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MATISSE MAIV planning gets consolidated

Submitter: Eddy Elswijk
Description: Currently, the NOVA instrumentation group at ASTRON is heavily involved with the VLTi instrument MATISSE. This is the successor of MIDI, a highly successful optical interferometer for the VLTI, operating in the mid infrared (N-band, 8-13 micrometer). MATISSE extends the interferometric capabilities of the VLTI by adding a new wavelength range (LM-band, between 3.2 and 5 micrometers) and combining the beams of up to 4 telescopes instead of 2.

Our group is responsible for the cold optics, which consists of two optical benches, one for the LM-band and the other for the N-band. You may have come across some big blocks of aluminum in the ASTRON hallway, which indicate the size of these benches. Our consortium partners are:
- Observatoire du Cote d'Azur in Nice, France (OCA), our consortium leader, responsible for building the warm pre-optical bench.
- Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany (MPIA) responsible for the cryostats and the electronics.
- Max Planck Institute for Radio-astronomy in Bonn, Germany (MPIfR) responsible for the focal plane arrays.

Recently, the project successfully passed the Optical Final Design Review (OFDR) and we are now preparing for the overall FDR. The consortium has just adopted the Manufacturing, Assembly, Integration and Verification (MAIV) plan. In order to reduce project risks, we identified what verifications and tests should be performed in an early stage, and at which institute.

The MAIV diagram above (made by Lars Venema) shows at what point the various modules should face their pre-delivery review (MRR - MATISSE Readiness Review) and in what order in time the modules are to be integrated. This is a complex process since hardware, (human) resources and facilities must come together at the right time in the various institutes. A joint effort is required to execute this verification campaign successfully. Past projects have shown that this works extremely well with our consortium partners.

Copyright: MATISSE project
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