2011 OCTOBER 12


As many of you are aware, ING is developing its strategic plans for the next decade.  We are happy to report that we are very positive about the progress.  Our overriding goal is to ensure that ING facilities remain responsive to the evolving needs of our user communities, adapting our observational capabilities to the demands of the coming decade.  The agreement for the new phase should be ready during 2012.  We'll keep you posted on the ING home page and through this distribution list.  

Let me emphasize that during the negotiation of the new agreement, observations will continue to run without interruption. During this period, observing time will be allocated through the standard PATT/TAC/CAT processes you are used to following.  


As part of the preparations for future La Palma operations, the STFC are offering to transfer ownership of the 1-metre Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope (JKT) free of charge to a suitable organisation that would exploit that facility.  The full announcement is at

Please feel free to pass this link to any parties who may be interested.


The three ING partners have given a strong endorsement of ING's plans to  provide the WHT with WEAVE, a high-performance, wide-field, multi-fibre spectrograph.  WEAVE was conceived in response to the understanding that European astronomy will be in need of massive-multiplex spectroscopic capabilities in the coming decade.  The instrument concept includes 1000 fibres positioned via a robot over a 2-degree field at the WHT PF, a 2dF-style tumbler to maximise survey efficiency, and a two-arm spectrograph at Nasmyth delivering spectral resolutions of either R=5000 or R=20,000. Mini-IFU and large-IFU modes are also included.

WEAVE is now in its design stage with a PDR planned for late 2012. The PI is Gavin Dalton from Oxford University.  Please check the WEAVE home page for further information,


As reported in ING's Announcements of Opportunity, we have improved the capabilities  of our instruments  with several detector enhancements.  We are routinely offering ISIS's spare REDPLUS CCD on the INT/IDS.  As a result, IDS now enjoys overall higher quantum efficiency and notably lower fringing levels in the red.

In 2012, we will offer the new 4k x 4k E2V REDPLUS CCD on WHT/WYFFOS.  Again, this will improve overall quantum efficiency and fringing levels on WYFFOS.


The role of the ING Scientific Advisory Committee is to advise the Director on strategic planning issues.  Members are listed in

Please feel free to contact them with any comments or suggestions about ING.


It is vital for ING to continue receiving direct feedback from our observers.  Through your Feedback Forms we learn what we can do to optimize our services to the users.  Thanks to all for this essential contribution to our functioning.  In addition to the Feedback Forms, you can contact your scheduled Observer Support Scientist.

In the same light, a reminder that we always enjoy sea level visits from visiting observers and encourage you to plan a stop over in Santa Cruz to share your findings with us, either informally or by giving a talk to our staff.  

Marc Balcells

Dr. Marc Balcells, Director
Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes
38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain
Tel. +34 922 425 403
balcells 'at'

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