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End of COM 2
Friday 5 November 2004

Commissioning 2 ended on 26 October 2004. The AMBER team went back exhausted to Europe but with a certain sense of achievement. Without recensing all results and actions which will be in the commissioning test reports yet to be finalized, we can already present the following results:
- stability of the instrument hardware. When we arrived, by switching on the calibration light, we automatically got signal on the detector although the light is going through single mode fibers and the slit of a spectragraph.
- AMBER now operates routinely in low spectral resolution in the H and K bands [1] and in medium spectral resolution in the K and H bands [2].
- AMBER can operate 3 telescopes easily.
- AMBER has an instrumental transfer function [3] close to 1 when the atmospheric conditions are excellent
- the limiting magnitude of AMBER in medium resolution K is between 6 and 7.

Issues remaining to be tested and checked:
- identify all sources of vibration of the VLTI. One major source has been found leading to a factor of 3 of contrast loss. Corrective actions are being taken.
- better VLTI baseline model is required to evaluate the limiting magnitude of AMBER in low spectral resolution.
- optimization of entrance flux (injection adjustment of AMBER) and interface with the new VLTI IRIS image sensor.
- the differential OPD between bands and Atmospheric Dispersion Compensator have not been tested yet, especially in low spectral resolution.
- parallelization of fringe search with 3 telescopes.
- interface with the FINITO fringe tracker.
- performances with the Auxiliary Telescopes.
- improve the alignement maintenance by modifying some mechanics

Next commissioning run on the sky is foreseen at the beginning of period P75 (starting April 2005). A Science Demonstration Time run and a Guaranteed Time Observation run are planned around Christmas with 3 UTs.


Notes:

  • [1] Results obtained with the siderostats mainly, but also with the UTs.
  • [2] Results obtained with the UTs.
  • [3] The instrument contrast is calibrated internally and is not taken into account.

Other news :
First stellar image from AMBER
Amber Spectrograph mounted and operationnal (01/03/2004)
AMBER packing
Fringes at medium spectral resolution (25/03/2004)
Faintest observations on a quasar
New baselines for VLTI
First astrophysical observations starting next week...
AMBER team is leaving Paranal (26/04/2004)
Amber mounting status (05/03/2004)
AMBER to see star light tonight? (20/03/2004)




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