The UK, via STFC, is funding R&D into future instruments for the ELT, ensuring that UK astronomers will be well-placed to benefit from the scientific discoveries that the telescope will deliver in the 2020s and beyond.
Three instruments are now under construction:
- HARMONI: visible/near-IR integral field spectrograph [ESO release]
- MICADO: near-IR AO-corrected imager [ESO release]
- METIS: mid-IR imager and spectrograph [ESO release]
ESO's Instrumentation Roadmap lays out the plans for future instruments. As part of a coordinated programme to ensure the maximum science return, the UK is supporting R&D toward instruments beyond this first batch. The UK is participating in Phase A studies of future MOS (MOSAIC) and HIRES instruments (ESO release), and in long-term plans toward a planet-finding instrument called EPICS. The UK is also a major partner in the CANARY pathfinder experiment for laser guide star, multi-object adaptive optics (MOAO), which uses the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope in La Palma.