ING News_21 Aug 2014:
Most users of the ING telescopes are well aware that our plans for the continued operation of the WHT and INT in the next decade call for the execution of massive spectroscopic surveys with WEAVE, a multi-fibre spectrograph now in construction for the WHT prime focus.
Until the arrival of WEAVE, planned for late-2017, ING will continue to offer a broad range of instrumentation at the WHT. Diversity of instrumentation at the WHT has over the years proved to be scientifically very productive, and has fostered the development of both highly-skilled observers and innovative observing technologies.
In order to ensure we continue to provide front-line service to our communities while we prepare for the new era when WEAVE will dominate the share of nights at the WHT, we have analysed the demand for, productivity of and support/development requirements of the current instrumentation on WHT and INT. The ING communities were invited to express their interest in each of the various instruments on the WHT and INT. We are making the results of that consultation available at:
On the basis of current and future demand, as well as scientific productivity, we will continue to maintain and enhance a suite of facility instruments comprising ISIS, LIRIS, ACAM and AF2. But as of 2015A (i.e. from 1 Feb 2015), the adaptive-optics instruments (NAOMI, OASIS, INGRID and OSCA) will no longer be offered.
In addition, prime-focus imaging on the WHT will be offered through the upcoming visitor instrument PAUCam (commissioning expected in 2015A), instead of the current PFIP which will be decommissioned. With its 18 CCD’s, its set of 40 narrow-band filters and its 40-arcmin FOV, PAUCam will significantly enhance the imaging survey capabilities available to ING partner astronomers.
The WHT will remain available for visitor instruments. Visitor instruments now on offer to the community include GHaFaS, INTEGRAL, PN.S and ULTRACAM, soon to be joined by the prime-focus mosaic camera PAUCam. On the other hand, SAURON will soon finish its programme on our telescope. A success example for the WHT visitor instrument programme, SAURON is being succeeded by new and upcoming integral-field spectrographs such as MUSE on the VLT, MANGA on SDSS and, on the WHT, with the IFU modes of WEAVE.
Instrumentation in the WEAVE era:
Once WEAVE is operational, ING plans to devote ~70% of the available WHT time to WEAVE surveys, while 30% of the time will remain available for projects with existing instrumentation, including ISIS, LIRIS, ACAM, PAUCam as well as WEAVE.
Plans for the INT:
On the INT, WFC imaging and IDS long-slit spectroscopy will continue to be available, while a call for expressions of interest for developing that telescope and its instrumentation is being issued, see below, with the aim of opening the INT to new partners.