Instrumentation

Fitting the cryostat to the optical bench of the LINC-NIRVANA instrument during its preparation at MPIA for its use at the Large Binocular Telescope.

Designing, building and commissioning a complex astronomical instrument is a demanding task. MPIA's instrumentation and project management group includes engineers and scientists skilled in managing and supporting all aspects of such ambitious projects.

Successful instrument building has many facets: From the management of consortia involving different institutes as well as industry partners, carrying out reviews, establishing precise requirements for a project, and compiling error budgets to more practical tasks such as planning and supervising system tests, specialized tests such as strain tests or tests at very low temperatures, or the verification of an instrument's functionality and specifications. Such system engineering is essential for a successful interaction of multiple components to a sophisticated instrument.

Particular areas of MPIA specialities cover optical design for the infrared regime of the electromagnetic spectrum, the development of cryogenic systems, as well as integration and verification of dedicated infrared detector systems.

A HAWAII-4RG infrared detector, sensitive in the wavelength range from 0.8 – 2.4 µm. With 4k x 4k pixels it is the world’s largest IR detector available.
It will be used in the instrument PANIC, which is upgraded for Calar Alto Observatory in Spain.

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