All the parts for the MOONS Rotating Front End Structure, after manufacturing by CUNHOL (Portugal), are now at the IA (Lisbon) MOONS integration room and the entire main structure, including its retraction and screen mechanisms, have been fully integrated.

Part of the Lisbon MOONS team (Alexandre Cabral inside the RFE and Pedro Santos hopefully not trying to lift the structure with Alex inside) performing inspections on the Front-End structure. The structure is seen upright, before is turned into its actual side-ways position as shown in the video below.

The MOONS rotating front-end is a large assembly that will be mounted on the VLT Nasmyth rotator and that, on the other end, is connected to the two static Spectrographs via fibre assemblies. The mounting structure of this large system contains a rotating component that acts as the first interface of MOONS with the VLT Rotator. It also supports the heavy(!) focal plate where all the Fibre Positioning units and Acquisition Cameras are installed, as well as the calibration screen structure where lamps are projected to obtain flat and wavelength calibrations needed for optimal science performance.

The system includes a powerful retractor mechanism (shown in action in the video below) that is in charge of retracting the entire fibre positioning support structure for metrology purposes (a camera system that looks down to the focal plate for accurate determination of the fibre position) and to provide the required distance from the calibration screen during instrument calibrations.

The next step for Alex and the Lisbon team is to carry the final characterisation tests before the final integration in UKATC (Edinburgh).

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