KiwiStar Optics connected to the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile

First light of the ESPRESSO spectrograph using the four-Unit-Telescope mode of the VLT has now been reached and made public. ESPRESSO (Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanet and Stable Spectroscopic Observations) will be used to search for Earth-size rocky exoplanets (planets which orbit a star outside the solar system). KiwiStar made many key optical components for the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias namely: one truncated field correcting lens, two truncated spheroidal transfers mirrors, and one truncated spheroidal fold mirror.

Work occurred in 2015 and is a great example of Callaghan Innovation’s capability as it combined the efforts of the KiwiStar team together with the Measurement Standards Laboratory (MSL) and the mechanical workshop.

Interestingly, KiwiStar Optics are also currently working on a new contract for two collimator mirrors (see: Over the MOON) for another client, also to attach to the VLT. Both ESPRESSO and the VLT are state of the art, world leading astronomical instruments.