The ESO and ESO-ALMA Users Committee (UC) meeting number 45 was held on 27-28 April 2021 once again via video-conference due to travel restrictions in most European countries.

National representatives met via video conference with ESO and ALMA heads of departments and with ESO Director General (DG) to advise the DG on matters pertaining to the performance, scientific access, operations and data management facilities of the La Silla Paranal Observatory and ALMA.

The agenda and presentations are available at this URL.

We encourage users to consult the following documents containing important information:

  • Results from the ESO-UC Poll 2021 from the Spanish community are now summarised in this document. The full report including all countries is at this URL. All representatives noticed a decrease in the participation to the national polls.
  • The recommendations made by the UC after the April 2021 meeting are available in this report.
  • In response to UC recommendations from previous meeting (UC44), please read the document: “ESO replies to the recommendations made by the UC meeting 44rd”.
  • The latest news related to ESO operations are collected at this URL. All users should refer to this website before contacting ESO or ESO UC representatives, especially during those times of pandemic (but not only).
  • We remind users that the science portal for the ESO archive is available at this URL. Users are welcome to browse archival data and report any issue(s) with ESO.

The next chair of the ESO-UC is Miroslava Dessauges (Swiss representative).

These are some highlights of the UC meeting 45 (UC45) that ESO and ESO-ALMA users should be aware of:

  • Chile is still suffering the pandemic hampering ESO operations significantly. Updated information is available at this URL.
  • Several new instruments (or updates of previous one) will become available in the coming months/years: CRIRES+, IRLOS+, MAVIS, FORS.
  • ESO Council approved in December 2020 completing financing the construction and bringing into operations the E-ELT with an additional 130 MEuros. Progress continues in all fronts with delays. There is a new website for the E-ELT: Instruments include, MICADO, HARMONI, MAORY, METIS, HIRES, MOSAIC.
  • A document about ESO 2021-2030 Strategy, approved by Council in December 2020, will be released in June 2021.
  • ALMA: initiative for an EASC-Advanced Data Product and a science archive with improved search interface will come online soon.
  • Coming soon a new helpdesk tool called “deskpro”: web-based entry to request support from ESO replacing the current mails to help-desk.
  • KMOS processed data stream available and a new QC Level “QC2” process will focus on improvements of the quality of science data + processing of archival data.
  • ESO ETC: an updated framework stack, rich interactive plots v2 available at for 4MOST and CRIRES+. Other instruments will follow progressively.
  • P107 has been operated with reduced staff but pandemic is having effect on P107: it looks hard to complete all P107 proposals with the addition of proposals from special call for P107 that will increase the load.

Last update 31 May 2021 by Nicolas Lodieu