1. Instrumentation update for the ING telescopes

2. Call for Letters of Intent to provide instrumentation or improvements for the INT


Most users of the ING telescopes are well aware that our plans for the continued operation of the WHT and INT in the next decade call for the execution of massive spectroscopic surveys with WEAVE, a multi-fibre spectrograph now in construction for the WHT prime focus.

Until the arrival of WEAVE, planned for late-2017, ING will continue to offer a broad range of instrumentation at the WHT. Diversity of instrumentation at the WHT has over the years proved to be scientifically very productive, and has fostered the development of both highly-skilled observers and innovative observing technologies.

In order to ensure we continue to provide front-line service to our communities while we prepare for the new era when WEAVE will dominate the share of nights at the WHT, we have analysed the demand for, productivity of and support/development requirements of the current instrumentation on WHT and INT. The ING communities were invited to express their interest in each of the various instruments on the WHT and INT. We are making the results of that consultation available at

On the basis of current and future demand, as well as scientific productivity, we will continue to maintain and enhance a suite of facility instruments comprising ISIS, LIRIS, ACAM and AF2. But as of 2015A (i.e. from 1 Feb 2015), the adaptive-optics instruments (NAOMI, OASIS, INGRID and OSCA) will no longer be offered.

In addition, prime-focus imaging on the WHT will be offered through the upcoming visitor instrument PAUCam (commissioning expected in 2015A), instead of the current PFIP which will be decommissioned. With its 18 CCD's, its set of 40 narrow-band filters and its 40-arcmin FOV, PAUCam will significantly enhance the imaging survey capabilities available to ING partner astronomers.

The WHT will remain available for visitor instruments. Visitor instruments now on offer to the community include GHaFaS, INTEGRAL, PN.S and ULTRACAM, soon to be joined by the prime-focus mosaic camera PAUCam. On the other hand, SAURON will soon finish its programme on our telescope. A success example for the WHT visitor instrument programme, SAURON is being succeeded by new and upcoming integral-field spectrographs such as MUSE on the VLT, MANGA on SDSS and, on the WHT, with the IFU modes of WEAVE.

Instrumentation in the WEAVE era:

Once WEAVE is operational, ING plans to devote ~70% of the available WHT time to WEAVE surveys, while 30% of the time will remain available for projects with existing instrumentation, including ISIS, LIRIS, ACAM, PAUCam as well as WEAVE.

Plans for the INT:

On the INT, WFC imaging and IDS long-slit spectroscopy will continue to be available, while a call for expressions of interest for developing that telescope and its instrumentation is being issued, see below, with the aim of opening the INT to new partners.


Deadline 30 September 2014

The Board of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING) hereby solicits Letters of Intent (LoIs) to provide new or improved instrumentation for the 2.5m Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) on La Palma, and/or upgrades to the telescope infrastructure. LoIs can be submitted by groups or consortia from the three ING partner countries (UK, the Netherlands, or Spain) or from other countries. The Board may enter into negotiations with one or more submitters of LoI that take into account the following:

1. We welcome proposals for instrumentation, which can be either new instruments to be operated at the INT or improvements to existing instruments, for instance wider field of view or upgraded detectors, and/or for upgrades to the telescope infrastructure, such as the control software, mechanical systems, or dome. The aim of any of these investments should be the continued reliable and scientifically productive operation of the INT.

2. In return for investment, a group or consortium can request guaranteed time on the INT, up to a maximum of 50% of the available nights, and for a period which can span a considerable number of years. For the period(s) of any guaranteed time awarded, a consortium will be expected to provide suitably qualified personnel to both undertake observations and to maintain and support the instrument. Depending on the proposing consortium and instrument, the ING Board may ask for cash contributions during the operational phase for operations and maintenance of the INT.

3. An important reason for continuing to operate the INT and for upgrading it and/or equipping it with new instrumentation is continued access to the telescope for the UK, Dutch and Spanish communities. Proposers should therefore provide access to those communities.

The ING Board welcomes LoIs submitted by 30 September 2014 via email to the chair of the ING Board. Submitted LoIs will be discussed during the November 2014 Board meeting, after which detailed negotiations can begin with one or more teams proposing the most interesting ideas. The Board may solicit expert advice before its meeting by sending an LoI to a small number of independent assessors.

LoIs should consist of a science case, a technical description, a description of the proposing team, with particular emphasis on track record and management of the project, an indication of the amount of guaranteed time requested, a detailed budget indicating how the team will achieve financial support, and a proposed timeline. The total length of an LoI shall not exceed 10 pages.

For further information please contact the Chair of the ING Board, Christoph U. Keller,

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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