The MOONS consortium are working with many different specialist industrial partners from across the globe, all of whom bring their unique expertise to what are often extremely challenging requirements. There are many areas where MOONS is requesting things that have never been tried before and we are consequently very grateful to all our partners for the research and commitment they are bringing to the project. On this page are many of our key industrial partners, with links to their websites where you can find out more about their work.
MOONS has six cameras, each with a 4K x 4K detector. The two MOONS “visible” channels will use fully-depleted CCDs that have been developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The Infra-red channels will utilise 4 Hawaii 4RG detectors provided by Teledyne Imaging.
The extremely intricate Fibre Positioning Units (FPUs) are being manufactured for MOONS by the Swiss company MPS Microsystems.
MOONS uses a calibration screen coated in a diffuse reflective material, which has been supplied by Pro-lite Technology.
The MOONS FPUs will require 1001 individual drive circuit boards, these are being manufactured by GSPK circuits.
Clearly in a project like MOONS, we are working with a wide variety of Optical vendors. Much of the glass in the instrument is low OH Fused Silica that has been supplied by Heraeus.
While glass for some of the prisms is being provided by OHARA.
The lenses and mirrors for all six of the f/0.95 MOONS cameras are ground, polished and coated by Winlight Optics.Sydor Optics have polished and prepared the substrates for the VPH gratings.
There are 5 extremely large format dispersers within each MOONS spectrograph, i.e. 10 optical elements in total. Each of these is of order 400mm in diameter, which is really pushing the limits of disperser technology at these wavelengths and resolutions. The MOONS dispersers are being manufactured by Kaiser Optical Systems and by HORIBA Scientific.
The two large collimators for the triple are spectrographs have been manufactured by the New Zealand company KiwiStar Optics.
The large dichroics are being prepared by Materion.
Each high-resolution H-band channel requires two very large Silicon prisms to ensure the beam is incident on the grating at the correct angle. These are being supplied by New England Optical Systems.
We are working with Officina Stellare for the polishing and mechanical mounting of the two large (~1m in diameter) field corrector lenses that form the optical interface between the VLT and MOONS. The company are also polishing and coating the two high-resolution I-band prisms for the instrument.
All the FPUs sit on a single plate. This surface has been machined to tremendously high precision for us by Alimex. This part is complete and has arrived in our lab, some images of it can be seen here.
The Rotating Front End stucture, which forms the interface of MOONS with the VLT Nasmyth Rotator, is being manufactured for us by CUNHOL. This structure will provide an interface to all the Front End sub-systems (Metrology Cameras, Calibration Unit and Focal Plane with the 1000 Fibre Positioning Units and Acquisition Cameras).
The MOONS Front End Cable Wraps (one for the rotation of the telescope and the other for the retraction mechanism required for instrument calibration) are provided by IGUS-Portugal.
The MOONS cryostat is very large by astronomical standards. It is being manufactured for us by A S Scientific Products, who are also preparing the raw optical bench onto which the MOONS optics will be mounted.
The Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) blanket for the cryostat has been provided by Hutchinson.
In MOONS we must make measurements of the positions of fibres, which requires many diffusely reflecting targets. For this we have found the ceramic material Macor to be ideal and have worked closely with the manufacturer Manser to achieve the precision we require.
MOONS will contain over 20 kilometres of optical fibres. These are manufactured by SEDI-ATI.
Part of the MOONS front-end fibre assembly process, consisting of gluing a microlens and a field-stop into the fibre ferrule, is done by SQS.