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Simco, a simulation software for CONICA, the coude nir camera for the very large telescope

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CONICA is an acronym for COudé Near Infrared Camera. It is one of the four currently planned Infrared instruments for ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. This multimode instrument is to be installed at the Coudé-focus (of Unit Telescope no. 1), where adaptive optics and speckle interferometry will also be available. High angular resolution imaging (to the diffraction limit) will be possible in the 1–5 μm range, as well as spectroscopy with low- and medium resolution and polarimetry by means of Wollaston prism and wiregrid analysers. Various softwares are developed for this instrument. One of them: the Simulation Software has a threefold aim: 1. provide the user with feedback information on his/her choices of observational parameters. This is be achieved by displaying the calculated performance and throughput of the combined Source-Atmosphere-Telescope-Camera-Detector system in various formats, such as images, tables, isophotical images ... for point as well as for extended sources (also annular, double, etc.); 2. verify if his expectations are realistic, before actually using CONICA itself. 3. give feedback on the design to the developers of the instrument.

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  1. 1.

    Lenzen, R. et al.: 1992, CONICA Preliminary Design Study Doc. No. VLT-PDS-NIC-14200-0001,

  2. 2.

    McCaughrean, M. J.: 1988, PhD Thesis: The Astronomical Application of Infrared Array Detectors pp. 15–140, Edinburgh

  3. 3.

    ClaesP.: 1993, The significance for IR-astronomy of ESO's Very Large Telescope Instruments CONICA and ISAAC: Development of SIMulation Software (SIMCO) for CONICA, the COudé Near Infrared Camera Astrophysical Institute of Liège, Belgium

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On leave from his original institute, now at ESTEC in the ISO-project

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Claes, P. Simco, a simulation software for CONICA, the coude nir camera for the very large telescope. Exp Astron 3, 121–122 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00430129

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Key words

  • VLT
  • simulation