EMIR latest news




icon March 2019
Subject: EMIR FITS Update

Beginning in semester 19A, from March 1 2019 onwards, the EMIR control system incorporates two changes that we hope will be for the better:

  • The EMIR fits files will now have only one extension. The second one, which was intended for the variances of each pixel of the detector, is therefore suppressed as, at the detector level, it always results in a constant or predictable value from the value of the signal in the pixel. In this way, the size of the fits files is reduced by half.
  • It is included in the TELPOS keyword, which already existed, the options NOD_A / NOD_B that indicate, in the STARE_SPECTRA mode, the nodding position of the telescope. This can be obtained from the IMGOBBL counter, also in the keywords, as well which is set to 1 or 4 for the A, and to 2 or 3 for the B.


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icon October 2018
Subject: EMIR RAMPS improvement

Dear colleagues,

If you have already had the opportunity of getting data from EMIR before the end of September 2017, you may have noticed excessive noise in the preprocessed data frames, together with jumps in the signal throughout the data series, which in some cases are severely hampering the overall performance of the instrument. This is especially important when observing faint sources in spectroscopic mode.

Just for clarification, preprocessed files are those output by the EMIR Control System (ECS) derived from the raw data frames. In the frame list, these are the files without the suffix 'raw' in the name. For CDS read mode, they are calculated by subtracting the second read from the first in each sequence, while for the RAMP mode, they contain the fitted slope to the raw data in each sequence multiplied by the integration time of the sequence. These files are the starting point of the subsequent data reduction and are the ones ingested by the EMIR DRP, both online and offline.

From the very beginning, the EMIR team have been concerned with the noise and lack of stability in the detector data frames and have tried several methods to alleviate these problems. In the course of this work, we recently discovered that the procedure implemented in the ECS to remove the Dark Current and fix the instabilities in the detector data series has not been properly applied. The purpose of this note is to instruct users on how to recover the correction in their EMIR data.

First of all, it is important to note that the flaw is only present in the data taken in RAMP readout mode. Data taken with the CDS mode are unaffected by this. Please check in the corresponding keyword of your fits file, READMODE, to get the read mode of the data before applying the correction method. Second, the gain will be more noticeable in dark areas of the detector, registering only low signal (in between sky lines, outside the target spectra, faint spectrum signal, low background, etc.), so if the data contain bright sources, this correction may not be needed.

Fortunately, the calibration method has been applied properly to the raw frames, which are safely stored on disk, while to derive the slope of each ramp, ECS has incorrectly used the original raw frames, without calibration. The correction consists in reprocessing the raw data frame series to derive the new preprocessed files, from which the reduction should start. To this end, a simple python script (fitramp_ecs.py) that performs this method is available here, and detailed instructions on how to use it are described here.Needless to say, the raw data set has to be at hand before going ahead with this method. If this is not the case, you must contact with the GTC team to get it.

This correction is automatically implemented from 1 October 2018 onwards, hence for data taken after that date this procedure is not strictly needed.

In any case, it is always possible to enhance very low signal to noise data by using different approaches to the ramp calculation. In order to give this possibility to the user, from S19A onwards GTC will provide all the raw data files to EMIR users.

For more details, users are strongly recommended to visit the EMIR Observing Utilities Section available at IAC EMIR website.


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icon February 2017
Subject: EMIR Science Verification Update II

The Science Verification (SV) campaign of EMIR started on January 6th 2017 and we are pleased to announce that one of the imaging programs was already completed. We are making a good progress with the programs requesting long-slit spectroscopy as well. We would like to reiterate that the SV phase is equally important for the demonstration of the scientific capabilities of the new instrument and for the optimization of the observational procedures and training of personal as well. Naturally the efficiency of these early observations is going to be inferior compared to the regular scientific operations. The SV PIs should be aware that we are working hard to acquire their data as soon as possible and of the highest quality (according to our current understanding of the instrument). They will be informed promptly when particular observations are completed. Also bare in mind our requirement for quick feedback on the data and the results from its reduction.


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icon January 2017
Subject: EMIR Science Verification Update

The EMIR team at GTC and the PIs of the approved Science Verification (SV) programs have started to advance on this important milestone of the instrument commissioning. Stay tuned for more exciting news!


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icon December 2016
Subject: Happy Holidays from the EMIR team.

The EMIR team wishes you Happy Holidays and a great New Year 2017 with a "Christmas tree" formed by the CSU (Configurable slit Unit) and a J band image of the NGC6946 galaxy in the background, both acquired with the instrument during the commissioning runs.



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icon June 2016
Subject: EMIR arrives at the GTC!!

The Infrared Multi-Object Spectrograph EMIR, has arrived to its permanent home at the Gran Telescopio Canarias. It was installed at the Naysmith A focal station and is being prepared for the instrument commissioning, science verification and ultimately routine science operations.

The following pictures shows the instrument during the installation process.


EMIR instrument at the most dangerous moment of the translation to the Naysmith A platform.



Almost there...



EMIR installed at its permanent position.



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icon August 2014
Subject: EMIR last steps!!

GTC's future work-horse instrument, the Infrared Multi-Object Spectrograph also known as EMIR, is completing its integration tests at the workshops of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias where the instrument has been developed. Tests have been performed at different integration stages under cryogenic conditions, following a precise guideline to ensure the complete functionality of the instrument by the moment to be shipped to la Palma on Summer 2015. The full acceptance plan test is currently being developed by the instrument team, and the formal acceptation of the instrument is expected to be produced on early 2015.

The following picture shows the instrument at IAC workshop, during the comprehensive tests performed in the preparation for the acceptance tests


EMIR instrument, being tested at IAC labs.


Although it will still take some time before EMIR will be delivering science routinely at the telescope, the expectations for the instrument are very high. Its combination of imaging and spectroscopic capability, in particular its multi-object mode, make the instrument extremely versatile and powerful, and therefore much sought after.


The EMIR cryostat, put together for the first time.


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Last modified: 28 June 2019

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