MICADO - the 1st Light Camera for deep obersvations with the 'European Extremely Large Telescope', the 39-m ESO/E-ELT

MICADO is one of the two instruments that are currently defined by ESO as the First-Light Instruments (one camera and one spectrograph) for the E-ELT. The 39-Meter telescope will be begin its operation with this camera which obtains for the first time stellar light for analysis.

MICADO First-Light Camera concept study

Fig.1: The MICADO First-Light Camera as a concept study at the Nasmyth focus of the E-ELT. The hexpod-like structure supports the optical bench of the Adapative Optics system (above), it carries and rotates the large vacuum vessel with the cold camera optics (below). As the central instrument structure it links the camera with the telescope incl. necessary adjustments.

Key Parameters of the MICADO Camera













Requirements Specifications Remarks
Wavelength coverage0.8 - 2.4 µmextension into 0.6µm desirable, but AO performance insufficient
Field of View> 30"; ~60" prefeerred enables study of resolved steller populations and high-z galaxies
Image Quality70% Strehl lambda=1µm determins the metric for budgetting
Spatial Sampling 3 milli-arcsec [mas]fixed pixel scale
Astrometric Accuracy50 mikro-arcsec [µas]relative accuracy across the full FoV of a single exposure
Spektroscopic ResolutionR ~3000enables probing btw. OH lines
Photometric Accuracy 0.03 mag limited by PSF fitting
Throughput> 60% of cameradepends on AO performance & thermal background
Filters2 wheels x 20 filtersw/o opnening cryostat
Instrumental DistortionsTBDStability over time e.g. thermal prevails distortion


Simulated view of a high-z galaxy as it would appear in MICADO (left) and for James-Webb-Space-Telescope (right).

Fig.2: Simulated view of a high-z galaxy as it would appear in MICADO (left) and for James-Webb-Space-Telescope (right).

omparative view of observations and simulations of a crowded field, the center of the globular cluster Omega-Cen; upper row today's observations with VLT
Comparative view of observations and simulations of a crowded field, the center of the globular cluster Omega-Cen; simulated view of James-Webb-Space-Telescope and MICADO at the E-ELT.

Fig.3: Comparative view of observations and simulations of a crowded field, the center of the globular cluster Omega-Cen; upper row today's observations with VLT, lower row simulated view of James-Webb-Space-Telescope and MICADO at the E-ELT.


Key Publications

[1] Davies, R. et al., "MICADO: the E-ELT adaptive imaging camera", SPIE Vol. 7735, 77352A (2010)

[2] Clenet, Y. et al., "SAMI: the SCAO module for the E-ELT adaptive optics imaging camera MICADO", SPIE Vol. 7736, 77363Q (2010)

[3] Magrin, D. et al., "MICADO: optical configuration, performance, and folding", SPIE Vol. 7735, 77355G (2010)