This page reports the current status of the instrumentation plans for the WHT and INT.
During 2019, the ING continues a series of changes (begun in 2017A)
in the availability of instrumentation at the WHT and INT,
driven by the upcoming commissioning of new instruments at both
telescopes. The information below will help you to
make the most of the evolving observing opportunities driven by the schedules for these instruments.
We welcome your questions, comments or requests for clarification. Please email Chris Benn, ING Head of Astronomy (email@example.com) or me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Updated to 18th February 2019
Changes at the WHT
- New survey instrument. Current plans call for the integration and commissioning of the WEAVE multi-fibre and multi-IFU spectrograph in late 2019 and early 2020, with the WEAVE surveys beginning in spring 2020.
Technical stand-down periods.
Science observations at the WHT will pause starting 2 September 2019,
to allow time for the above integration and commissioning
- Time distribution and instrumentation in the WEAVE surveys era.
We remind users that the start of the WEAVE surveys will mark the
transition of the WHT from a classical observing telescope to a
mainly survey telescope. We will retain 30% as open time for
allocation by the TACs. The instrumentation offered in open time
will be WEAVE, ISIS, LIRIS, ACAM and visitor instruments.
For visitor instruments the Cassegrain, GRACE and prime
focal stations will be available. At prime, only the 40 arcmin
corrector will be available for visitor instruments.
Given the complexity of mounting and dismounting WEAVE, the current
plan is to change to other instruments every 9 - 12 months.
Open-time accessibility to all RAs will be guaranteed, but only with WEAVE
- the scheduling software will handle WEAVE open-time OBs (observing blocks)
in the same way as it handles WEAVE survey OBs.
- Nasmyth visitor instruments.
Visitor instruments requiring a Nasmyth focus (including those instruments formerly deployed in the GHRIL enclosure) can be deployed in the GRACE Nasmyth enclosure.
Teams proposing to observe with Nasmyth visitor instruments in future
semesters need to communicate with the observatory to ensure
any required changes are understood and agreed well in advance.
Changes at the INT
ING has reached an agreement with the Cambridge-led THE (Terra-Hunting
Experiment) Consortium for the deployment at the INT of HARPS3, a
high-resolution stabilised spectrograph which will conduct a 10-year
survey aimed at discovering Earth-mass planets.
The THE Consortium will
carry out a full upgrade of the INT to allow for remote or robotic
operation. 50% of the INT time will be devoted to the THE survey, the
remainder being available as open time to be allocated by the TACs.
The dates for the INT upgrade will be announced once the project
calendar is known. Tentatively, a six-month downtime for the
upgrade may be scheduled during 2020, with the HARPS3 instrument
arriving in 2021.
- Instrument availability.
Current schedules suggest that WFC and IDS will likely
remain available during 2020A,
but not during 2020B.
The WFC and IDS will be mothballed once the telescope upgrade starts; the use of
the INT prime focus is incompatible with the cadence requirements of
the HARPS-3 surveys. We are exploring options for a second INT instrument
to co-exist at the Cassegrain focus with the HARPS-3 fibre pick-up