The Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA): Design, technical overview, and performance
Astronomy and Astrophysics
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© ESO 2015.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, the dichroic 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.
AuthorsSutherland, W; Emerson, J; Dalton, G; Atad-Ettedgui, E; Beard, S; Bennett, R; Bezawada, N; Born, A; Caldwell, M; Clark, P; Craig, S; Henry, D; Jeffers, P; Little, B; McPherson, A; Murray, J; Stewart, M; Stobie, B; Terrett, D; Ward, K; Whalley, M; Woodhouse, G