The “design and development of Astronomical Instrumentation” has been a key aim of the National Programme for Astronomy and Astrophysics from the beginning. Instrumentation, along with a suitable planning of its scientific exploitation, is imperative to have competitive Astronomical ICTS.
This working group produced in 2008 a complete census including all the existing initiatives on astronomical instrumentation at different Spanish institutions and in various stages of development (concept, study, design, construction or commissioning)
It is very necessary that the Spanish scientific community has, in this set of large telescopes that are the national ICTS and ESO, a range of post-focus instruments as much optimized as possible in order to do frontline research.
The Astronomy Infrastructures Network has been entrusted a strategic advising role concerning the “Protocol for design and development of Astronomical Instrumentation” that will be channelled through this working group. The main goal is to ensure that the new astronomical instrumentation meets not only criteria of scientific-technical excellence by the proposers, but also responds to real needs for the research community, and the newly to be developed instrument is known and acceptable by the concerned Telescope/ICTS. New instrumentation should also be part of a strategy for the medium to the long term.
Specifically, this working group is entrusted:
- To know all the initiatives concerning the acquisition of astronomical instrumentation for national and international ICTS in which the Spanish community is involved.
- To participate in the selection and monitoring of the astronomical instrumentation projects in the terms directed by the Board of the RIA, issuing reports when necessary.
- To estimate the resources needed to undertake these developments in the medium term.
It is essential that take part of this working group, MINECO staff in charge of the National Plan management, staff from GRANTECAN and from other centres where these activities take place (IAC, CSIC, Universities and other OPIs), as well as personnel involved in the ESO Committees. A person from the Directorate of Aeronautics, Industrial Returns and Space of CDTI will also take part of this working group.