Volume 575, March 2015
|Number of page(s)||27|
|Published online||13 February 2015|
The Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA): Design, technical overview, and performance
School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary University of
Mile End Rd,
2 RAL Space, Harwell Oxford, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX, UK
3 Astrophysics, University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH, UK
4 UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
5 Senior Optical Consultant, 9 Abercorn Road,, Edinburgh EH8 7DD, UK
6 Centre for Astronomical Instrumentation, University of Durham, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
7 National Solar Observatory, NSO/DKIST, 950 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
8 SKA Organisation, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Lower Withington, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 9DL, UK
9 Solaire Systems, 55/10 Bath Street, Edinburgh EH15 1HE, UK
Received: 12 September 2014
Accepted: 15 December 2014
The Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) is the 4-m wide-field survey telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory, equipped with the world’s largest near-infrared imaging camera (VISTA IR Camera, VIRCAM), with 1.65 degree diameter field of view, and 67 Mpixels giving 0.6 deg2 active pixel area, operating at wavelengths 0.8−2.3 μm. We provide a short history of the project, and an overview of the technical details of the full system including the optical design, mirrors, telescope structure, IR camera, active optics, enclosure and software. The system includes several innovative design features such as the f/1 primary mirror, thedichroic cold-baffle camera design and the sophisticated wavefront sensing system delivering closed-loop 5-axis alignment of the secondary mirror. We conclude with a summary of the delivered performance, and a short overview of the six ESO public surveys in progress on VISTA.
Key words: telescopes / instrumentation: photometers / instrumentation: miscellaneous / instrumentation: detectors
© ESO, 2015
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