MICADO – the 1st Light Camera for deep observations with the 39-m 'Extremely Large Telescope' (ELT) of ESO
MICADO is one of the two First-Light Instruments that will switch the ELT into operation. With its two observing modes of imaging and spectroscopy it enables for the first time the analysis of stellar light that will be gathered with the 39m large aperture of the ELT.
Fig.1: The MICADO camera installation at the Nasmyth focus of the ELT. It renders the design of the instrument before its realisation into hardware with the multiple Adaptive-Optics table at the right and the camera installation at the left. The Serrurier-like support of the instrument is one of the IAG subsystems which mount the instrument to the telescope and allows tracking during observation.
Key Parameters of the MICADO Camera
|Wavelength coverage||0.8 - 2.4 µm|
|Imaging system||3-Mirror-Anastigm.(TMA)||each at collimator and camera optics|
|Field of View||50 arcsec||enables study of resolved stellar populations and of high-redshift galaxies|
|Imaging quality||70% Strehl in K-Band|
|Detectors||9x H4RG (4Kx4K)||Large format NIR detectors in 3x3 Mosaic|
|Spatial Sampling||4 milli-arcsec [mas]|
|High-Res. Mode||1.5 milli-arcsec [mas]||spatial sampling increased by zoom optics|
|Distortion||< 1.9%||extreme temporal stability due to astrometry rerquirements|
|Astrometric accuracy||50 micro-arcsec [µas]||relative accuracy across the FoV in single exposure|
|Spectro.Resolution||R ~20 000|
|Photometric accuracy||0.03 [mag]||limited by PSF fitting|
|Transmiss. Efficiency||50 % - 68 %||depends on AO performance & thermal background|
|System troughput||30 % - 44 %||incl. all 5 telescope- and the AO-mirrors|
|Filters||2x 18 Filters||Permanent available|
|Mass-budget||17 metric tonnes||Total installation|
Fig. 2: Simulated view of a high-z galaxy as it would appear in MICADO (left) and for James-Webb-Space-Telescope (right).
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.
Fig. 4: Göttingen’s Subsystem I; Main instrument structure supporting cryo-vacuum tank and other subsystems.
Fig. 5: Göttingen’s Subsystem II; Co-rotating platform to supply camera with electrical power, cooling, control- and datalinks.
Fig. 6: 8-Meter tall Access-tower for the assembly and maintenance of the system.
Key Publications Davies, R. et al., "The final design of MICADO, the first light ELT camera", SPIE Vol. 12184-69 (2022)
 Witschel, J., Nicklas, H. et al., "The MICADO first light imager for the ELT: Final design of primary instrument support, access and supply subsystems", SPIE Vol. 12184-125 (2022)
 Nicklas, H. et al., "The MICADO first light imager for ELT: From hexapod to octopod instrument support structure", SPIE Vol. 1070292 (2018)
 Pott, J.-U. et al., "The MICADO first light imager for ELT: its astrometric performance", SPIE Vol. 10702 (2018)