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ING web news release
26 May, 2022

The WEAVE Instrument, Mounted on the Prime Focus of the WHT

ING is pleased to announce that, on Wednesday 25 May 2022, the WEAVE prime focus unit was successfully mounted on the WHT. The prime focus unit hosts the six large lenses of the optical corrector, the instrument rotator, the fibre positioner with its two robots, and nearly 4000 optical fibres. After assembling the positioner to the corrector on Monday, and arranging cables and fibres on Tuesday, the entire assembly, weighing 7.7 tons, was lifted on Wednesday. Once attachment to the prime focus ring of the telescope was completed, the pre-tensioning elements were installed. Eight mechanical engineers and technicians from the ING staff completed the lift in close to 9 hours.

In the coming days, work continues running the fibre cables to the spectrograph, installing the control electronics cables, and completing the tensioning of the telescope vanes. The system will then be ready for continuing calibration and verification tasks on the positioner. WEAVE on-sky commissioning is planned for this summer, after which the observations of the science verification programme will be carried out in the fall.

WEAVE on the WHT. Credit: Javier Méndez. Large format: PNG.

Smiles at the end of the day: some of the mountain-top team responsible for installing WEAVE on the WHT on 25th May 2022. From left to right: Marc Balcells, Don Carlos Abrams, Kevin Dee, Roberto Martínez, Amado Guillén, Servando Rodríguez, Servando Rodríguez Jr, David González, Daniel Brito and Joel Concepción. Credit: Javier Méndez. Large format: PNG.

About WEAVE

The main components of WEAVE are:

  • Fibre–positioner, developed by the University of Oxford and RAL Space in the UK, with support from the IAC.
  • Prime-focus corrector, designed by ING and SENER, provided by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in Spain and manufactured by SENER. Support from Konkoly Observatory (HU). Lenses were polished by KiwiStar in New Zealand, funded from STFC, NOVA, INAF and ING, and mounted at SENER Aeroespacial (Spain) by SENER and ING.
  • Field Rotator, provided by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in Spain and manufactured by IDOM (Spain).
  • Optical fibres, provided by the Observatoire de Paris in France, manufactured in France, Canada and USA.
  • Spectrograph, built by NOVA in the Netherlands with optical design by RAL Space in the UK, optics manufactured at INAOE (MX) and support from INAF (IT) and the IAC (ES).
  • CCD detectors system, provided by Liverpool John Moores University in the UK.
  • Data processing, analysis and archiving, led by the University of Cambridge (UK) with support from the IAC (ES) and INAF (IT).

WEAVE's construction has been funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (UK), the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA, NL), the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO, NL), The Isaac Newton Group of Telescope (ING, UK/NL/ES), the Astrophysical Institute of the Canaries (IAC, ES), the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO, ES), the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MCI), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF, IT), the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS, FR), Paris Observatory – University of Paris Science and Letters (FR), Besançon Observatory (FR), Region île de France (F), Region Franche-Comté (FR), National Institute for Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE, MX), National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT, MX), Lund Observatory (SE), Uppsala University (SE), the Leibniz Institute AIP (DE), Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA, DE), University of Pennsylvania (US), and Konkoly Observatory (HU).


More information:


About the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes

The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes is a unit of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) established on La Palma. It operates the William Herschel Telescope and the Isaac Newton Telescope with financial assistance from the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) of the Netherlands, and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in Spain.



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Last modified: 10 June 2022