News

Sam Barden reports that previous to the application of an anti-reflection coating an inspection and review of the five smaller (650 mm diameter) lenses of the Wide Field Corrector (WFC) was held last week at KiwiStar Optics. They are shown below. The purple colour is due to a protective layer of photo-resist applied to protect the lens surfaces. The clear lens (L4) was undergoing final measurements, so it is uncoated.

On the left is Malcolm Young (the project manager), next to him is Jin Zhang (mechanical engineer). To the right of Joar Brynnel is Abe (one of the optical techs), Graeme Jonas (optics expert), Dijana Bogunovic (Optical Engineer with the unenviable job of stitching the test data together), Sandra Ramsay (KSO upper management), and Dave Cochrane (technical leader) to the far right.

The L4 test data are still being reviewed, but the go-ahead to have all of the lenses shipped to Quantum Coating in the USA to receive their anti-reflecting coating is expected by the end of the week. The largest WFC lens, L1, is already in the USA for aspherisation. Due to the time it takes to do the aspherisation, L1 will actually be the last one to be coated, but all should be finished by the end of this year.

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A message from the Principal Investigator, Roelof de Jong:

The new extragalactic dPS: Luke Davies

The new Galactic dPS: Diane Feuillet

It gives me great pleasure to announce a few new appointments in the 4MOST organisation.

As announced a few months ago, it was decided that the 4MOST Project Scientists needed extra support for their many tasks in the form of deputy Project Scientists. The selection has now been completed and I am pleased to announce that the new Galactic deputy Project Scientist is Diane Feuillet and the extragalactic dPS is Luke Davies, effective immediately. The different roles and responsibilities of the PSs and dPSs will be worked out in more detail in the coming months, so stay tuned for more information.

The new Galactic IWG2 leader: Jesper Storm

The new extragalactic IWG2 leader: Peder Norberg

I am also announcing a transition in leadership of IWG2. As confirmed by the SCB, the new Galactic IWG2 lead will be Jesper Storm, while the new extragalactic lead will be Peder Norberg. This leadership transition will become effective after the CfPRR review at ESO, i.e., on 22 March 2019. I hereby want to thank Thomas Boller and Cristina Chiappini for their hard work and great dedication as IWG2 leads in the past years. You have made important contributions towards establishing the foundations of the 4MOST survey strategy.

Please be extra supportive towards the newly appointed people while they are ramping up to their new tasks!

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In early May 2018 the Final Design Review (FDR) for 4MOST was held. In this review, most of the system and subsystem design and analysis was presented and thoroughly reviewed by a panel of ESO and external experts. Following FDR, the subsystems that were reviewed entered the manufacturing and assembly (MAIT) phase. However, some of the subsystems were not ready for review at that point in time, and it was agreed between ESO and the 4MOST Project Office to schedule a second review dubbed FDR-2.

FDR-2 was held on 6-7 March 2019 at ESO in Garching. Participants included Project Office members, subsystem Work Package managers and engineers, Review Panel members from ESO, and invited external experts. The scope of the review was to review the final design of the Long Fiber Feed, Metrology, and Cooling subsystems, the Acquisition & Guiding MAIT, the Wide Field Corrector verification, as well as some system aspects, such as assembly, integration, test and verification, including the Focal Surface Test Tools (FSTT). The meeting was held in a very constructive, open and collaborative spirit, and the preliminary feedback from the panel was quite positive. In particular, for all the subsystems listed above, early feedback was very encouraging and preparations for entering the MAIT phase can now commence. The FSTT will be subject of a dedicated review meeting this summer.

This means that, with a few exceptions, the 4MOST facility is now in full production mode. The character of the project is changing quite substantially, which takes some time to get used to, but at the same time it is very motivating to see the facility hardware and software taking shape. To keep track of the rapid developments, the Project Office is now quite busy working with the partners through many Work Package Mid-Term Reviews and Lab Acceptance Reviews.

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The March 2019 issue of ESO’s The Messenger, published today, is dedicated entirely to 4MOST. It contains 13 articles, written by the 4MOST Consortium, which introduce 4MOST to the ESO community. Three overview articles describe the 4MOST project and instrument, the 4MOST science operations and its current survey plan, while another ten articles, one for each of the Consortium Surveys, describe the scientific plans of the 4MOST Consortium.

This special 4MOST issue of The Messenger was published in preparation of the joint ESO/4MOST workshop Preparing for 4MOST: A community workshop introducing ESO’s next-generation spectroscopic survey facility. This workshop, in turn, is meant to help the community prepare for a Call for Letters for Intent for Public Surveys with 4MOST, expected to be issued by ESO in mid-2019. The publication of the 4MOST Messenger issue thus marks the beginning of an exciting process, at the end of which a number of Community Surveys will join the Consortium Surveys to form the final 4MOST Survey Programme for the first 5 years of operations.

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Joar Brynnel reports that on 21 February 2019, 4MOST engineering staff from the Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen verified and accepted the support structures for the two low-resolution spectrographs (LRS) at the manufacturer Windelband. In the photo below you can see Heiko Anwand using a laser tracker to verify dimensions with high accuracy and Katja Hauptner holding the retro. The support structures will now be sent for painting. Two of the three supports will then be sent to CRAL for LRS integration activities, and the third structure will be sent to ESO Chile for interface verification on the VISTA telescope.

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The Project Office would like to introduce the new 4MOST Instrument Scientist, Genoveva Micheva, who has replaced Ollie Schnurr in the AIP/4MOST Project Office. Genoveva’s most recent position was in the InnoFSpec group at the AIP, and she joined the 4MOST team on 1 December 2018.

Genoveva earned her PhD in Astronomy at the Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, Sweden. Her professional background is that of both an astronomer and an engineer. Her many years of experience in working at observatories (NOT, La Palma, and SUBARU, Hawaii) provide her with a good foundation for understanding the importance of being the interface between the instrument builder team and future users.

We would like to welcome Genoveva on board, and we are looking forward to working with her towards the completion of 4MOST!

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The 4MOST All Hands Meeting 2018 took place in Heidelberg on 24 – 28 September 2018. The meeting was hosted by the 4MOST team from the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy and took place at Heidelberg University’s Mathematikon.

This fourth annual ‘All Hands Meeting’ of the 4MOST consortium brought together consortium members working to define, construct, operate and scientifically exploit the 4MOST Facility. This included the engineers, managers and scientists responsible for the delivery of the 4MOST Facility, the scientists planning the science operations in the infrastructure working groups, and the scientists from the large number of institutes involved in defining the ground-breaking consortium science surveys. Also, Katryn Kreckel provided some context for the meeting by giving us a wonderful overview of the SDSS V survey.

A particular focus of the meeting was on the planning of activities leading up to FDR2 and the Call for Proposals Readiness Review. Good progress was made in many areas of science operations planning, in particular on the survey strategy, while the Surveys discussed their target catalogues and White Papers.

The meeting’s programme can be found here.

 

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4MOST will be a state-of-the-art, high-multiplex, fibre-fed spectroscopic survey facility at ESO’s 4-m VISTA telescope, with a field-of-view large enough to survey a large frac­tion of the southern sky in a few years. During the first 5 years of operations 4MOST will execute a comprehensive programme of both Galactic and extragalactic Public Surveys. 30% of the observing time during this period will be available to the community (while the other 70% will be awarded to the 4MOST Consortium in return for delivering and operating the instrument). The process of selecting Community Surveys will be initiated by a “Call for Letters of Intent for Public Spectroscopic Surveys”, to be issued by ESO in mid-2019.

In preparation of this Call, ESO and the 4MOST Consortium are jointly organising a workshop to take place at ESO on 6-8 May 2019. The purpose of this workshop is to prepare the ESO community for this exciting scientific opportunity, to assist potential PIs to successfully respond to the Call, and to foster scientific collaborations between the community and the 4MOST Consortium. Specifically, the goals are to provide the ESO community with up-to-date information regarding (i) the 4MOST facility, its capabilities, survey strategy, data reduction and science pipelines; (ii) the 4MOST Consortium’s scientific plans; and (iii) the application and selection process.

Please register on the workshop’s website.

A 4MOST issue of The Messenger has been published in preparation of this workshop.

A Science Team meeting will be held at the MPE in Garching on 9-10 May 2019, immediately following the workshop.

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The current 4MOST Instrument Scientist, Olivier Schnurr, is leaving the project for bigger and brighter things, and the Project Office would like to thank Ollie for his many contributions to 4MOST.

As a result, we have a job vacancy in the 4MOST Project Office. If you have strong analytic and communication skills and are interested in instrument requirements, calibration, commissioning, observing strategy, etc., and are looking for a new and exciting opportunity, please see the job ad.

Please feel free to distribute this vacancy to any candidate that you think might be suitable and interested. Applications originating from underrepresented groups within 4MOST would be especially appreciated.

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The inaugural 4MOST Science Team Meeting was held at Geneva Observatory on 18 – 21 June 2018. More than 40 participants discussed a wide range of topics in connection with the scientific planning for the 4MOST survey programme. The focused discussion sessions, the general collaborative spirit and the welcoming atmosphere at Geneva Observatory all contributed to the success of this meeting.

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