FORS 1 arrived at INAF-OATs

​FORS 1 (FOcal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph), spectrograph / imager operating in the visible range (between 330 and 1100 nm), will be upgraded, in particular concerning the electronics and software system, by the Observatory control system team.
The instrument allows different observational modes: imaging, polarimetry, long slit and multi-object spectroscopy. Currently the section of polarimetric filters and camera focusing has been delivered. Subsequently, the collimator section and the top section containing the long slits for spectroscopy will be shipped. The instrument will be temporarily installed in the integration room, in the Basovizza site of the Trieste Astronomical Observatory, to carry out the refurbishment of the motorized stages and control electronics parts as well as for testing the instrument control software.

In addition to a complete replacement of the mechanics, the entire control system will be replaced with electronics based on PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) technology, which has the characteristic to be flexible, reliable and maintainable over time. A peculiarity of this update will be the installation and use of the ELT Instrument Control Framework. FORS UP (FORS UPgrade, new name of the project) will be the first instrument ever to test, albeit in a VLT environment, the new framework designed by ESO for controlling the instrumentation of the Extremely Large Telescope.
(for further information, please refer to the paper “FORS-Up: May the FORS Be With Us For Another 15 Years, Henri M. J. Boffin et al., The Messenger 183”.