an APEX photo
to the Solar System. water (red) is an electronic press clippings service release and an ALMA result on complex chemistry.

ESO Annual Report 2016 113

der Astronomie, and with input from

ESO/M. Zamani
neighbouring scientists on the Garching
research campus.

The exhibition planner, Design & Mehr,

and the Heidelberg Institute for Theo
retical Studies (HITS) have worked with
ESO on around 500 individual exhibition
items. All the exhibition panels and wall
images, with English and German texts,
have been produced or selected. Physi-
cal ESO exhibits were organised and
prepared for display, while further exhibits
will be delivered through other collabo
rations, such as with the Max Planck
Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), The participants of a teacher training workshop lators contribute to translating subtitles.
engaged in exploring enquiry-based methods for
the University of V ienna, the Vienna An advanced metadata system, allowing
studying scientific concepts.
Planetarium, the University of Copenhagen integration with external platforms and
and the Sonderforschungsbereich on quick and easy access, has been imple-
the The Milky Way System (SFB 881) of light-emitting diode [LED] lights, speaker mented.
the University of Heidelberg. Content lectern controls, wireless microphones
for 95 touchscreen apps was produced and inputs for third-party visuals, such as The ESO Fulldome Expedition success-
and scientific and educational guidance PowerPoint and fulldome) to improve the fully documented the ESO sites in Full-
for the hands-on stations was delivered planetarium functionality, reduce the dome and UHD formats. Two state-
to Design & Mehr. The production of manpower needs and integrate the sys- of-the-art panoramic web cameras were
14guided tours has also progressed well. tem into the ESO framework. installed at Paranal and ALMA through
ESO has developed major elements of a partnership with the French company
the exhibition and planetarium IT con- The hourly and weekly schedule for the Apical. They provide live images of the
cept, and will procure and install most of planetarium content was decided on. sites day and night, in high resolution
the network and PCs in the building. Hundreds of planetarium shows and clips, and depth (including live images which
as high-resolution digital media, were can be displayed in planetariums world-
The team of active volunteers has grown delivered directly to many planetariums wide).
to 25 people from around the world. worldwide, amounting to ~ 1 petabyte
Team responsibilities and a workflow for per year. Twelve new free, full-length
booking special events (temporary exhibi- shows were released by ESO and the Web and software development
tions, art-and-science shows, public lec- community.
tures, etc.) were defined. Possible events An improved concept for ESOs Kiosk-
for the first two quarters of activity in The special planetarium project Data- system (stand-alone information screens)
2018 were planned. Distribution plans 2Dome progressed, providing a metadata was implemented, with a monitoring
were drafted for marketing all ESO Super- standard and a system for delivering system to keep track of their status. This
nova products, and the partnerships and images, videos, events, news and other system will be used throughout the ESO
events brochures were updated. data to planetariums around the world. Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre
exhibition and for Kiosk screens at all
Fundraising efforts continued, with, in ESO sites (approximately 150 screens in
addition to an application to the Deutsche Audiovisuals total).
Telekom Foundation (for a secondary
school teacher), Microsoft, Allianz, Munich The ESOcast vodcast series remains a A new, more flexible and consistent sys-
Airport, the International Council for successful product, well received by the tem generates small images from the
Science (ICSU) and others. Several new public. The iTunes ranking reflects its high-resolution originals on all websites,
partners were added (including Energie- increasing popularity. A new LaSilla UHD making it easier to add new image for-
Wende-Garching, Centro Multimeios video compilation and an updated ALMA mats. This has proven to be more stable,
de Espinho, Softmachine and Evans & trailer were produced. The online video particularly when handling large images.
Sutherland) and others are being and image archive is the essential reposi- YouTubes state-of-the-art player was
approached. tory of ePODs audiovisual content and implemented to improve the playback
continues to expand. Over 1600 images experience for video previews on
ESO is augmenting the planetarium tech- and videos, including increasing numbers and
nology with critical functions (including of fulldome videos, have been uploaded,
RGB cove lights, digital multiplex [DMX] many with captions in several languages. The back-ends of all the ePOD websites
dimming controls, spotlights, handrail Two hundred and twenty volunteer trans- were upgraded (including installation

114 ESO Annual Report 2016

ESO's Fulldome
B. Tafreshi/ESO

E xpedition team at
Paranal, where they
were greeted in the
languages of ESO's
Member States.

of the much better NGINX-based load concerted campaigns such as the Pale grapher of the Year, ESO Astrocamp)
balancer, implemented with the help of Red Dot, the inauguration of the 4LGSF, continue to bring ESO visibility. The
IT). Over 2200 web content tickets were the ELT DMS contract ceremony and the fourth ESO Astronomy Camp was held in
handled during this period, solving a vari- ESO Fulldome Expedition. partnership with Sterrenlab and collabo-
ety of often pressing and important tasks. ration on a second camp, the summer
Around 40 000 individual messages were For the first time ESO invited social media AstroCamp, was initiated with the Centre
posted on social media, spreading the power users to our sites. The #MeetESO for Astrophysics of the University of Porto
word about ESO highlights. expedition shared their experiences with (CAUP). The administrative workflow to
their communities of millions of people. oversee the implementation of partners
The promotion campaign resulted in benefits was strengthened. The Photo
Community coordination more than 1500 tweets and retweets dur- Ambassador and volunteer networks
ing the pre-campaign period, reaching have grown, and a Music Ambassador
Physical products are continually pro- almost 500 000 people and generating network with 10 composers was created.
duced, and the regular products are over 1 560 000 impressions. During the
distributed worldwide (The Messenger, visit, over 6700 tweets from more than Several new strategies have been initiat-
the ESO Annual Report, etc.). Migration 1600 people generated almost 37 million ed as ways are examined to improve
to the new ERP-based inventory and a impressions. The project showed the communication, making it more innova-
more secure online payment for the ESO general publics thirst for experiencing tive and finding better ways to reach
shop were implemented. The address ESO for themselves. 1319 year olds in particular.
database grows as the mission is extend-
ed, incorporating more education contacts ESOs first Reddit Ask Me Anything!
in the Member States, local community session was organised with the Pale Exhibitions and events
representatives in G arching and planetar- Red Dot scientists, which made it to the
iums. The ESO Supernova public news- Reddit front page in 12th place. Many There were a total of 19 events and exhi-
letter joined the family of newsletters, the hundreds of comments were submitted bitions in 2016. Exhibitions were held in
total number of subscribers exceeding to the thread and it is estimated that sev- Germany (FORSCHA, education), Greece
40000 for the first time. eral million people read the discussion. (European Week of Astronomy and Space
Science [EWASS], scientists), Switzerland
Targeted promotion was implemented Long-running partnerships (Photo Night- (International Career Day, job-seekers)
for regular products, but also for one-off scape Awards, Insight Astronomy Photo and in the USA (American Astronomical
Society [AAS], scientists). The ESO Open
Web visitors 2016 House Day at the Headquarters building
was a great success with a record 4300 47 %
people of all ages visiting. 34.8 % 9.5 % In Chile, meeting highlights were the 5.2 % Sociedad Chilena de Astronoma
(SOCHIAS); the Regional Fair Expo 2.1 %
Coquimbo with an estimated attendance 0.4 % of 70 000 people; and the Festival Inter- 0.4 % nacional de Innovacin Social (FiIS) that
The distribution of the 6.8 mil- 0.2 % lion web visits in 2016 to the
included a videolink to Paranal at sunset,
Other ESO, Hubble and IAU outreach with an estimated 35 000 people in
websites. attendance. The department supported

ESO Annual Report 2016 115

Ciel et Espace Photos/ESO

Photo Nightscape Award 2016 award ceremony. The participants of #MeetESO ESOs first social
media gathering on their five-day visit to Chile,
where they visited the VLT and ALMA.

Architekten Bernhardt + Partner (

Artists renderings showing the interior of the ESO
Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre.

135 million+ reached via social media on ESOs main English accounts 27 ESON Countries

56 million+ reached via social media on ESOs translated 52 print products


Several hundreds of millions reached via traditional media 11 400 images (image archive)
694 000 reached via social media on ESO Supernova
Planetarium & Visitor Centre English and German accounts

253 170 Facebook friends

ESO 3048 videos total (video archive)

8244 weekend visitors

51 470 Twitter followers 45 400 Newsletter subscribers
39 100 individual social media posts on 60 channels in
18 languages 27 400 contact addresses

3 185 200 visits on 306 distribution tickets resolved

122 interview requests 1400 ESOshop orders dispatched

82 media visits 2200 web content tickets resolved

Some key figures relating to ESOs education and

outreach activities in 2016.

116 ESO Annual Report 2016

a ceremony at the LaSilla Observatory
at which ESO and Enel Green Power
inaugurated the solar photovoltaic plant
to supply electricity to the observatory.

Media, VIP and weekend visits in Chile

Eighty-two media groups visited Paranal,

ALMA and LaSilla during 2016. Three
hand-picked media delegations were
invited by ESO: from Brazil, Ireland and
#MeetESO. Among other prestigious
media outlets hosted were Le Monde,
NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation),
the Republic of China Peoples Daily
and HBO (Home Box Office). Further-
more, a team from ESA visited Paranal
during the Mercury transit in May to
broadcast the event worldwide. The
impact of media visits remains very high,
with a total audience estimated to be on
the order of several hundreds of millions.

After a campaign to increase attendance,

the public weekend visits to LaSilla and
Paranal attracted 8244 people in 2016,
the second-highest number in the last

ESO Science Outreach Network

ePOD operates the ESO Science Out-

reach Network (ESON) to increase the
visibility of ESO in the Member States.
Outreach specialists, press officers and
educators act as direct local contacts
with the media and organise the transla-
tion of ESO-related information into their
local language. In total, ESON operates
ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/M. Kaufman & the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

in 27 countries (including the 16 Member

States), with information in 19 different
languages. News products are translated
from English into 18 different languages.
In 2016, more than 30 % of the web
pages viewed on were translated
by ESON.

Composite image of data from ALMA and the NASA/

ESA Hubble Space Telescope showing ribbons of
intense star formation and compressed ridges of gas
and dust in two interacting galaxies that resembles a
pair of cosmic eyelids.

ESO Annual Report 2016 117

Calendar of Events

January April ESO Workshop on Resolving Planet

Formation in the Era of ALMA and
GRAVITY achieves first fringes with four First light for the 4LGSF on UT4. Extreme AO. ESO Vitacura, 1620 May.
Installation of the Star-roof of the ESO 98th OPC meeting, ESO Headquarters.
Science Day at ESO Headquarters. Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre.
Presentations of research by faculty
members, fellows and students. ALMA Board meeting, ALMA Santiago June
Central Office.
138th Council meeting, Warsaw, Poland.
February ESO Data Simulation Workshop. ESO
Headquarters, 1415 April. Agreement signed with the US company
First fringes using the four UTs equipped Teledyne Scientific and Imaging for
with the STS systems. Girls Day at ESO Headquarters, part of detectors for the VLT MOONS instrument.
the German nationwide event.
10th anniversary of the opening of APEX ESO Workshop on Active Galactic Nuclei:
for scientific sub-mm observing. 40th UC meeting, ESO Headquarters. whats in a name? ESO Headquarters,
27June 1 July.
Completion of the 870 m APEX Tele- 87th STC meeting, ESO Headquarters.
scope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy Successful first observation of the black
(ATLASGAL). Topping-out ceremony for the construc- hole at the Galactic Centre with GRAVITY
tion of the ESO Supernova Planetarium & combining the light from four UTs.
ESO/NEON Observing School at LaSilla. Visitor Centre.
ESO Vitacura and LaSilla Observatory, Signing of agreement with Leiden Obser-
22 February 4 March. vatory to site a station of MASCARA at
May LaSilla.
144th extraordinary Finance Committee
meeting, ESO Headquarters. First fringes with GRAVITY and four UTs.
Contract signing ceremony for the ELT
March DMS, the largest single contract in ESOs European Week of Astronomy and Space
history. Science. Athens, Greece, 48 July.
Agreement signed with Centre National
de la Recherche Scientifique, on behalf 145th Finance Committee meeting, ESO Joint ESO, MPA, MPE, the Excellence
of the Institut de Plantologie et Headquarters. Cluster Universe, LMU and Technische
dAstrophysique de Grenoble, to build Universitt Mnchen Workshop on
the NAOMI adaptive optics systems for ESO/OPTICON School on the Use and Discs in Galaxies. ESO Headquarters,
the four ATs of the VLTI. Data Reduction of X-shooter and KMOS. 1115 July.
ESO Headquarters, 913 May.
Annual Overview (internal review).

On 21 April 2016, a festivity was held to celebrate

the completion of the concrete construction of the Several ESO staff members celebrated their 25th or
ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre. 35th anniversary with the organisation during 2016.

118 ESO Annual Report 2016

ESO/M. Zamani

The ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, speaking Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis for ESO Open House Day 2016 on Saturday
at the Proxima Centauri press conference, 24 August
development of the lasers in the 4LGSF. 22 October, as part of a day of public
access to the Garching research campus.
The design of the ALMA Residencia fea-
ALMA Board approves the production of tured at the Architecture Biennale, Venice,
Band 1 (3550 GHz) receivers. Italy. November

Signing of the ELT contract with the ALMA Board meeting, ALMA Santiago
French company Reosc for polishing the October Central Office.
ELT secondary mirror.
First light for the DSM of the AOF on UT4. 99th OPC meeting, ESO Headquarters.
Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders
visits Paranal. Start of Science Operations with 147th Finance Committee meeting in Chile.
GRAVITY and four ATs in spectro-imaging
August December
Former President of Finland, Tarja
Signing of an agreement with a con Halonen, visits Paranal. UT4 returns to regular operation using the
sortium led by the Leibniz Institut fr new DSM in non-adaptive mode.
Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP) to build Joint Garching-Chile Operations meeting
4MOST on VISTA. at ESO Headquarters. 141st Council meeting, ESO Headquarters.

Workshop on Supernovae through the First light at the combined focus labora- First light for ALMA Band 5 (163
Ages. Joint workshop with ESO. Easter tory of the VLT in preparation for the 211GHz) which includes the H20 line at
Island, Chile, 913 August. arrival of ESPRESSO. 183GHz.

Announcement of the discovery of a 88th STC meeting, ESO Headquarters. Xavier Barcons appointed as next ESO
planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, in the Director General from September 2017.
nearby Alpha Centauri triple star system,
using HARPS along with other facilities.


146th extraordinary Finance Committee

meeting, ESO Headquarters.

The photovoltaic plant at LaSilla, a link-

up between ESO and Enel Green Power,
is inaugurated and goes into service.

VLT Adaptive Optics Community Days.

ESO Headquarters, 2021 September.
ESO staff shared a
p restigious award cele-
ESO staff and staff from Toptica and brating innovation in
MPB Communications receive the laser technology.

ESO Annual Report 2016 119

ESO/A. Ghizzi Panizza (

ESO Annual Report 2016
The award-winning Residencia office and accom-
modation building at the Paranal Observatory in
Chiles Atacama Desert.

ESO Annual Report 2016 121

Glossary of Acronyms

4LGSF 4 Laser Guide Star Facility (VLT) CESA Compaa Espaola de Sistemas GALACSI Ground Atmospheric Layer
4MOST 4-metre Multi-Object Aeronuticos S.A. (Spain) Adaptive OptiCs for Spectroscopic
Spectroscopic Telescope (VISTA) CIAO Coud Infrared Adaptive Optics Imaging (AOF)

A&A Journal, Astronomy & Astrophysics system (VLT) GARD Group for Advanced Receiver
CMOS Complementary metal oxide Development (Sweden)
A&ARv Journal, Astronomy and
Astrophysics Review semiconductor GIRAFFE Multi-fibre spectrograph (FLAMES,
CO Carbon monoxide VLT)
ADC Atmospheric Dispersion
Compensator CONICA High-resolution near-infrared GmbH Gesellschaft mit beschrnkter
camera (VLT, NACO) Haftung, German limited liability
AEM ALMA construction consortium company
AGN Active Galactic Nucleus CRIRES Cryogenic InfraRed Echelle
Spectrometer (VLT) GRAAL GRound-layer Adaptive optics
AJ Journal, Astronomical Journal Assisted by Lasers (AOF)
CRIRES+ Planned upgrade to CRIRES
ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/ GRAVITY AO assisted, two-object, multiple
submillimeter Array CTA Cherenkov Telescope Array beam-combiner (VLTI)
AMBER Astronomical Multi-BEam DG Director General GROND Gamma-Ray burst Optical/Near-
combineR (VLTI instrument) DM Deformable mirror infrared Detector (LaSilla)
A-MKIDS APEX Millimetre-wave Kinetic DMS Dome and Main Structure (ELT) GTO Guaranteed Time Observing
Inductance Camera DSB Double sideband GuideCamTool Unified target acquisition
AN Journal, Astronomische DSM Deformable secondary mirror preparation tool for all ESO
Nachrichten instruments
EASC European ALMA Support Centre
Antu VLT Unit Telescope 1 H2020 Horizon 2020 EU Research and
ELT Extremely Large Telescope Innovation programme
AOF Adaptive Optics Facility
EFOSC2 ESO Faint Object Spectrograph HARMONI High Angular Resolution
AOS Array Operations Site (ALMA) and Camera 2 (NTT) Monolithic Optical and Near-
APEX Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment EIROforum Organisation consisting of the infrared Integral-field spectrograph
AIV Assembly, integration and eight scientific European (ELT)
verification process international organisations devoted HARPS High Accuracy Radial velocity
APD avalanche photodiode detector to fostering mutual activities Planetary Searcher (3.6-metre)
ApJ Journal, Astrophysical Journal EMAC ELT Management Advisory HAWK-I High Acuity Wide field K-band
Committee Imager (VLT)
ApJS Journal, Astrophysical Journal
Supplement Series EM&P Journal, Earth, Moon, and Planets HIRES Proposed ELT high-resolution
ARA&A Journal, Annual Reviews of ePOD education and Public Outreach spectrograph
Astronomy & Astrophysics Department HR Human Resources
ARC ALMA Regional Centre ERIS Enhanced Resolution Imager and HST NASA/ESA Hubble Space
Spectrograph (VLT) Telescope
ArTMiS Architectures de bolometres pour
des Tlescopes a grand champ de ERP Enterprise Resource Planning IAC Instituto de Astrofsica de Canarias
vue dans le domaine sub- ESA European Space Agency IAU International Astronomical Union
Millimetrique au Sol (APEX) ESAC European Science Advisory ICAFAL Ingeniera y Construccin S.A.
ARTIST Adaptable Radiative Transfer Committee (for ALMA) (Chilean construction Company)
Innovations for Submillimetre ESC ELT Subcommittee
Telescopes Icar Icarus, Journal, Planetary science
ESO European Organisation for IET Integrated Engineering Team
ASTRONET EU scheme for astronomy Astronomical Research in the
cooperation and coordination at (ALMA)
Southern Hemisphere
national or regional level in the INAF Italian National Institute for
Member States and Associated ESON ESO Science Outreach Network Astrophysics
States ESPRESSO Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky IPAG Institut de Plantologie et
AT Auxiliary Telescope for the VLTI Exoplanet- and Stable dAstrophysique de Grenoble
Spectroscopic Observations (VLT)
ATLASGAL APEX Telescope Large Area ISAAC Infrared Spectrometer And Array
Survey of the GALaxy EU European Union Camera (VLT)
ATT ALMA Technical Team EWASS European Week of Astronomy and ISS Interferometer Supervisory
Space Science Software (VLTI)
au Astronomical unit (EarthSun
distance) ExA Journal, Experimental Astronomy IT Information Technology
AUI Association of Universities Inc. ExTrA Exoplanets in Transits and their JAO Joint ALMA Observatory
Atmospheres (hosted telescopes,
BlackGEM Telescope array searching for LaSilla) JIRA Proprietary issue tracking product
optical counterparts of JWST James Webb Space Telescope
gravitational wave sources FDR Final Design Review
FIAT Facility for Infrared Array Testing KiDS Kilo-Degree Survey (VST)
CAD computer-aided design
FIDEOS FIber Dual Echelle Optical KMOS K-band Multi-Object Spectrograph
CASA Common Astronomy Software (VLT)
Applications (ALMA) Spectrograph
FLAMES Fibre Large Array Multi Element Kueyen VLT Unit Telescope 2
CCA Cold Cartridge Assembly
Spectrograph (VLT) LABOCA Large APEX BOlometer CAmera
CCD Charge Coupled Device
FORS2 FOcal Reducer/low dispersion LEGA-C Large Early Galaxy Census
CERN European Organization for Nuclear Spectrograph 2 (VLT)
Research LFC Laser Frequency Comb
Gaia Astrometric satellite (ESA) LGS Laser Guide Star

122 ESO Annual Report 2016

LGSF Laser Guide Star Facility (VLT) NIRPS Near Infra Red Planet Searcher SOFIA Stratospheric Observatory for
LMU Ludwig Maximilians University, (3.6-metre) Infrared Astronomy
Munich NIX Infrared imager (VLT) SOXS Son Of X-Shooter (NTT)
LNA Low noise amplifier NOVA The Netherlands Research School SPECULOOS Search for habitable Planets
LPO LaSilla Paranal Observatory for Astronomy (Nederlandse EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars
Onderzoekschool voor (Paranal)
LSP LaSilla Paranal Subcommittee Astronomie) SPHERE Spectro-Polarimetric High-
LSST Large Synoptic Survey Telescope NRAO National Radio Astronomy contrast Exoplanet REsearch
LTAO Laser tomography adaptive optics Observatory instrument (VLT)
M# Mirror # NSF National Science Foundation (US) SPIFFI SPectrometer for Infrared Faint
MACAO Multiple Application Curvature NTT New Technology Telescope Field Imaging (SINFONI, VLT)
Adaptive Optics (LaSilla) STC Scientific Technical Committee
MAGIX Modeling and Analysis Generic OmegaCAM Wide-field camera (VST) STFC UK Science and Technology
Interface for eXternal numerical OPC Observing Programmes Facilities Council
codes Committee STS Star separator
MAORY Multi-conjugate Adaptive Optics OPTICON Optical Infrared Coordination SV Science Verification
RelaY (ELT) Network for astronomy TAROT-S Tlescopes Action Rapide
MASCARA Multisite All Sky CAmeRA (LaSilla) OSF ALMA Operations Support Facility pour les Objets Transitoires South
MATISSE Multi AperTure mid-Infrared OSO Onsala Space Observatory (LaSilla)
SpectroScopic Experiment (VLTI) telbib ESO Library telescope
P# Observing Period
Melipal VLT Unit Telescope 3 bibliography database
P&SS Journal, Planetary and Space
METIS Mid-infrared ELT Imager and Science TRAPPIST TRAnsiting Planets and
Spectrograph (ELT) PlanetesImals Small Telescope
PAE Provisional Acceptance Europe (LaSilla)
MICADO Multi-AO Imaging Camera for
Deep Observations (ELT) PARLA Laser source for the LGSF UK United Kingdom
MIDI Mid-infrared Interferometric PASJ Journal, Publications of the ULTRACAM Highspeed camera (VLT UT3:P74
Instrument (VLTI) Astronomical Society of Japan 79; NTT: P8587)
MNRAS Journal, Monthly Notices of the PASP Journal, Publications of the UT VLT Unit Telescopes 14: Antu,
Royal Astronomical Society Astronomical Society of the Pacific Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun
MOONS Multi Object Optical and Near- PDR Preliminary Design Review UVES UV-Visual Echelle Spectrograph
infrared Spectrograph (VLT third PESSTO Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey (VLT)
generation) of Transient Objects VANDELS VIMOS spectroscopic survey in
MOS Proposed multi-object PFS Pre-focal station (ELT) the UKIDSS Ultra Deep survey field
spectrograph (ELT) PhysRevLett Journal, Physical Review Letters and the Chandra Deep Field South
MOSAIC Multi-object spectrograph (ELT) (CANDELS fields)
PI Principal Investigator
MPA Max Planck Institute for VDL Van Der Leegte Groop, the
PIONIER Precision Integrated Optics Near- Netherlands
Astrophysics infrared Imaging ExpeRiment
MPE Max Planck Institute for (VLTI) VIMOS VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph
Extraterrestrial Physics (VLT)
PLATO PLAnetary Transits and
MPG Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Oscillations of stars (ESA) VISIR VLT Imager and Spectrometer for
MPIA Max Planck Institute for Astronomy PRIMA Phase-Referenced Imaging and
Micro-arcsecond Astrometry VISTA Visible and Infrared Survey
MPIfR Max Planck Institute for Radio Telescope for Astronomy
Astronomy facility (VLTI)
PV Photovoltaic VLBI Very Long Baseline Interferometry
MUSE Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer
(VLT) REM Rapid Eye Mount telescope VLT Very Large Telescope

myXCLASS eXtended CASA Line Analysis (LaSilla) VLTI Very Large Telescope
Software Suite SAESA Chilean Electrical company Interferometer

NACO NAOS-CONICA (VLT) SAF Science Archive Facility vOT Visitor Mode Observing Tool

NAOJ National Astronomical Observatory SAPHIRA Selex Avalanche Photodiodes for VST VLT Survey Telescope
of Japan Highspeed Infra Red Applications VVV ESO Public Survey VISTA Variables
NAOMI Adaptive optics system for the ATs SAS Sun Avoidance System (APEX) in the Va Lctea
(VLTI) Science Journal WFI Wide Field Imager (MPG/ESO
NAOS Nasmyth Adaptive Optics System 2.2metre telescope)
SEPIA Swedish ESO PI receiver for APEX
(VLT) XMM-Newton X-ray Multi-Mirror satellite (ESA)
SFR Star formation rate
NASA National Aeronautics and Space X-shooter Wideband ultraviolet-infrared
Administration SINFONI Spectrograph for INtegral Field spectrograph (VLT)
Observations in the Near Infrared
Nature Journal (VLT) Yepun VLT Unit Telescope 4
NewA Journal, New Astronomy SnooPI Snooping Project Interface, an m Micrometre
NewAR Journal, New Astronomy Review intuitive project tracking tool for
NGC New General Catalogue Principal and Co-Investigators
NGTS Next-Generation Transit Survey
(Paranal) SOFI Son OF Isaac (NTT)

ESO Annual Report 2016 123

ESO Europe Cover: This spectacular image from the VLT Survey
Telescope shows the Lobster Nebula (NGC6357,
upper right) and the Cats Paw Nebula (NGC6334,
Headquarters lower left). Both nebulae are regions of active star
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strae 2 formation and the red glow arises from ionisation
85748 Garching bei Mnchen of gas by hot young stars. With an area around
7square degrees and almost two billion pixels, this
is one of the largest images ever released by ESO.
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ESO Chile

ESO Vitacura Guesthouse

Alonso de Crdova 3107 Rey Gustavo Adolfo No. 4634
Vitacura Las Condes
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Santiago de Chile Chile
Chile Phone +56 2 2208 4254
Phone +56 2 2463 3000 Fax +56 2 2228 9333
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ESO Antofagasta Office
LaSilla Paranal Observatory Avenida Balmaceda 2536
LaSilla Site Office 504
IV Regin Edificio Don Guillermo
Chile Antofagasta
Phone +56 2 2464 4100 Chile
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LaSilla Paranal Observatory
Paranal Site
II Regin
Chile ESO is a partner in the international
Phone +56 55 2435 100 ALMA project
Fax +56 55 2435 101
ALMA Santiago Central Offices
APEX Sequitor Base Alonso de Crdova 3107
Ayllo de Sequitor, Parcela 85 Vitacura
San Pedro de Atacama Casilla 763 0355
II Regin Santiago
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Phone +56 2 2595 0800 Ext. 448 Phone +56 2 2467 6100
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APEX Chajnantor Site ALMA Operations Support Facility

II Regin Kilmetro 121
Chile Carretera CH 23
Phone +56 2 2595 0800 Ext. 299 San Pedro de Atacama All images are courtesy of ESO unless
Chile otherwise indicated.
ESO La Serena Office Phone +56 2 2467 6416
Avenida Panormica No. 4461 Edited by the DG Cabinet.
Sector Aeroparque La Florida ALMA Array Operations Site
Casilla 567 II Regin Produced by the education and Public
La Serena Chile Outreach Department.
Phone +56 51 2272 601 ESO 2017
Fax +56 51 215 175 ISSN 0531-4496