Confirmed Invited Speakers

  • Dr. T. Augusteijn, Nordic Optical Telescope
  • Dr. M. Balcells, Isaac Newton Group
  • Mrs. M. Barreto, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
  • Dr. T. Berkefeld, Leibniz-Institut für Sonnenphysik
  • Dr. P. Calisse, Cherenkov Telescope Array
  • Dr. R. Corradi, Gran Telescopio Canarias
  • Dr. V. Dhillon, University of Sheffield
  • Dr. P. Fernandez, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
  • Dr. B. Gelly, Themis Telescope
  • Dr. T. Granzer, Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Postdam
  • Dr. H. Jermak, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Dr. E. Joven, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
  • Dr. D. Kiselman, Institute for Solar Physics of Stockholm University
  • Dr. M. Martínez González, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
  • Dr. D. Mazin, Max-Planck-Institut für Physik
  • Dr. R. Mirzoyan, Max-Planck-Institut für Physik
  • Dr. I. Montilla, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
  • Dr. C. Muñoz Tuñon, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
  • Dr. G. Pareschi, INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera
  • Dr. E. Poretti, Telescopio Nazionale Galileo
  • Dr. J. A. Rubiño, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
  • Dr. Z. Sodnik, European Space Agency
  • Prof. I. Steele, Liverpool Telescope

Scientific Programme

Monday, 11th November



Title of the contribution


12.00 - 14.30




13.15 - 13.30 Dr. Hector Socas (Museum Director) Exhibition of the transit of Mercury  
13.30 - 14.30 Lunch    

14.30 - 14.45

Prof. R. Rebolo (IAC Director) & Dr. J. Alfonso L. Aguerri (Head Technology Division of IAC)

Conference wellcome


    Chairwoman of the session Mrs. Mary Barreto

14.45 - 15.15

Dr. Romano Corradi

The instrumental plan of Gran Telescopio Canarias

Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) has an ongoing ambitious instrumental plan which foresees the implementation of up to eight scientific instruments installed simultaneously at its various focal stations. I will make a general presentation of this plan, with emphasis on the unique capabilities of the GTC and the possible synergies with other facilities at the Observatorios de Canarias.

15.15 - 15.45

Dr. Marc Balcells

The Future of ING, right around the corner

I will describe the status of instrumentation projects that will shape ING observing in the next decade. WEAVE, ongoing integration at the WHT, will deliver eight massive multi-fibre spectroscopy surveys. HARPS3, expected at the INT in 2021-22, will give new life to a refurbished, robotic INT, and provide a powerful exopolanet studies capability to the ING communities. Past and future telescope modernisation projects will also be reviewed. 

15.45 - 16.15

Dr. Ennio Poretti

The Telescopio Nazionale Galileo in the 2020 decade

I will review the status of the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) after the last changes in the focal plane instrumentation. On the basis of the answers to the previous calls. I will look in the crystal ball to see the future propensities of the users and their possible requests. A special consideration will be given to space missions in order to guarantee the necessary follow-up. On the same context, the use of a 4m-class telescope in the era of multimessenger astronomy will be (re)considered.

16.15 - 16.45




16.45 - 17.15

Dr. Thomas Augusteijn

NOT in the coming decade

Over the past decade and a half, our efforts has focused on increasing flexibility in scheduling and service observing; specialise in transient and variable sources. To optimise this further, our aim is to compress the instrumentation into a single, fixed set-up. We plan to equip the NOT with a single new, permanent focal-plane instrument, the NOT Transient Explorer (NTE), offering optical and NIR imaging and spectroscopy and modelled on the highly successful X-shooter at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). Together with an upgrade program to further improve the radial-velocity stability of the high-resolution FIbre-fed Echelle Spectrograph (FIES), also permanently available, this will make the NOT a powerful tool for studying a wide range of transient and variable astrophysical sources in the coming decade.

17.15 - 17.45

Prof. Iain Steele

Instrumentation for the Liverpool and Other Robotic Telescopes

The Liverpool Telescope is the world's largest and most comprehensively instrumented robotic telescope.  Its current instrument suite includes optical and IR imagers, a fast readout optical imager, a medium resolution IFU fibre-fed spectrograph, a low resolution high throughput slit spectrograph and a high time resolution, multiband imaging polarimeter.  All instruments are mounted simultaneously on the telescope and can be selected by a folding mirror in under 20 seconds.  I will describe our experience in building and operating such instruments, in particular discussing engineering for low maintenance and high reliability and the lessons learned over the past 15 years.  I will then go on to describe our future instrumentation, which include a higher throughput dual beam imaging polarimeter (MOPTOP) currently in commissioning and  our plans for a replacement medium resolution spectrograph with higher efficiency than the current design.  I will also briefly discuss our OPTICON funded programme which aims to develop our low resolution spectroraph(SPRAT) into a common design that is being replicated on telescopes at OHP and SAAO and also provide a common spectroscopic data reduction pipeline for these and other instruments.

17.45 - 18.15

Dr. Enrique Joven

 Future Detectors for the Telescopes at the Canarias Observatories

The “state of the art” in the field of the astronomical detectors and cameras is in continuous evolution. New techniques are emerging all over the world, and we must be kept updated and our instruments improved. We will briefly review here current developments in different wavelength ranges, as CCDs, CMOS, EMCCDs or hybrid MCT technologies for example, but also BSI-CMOS or the superb superconducting TES or MKIDs arrays, among others. Devoted electronics and cryogenics will be examined too. Finally, we will remark the need for a stable facility in the Canarias Observatories to test and characterize these detectors and cameras in a wide spectral range, as the currently upgraded IAC-LISA one (Laboratory of Imaging and Sensors for Astronomy).

Tuesday, 12th November



Title of the contribution


    Chairman of the session Dr. Adriano Ghedina

9.30 - 10.00

Dr. Jose Alberto Rubiño

Future instrumentation for CMB studies from the Teide Observatory

The Teide Observatory has a long tradition (more than 30 years) in the study of CMB anisotropies. At this moment, the main CMB installation at the observatory is QUIJOTE, two radio telescopes with the aim of characterizing the polarization of the CMB and other Galactic and  extragalactic physical processes in the frequency range 10-40 GHz and at angular scales larger. In this talk, I will review the status of the QUIJOTE instrumentation (MFI, TGI, FGI and MFI2), including also visitor instruments (KISS). I will also present the funded CMB instruments to be installed (or in installation process) at the Observatory: GroundBird, LSPE-STRIP, and TMS. Taken all together, this set of experiments will consolidate the TO as a reference observatory for CMB studies, covering an extremely broad and unique range of frequencies, from 10 to 280 GHz. Finally, I will describe the plan for future instrumentation at the Observatory in the next decade, within the context of the European Roadmap for CMB research.

10.00 - 10.30

Prof. Razmik Mirzoyan

Extreme energy frontiers of Multi-Messenger Astronomy (EMMA) 

We discuss a project for extending the energy frontiers of neutrino and gamma-ray astronomies with the goal to make breakthrough studies on the origin of the astrophysical neutrino flux, the origin of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays as well as for studying if the dark matter could be made of super-heavy particles. The detector concept is an array of small (2m Ø), adjustable direction, non-tracking 20°x20° wide field-of-view telescopes, which together will cover a large solid angle and provide a huge collection area. The telescopes will be equipped with high efficiency photo-sensors and fast readout electronics. These will monitor the sky above the Earth horizon and an area on the ground below the horizon from high mountain altitude as, for example, from Teide on Tenerife, to image Cherenkov and fluorescence emission from extensive air showers produced by interactions of cosmic rays and gamma-rays and neutrinos with energies above 10 TeV (cosmic and gamma rays) or 10 PeV (for neutrinos) up to >1 EeV (neutrinos and cosmic rays). Characterization of the high-energy end of astrophysical neutrino flux above 10 PeV and study of its gamma-ray counterpart in 10 TeV-1 PeV range will provide a clue about its origin. The combined neutrino, gamma-ray and cosmic ray data could lead to breakthroughs on the problems of the origin of UHECR and on the nature of the dark matter 

10.30 - 11.00

Prof. Zoran Sodnik

Upgrades in ESA's optical ground station (OGS) to meet future telecommunication needs

Since 20 years ESA’s optical ground station (OGS) is used for commissioning and testing optical communication payloads on board orbiting satellites in space, such as ARTEMIS (ESA), OICETS (JAXA), NFIRE (US-DoD), TerraSAR-X (DLR), LADEE (NASA), Alphasat (ESA), ISS, EDRS-A (ESA), Micius (CSA) and EDRS-C (ESA). In addition, the OGS is used as a test bed for atmospheric transmission experiments to improve the reliability and quality of service of optical communication links. In November 2019 the Cassegrain Adaptive Receive Optics (CARO) system will be installed in the OGS to enable the reception of very high data rates. Experiments are ongoing to develop transmit beam pre-distortion technology (based on probing the wave front on the downlink signal, or by using a Sodium laser guide star) to significantly improve the quality and the reliability of the uplink signal towards a satellite and through atmospheric turbulence. The presentation will give an overview of all upcoming upgrades in the OGS to meet future telecommunication needs. It will also list new telescope installation at the Observatorio del Teide (OT) that are planned by ESA.

11.00 - 11.30




11.30 -12.00

Prof. Bernard Gelly

New life for the THEMIS solar telescope


12.00 - 12.30

Dr. Dan Kiselman

SST as a trailblazer for the European Solar Telescope

The Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope on La Palma is a vacuum telescope with a clear aperture and integrated adaptive optics producing diffraction-limited observations of the sun. Its current instrument park is designed for multi-line spectrometry and spectropolarimetry to investigate the solar atmosphere. While anticipating the planned 4-m European Solar Telescope, we are trying to make as much as possible out of the existing instruments and the one major new instrument that is planned. That instrument is called HeSP and is a micro-lens based spectrograph or IFU designed for spectropolarimetry of the He I 10830Å line which will add unique diagnostics of the solar chromosphere and its elusive magnetic fields.

12.30 - 13.00

Dr. Thomas Berkerfeld

Instrumental Developments at the 1.5m GREGOR Solar Telescope


13.00 - 15.00 




    Chairwoman of the session Dr. Helen Jermak

15.00 - 15.30

Dr. Vik Dhillon

GOTO - the Gravitational wave Optical Transient Observer

GOTO is an autonomous array of wide-field optical telescopes optimised to search for counterparts to gravitational wave events. A prototype is currently operated on La Palma by Warwick University of behalf of an international collaboration of 10 institutions. It employs a modular approach with the intent to scale operations to a 16 telescope array on La Palma, and a matching deployment in Australia. It mixes a high-cadence sky survey with a variety of responsive mode observations based on external triggers such as GW events, neutrino detections and other high-energy detections such as GRBs. Its sky survey component will also uncover a broad variety of optical transients. It will act as a feeder facility to bigger telescopes and instruments, including thosee located in the Canaries. The aim is to push for a real-time data-flow so that discoveries can be identified quickly and follow-up observations can be triggered on the same night, permitting the characterisation of short-lived and rapidly evolving events. We present our future plans and the connections between GOTO and other future developments at the Canary observatories.

15.30 - 16.00

Prof. Thomas Granzer

Is the future of software for robotic astronomy Open?

For more than 10 years, the AIP, together with the IAC, has operated the robotic observatory STELLA at Izana observatory. It consists of two 1.2m optical telescopes with rather distinct instrumentation: A high-resolution spectrograph, SES, and a wide-field imager WiFSIP. This distinct instrumentation and its consequential distinct need on telescope control system sophistication lead to a rather generic software design for the robotic control. This software framework is now on the verge to become open source. In this talk, I will highlight the capabilities of the different software modules by mating them with concrete challenges found in observational astronomy. A clear path on how this framework could be utilized for future projects will be presented.

16.00 - 16.30

Dr. Casiana Muñoz Tuñon

Site Characterization: Achieving Optimum Observations.


16.30 - 17.00 




17.00 - 17.30

Dr. Iciar Montilla

Future Adaptive Optics instrumentation at the Canary Islands

The increasing interest and involvement of the IAC in the design and development of Adaptive Optics instrumentation has its height in the two main projects that we are developing now:  GTCAO and its LGS upgrade, and the MCAO system for EST. Innovation, complexity, and the use of state-of-the-art technologies are the common points of these projects. The adaptive optics system for the 10-m class Gran Telescopio Canarias is designed to be a facility providing a high resolution input to any scientific instrument placed at its focal plane. The expected Strehl ratio @ K-band with bright natural guide stars is 0.65. The LGS upgrade will open up the scientific possibilities of GTC enlarging the sky coverage of the AO system and allowing to study at high resolution more scientific targets. The Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics system (MCAO) of the European Solar Telescope will correct the turbulence for a wide range of observing elevations, from zenith to almost horizon, providing wide-field high spatial resolution observations in the visible. An arrangement of 4 high altitude DM’s is necessary to reach the science requirement of a homogeneous Strehl higher than 50% all over the 1 arcmin field of view. In addition to this, IAC has a long trajectory of research activities in AO, the last being CaNaPy. CaNaPy is a demonstrator for LGS-AO technologies at visible wavelengths with pyramid WFS, pulsed laser, dynamic refocussing and uplink beam correction. It is a joint effort of ESO, Durham University, LESIA, INAF and IAC. In particular, IAC is involved in the demonstration of laser uplink beam correction for astronomical instrumentation and optical communications as well. We will explain the present status and future achievements of these three projects.

17.30 - 18.00

Dr. Patricia Fernandez

Present and future of the Cryogenic Cooling Systems of Astronomical Instruments in the Observatories of the Canary Islands.

The Canary Islands Observatories (Observatorio del Teide in Tenerife and Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in La Palma) are multipurpose observation platforms. Its excellent sky quality makes it the perfect place not only for Nocturnal Observations but also for Solar Physics. The Observatories also attract researchers in Cosmic Microwave Background Astrophysics and High Energy Astrophysics. The astronomical instruments and experiments located in these Observatories require, in most cases, cryogenic cooling systems. This oral contribution will inform about the cryogenic cooling systems currently in use and the future cryogenic cooling systems that the next generation of astronomical instruments will require.






Dinner of the meeting



Wednesday, 13th November



Title of the contribution


    Chairman of the session Prof. Vik Dhillon

9.30 - 10.00

Mrs. Mary Barreto

European Solar Telescope STATUS

EST will be the largest solar telescope ever built in Europe. With a 4-metre primary mirror, and state-of-the-art technology, it will furnish astronomers with a unique tool to understand the Sun, our active star. EST it's a consortium of 18 countries and represents an investment of about 200 M€. The Project Office is taking shape with the main task of making possible for EST to be at the frontier of technological development since first light. In this talk, the status of the project will be presented and principally focused in the technical works under develop in the actual EST Preparatory Phase and the  timeline of the project.

10.00 - 10.30

Dr. Daniel Mazin

Astroparticle physics and astrophysics with Cherenkov Telescope Array

The construction of the first Large Size Telescope (LST1) of CTA finished in 2018, and the telescope is now undergoing an intensive commissioning phase. Three more proposed LSTs will follow at the ORM in 2021/22. The CTA Northern observatory at the ORM will consist in addition of up to 15 proposed Medium Size Telescopes (MST). The first five of them being deployed before 2023. In this presentation I outline the status of the LST1 telescope, construction plans for the upcoming years and discuss early physics, which can be done at the northern CTA observatory.

10.30 - 11.00

Dr. Paolo Calisse

Building the Cherenkov Telescope Array: a very first world-wide, open observatory for high energy gamma-ray astronomy

CTA will represents the commencement of a new era in ground based, very high gamma-ray astronomy. It will feature highly improved angular resolution and energy range, a wider field of view and greater sensitivity than any existing or proposed telescope of this kind. Thanks to two sites located in the two hemispheres, CTA will allow the coverage of most of the sky, allowing unprecedented observations and detailed imaging of a large number of gamma ray sources. We will describe the current plans for the construction of this one-of-a-kind observatory. We will also introduce an idea for an integrated meteorological office at the ORM, based on similar experiences at other major observatories in the world.

11.00 - 11.30 




11.30 - 12.00

Dr. Giovanni Pareschi

The ASTRI Mini-Array @Teide: observing the gamma-ray sky up to 100 TeV

The ASTRI Project aims at the design and development of a technologically innovative solution for small (4 m diameter) and large field of view (about 10 degrees) telescopes, of the same class of the small-size telescopes (SSTs) of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) devoted to cover the energy band up to 100 TeV and beyond. In the first phase of the project, a SST prototype in a dual-mirror Schwarzschild-Couder (SC) configuration has been installed in Mt. Etna (Italy). The prototype, called the ASTRI-Horn telescope (in honor of the Italian-Jewish astronomer Horn d'Arturo, inventor of the segmented mirror solution for astronomical telescopes), has started its scientific operation in fall 2018 and has provided the first detection of very high-energy (VHE) gamma-ray emission from the Crab Nebula by a Cherenkov telescope in dual mirror configuration. A camera based on SiPM sensor and CITIROC read-out electronic has been specifically developed for the scope. As a continuation of the project, a mini-array of 9 (up to 12) ASTRI SST dual-mirror telescopes is currently being implemented. It will be deployed at the Observatorio del Teide, in the Canary Island of Tenerife in collaboration with IAC. Thanks to its expected overall performance, better than current Cherenkov telescopes' arrays for energies above ~10 TeV and up to 100 TeV, and its wide field of view, the ASTRI mini-array will be an important instruments to perform soon deep observations of the Galactic and extra-Galactic sky at the TeV energy scale and beyond. Important synergy with already existing IACT and Water Cherenkov facilities in the both northern and southern hemisphere are also foreseen. The ASTRI mini-array will also pave the way to the observations to be done with the CTAO SSTs sub-array at the southern site. In this contribution, we introduce the ASTRI concept in the context of the CTA Observatory and discuss the scientific prospects of the mini-array in the fields of Galactic and extra-Galactic astrophysics, and fundamental physics.


12.00 - 12.30

Dr. Helen Jermak

The New Robotic Telescope

The Liverpool Telescope (LT) has been operating autonomously and robotically for fifteen years and continues to provide flexible observations to a wide variety of science and education users. While the 2-metre LT is currently used extensively for groundbreaking time-domain research, we are looking toward the future and the development of a new facility to co-habit with the LT on Roque de los Muchachos. The New Robotic Telescope (NRT), a collaborative project between Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), will be a 4-metre class facility designed for rapid (within 30 seconds) robotic response to transient triggers. Continuing the LT flexible operations model, the NRT will be capable of housing multiple instruments at the cassegrain focus, with rapid acquisition spectroscopy and sensitive imaging polarimetry as key capabilities. In this new era, the role of the LT will change; fewer instruments will be housed at the cassegrain and the telescope will be optimised for wide field imaging. In this talk I will present a general overview of the NRT project and the preliminary core instrumentation designs, along with the future plans for the LT's wide-field capabilities.

12.30 - 12.45

Dr. Marian Martínez González

Meeting Summary


12.45 - 13.15

Dr. Alex Oscoz

Dr. J. Alfonso L. Aguerri

Final discussion