Detail of the MEGARA focal plane showing the Small Compact Bundle (SCB; field-of-view ~8.5"x7.6") and the Large Compact Bundle (LCB; field-of-view ~12.5"x11.3") in the middle, and the actuators spanning a field-of-view of ~3.5'x3.5'.


The Estallidos-GR team is involved in the development of the MEGARA instrument for the GTC telescope (at Observatorio de El Roque de los Muchachos). Jorge Iglesias acts as the IAA-CSIC representative in the MEGARA consortium, also integrated by Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM, Spain, host institution of the MEGARA PI), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM, Spain) and Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Optica y Electrónica (INAOE, México).

MEGARA (Multi-Espectrógrafo en GTC de Alta Resolución para Astronomía) is an optical Integral-Field Unit (IFU) and Multi-Object Spectrograph (MOS) designed for the GTC 10.4m telescope in La Palma. The MEGARA IFU mode will offer two different bundles, one covering 12.5" x 11.3" with a spaxel size of 0.62" (Large Compact Bundle; LCB) and another one covering 8.5" x 6.7" with a spaxel size of 0.42" (Small Compact Bundle; SCB). The MEGARA MOS will allow observing up to 100 objects in a region of 3.5' x 3.5' around the two IFU bundles. Eight of these bundles will be devoted to the determination of the sky during the observation with the LCB IFU. Each of the MEGARA MOS positioners can place a mini-bundle of 7 fibers (0.62"/fiber) covering an area of 1.6" on the sky. Both the LCB IFU and MOS capabilities of MEGARA will provide intermediate-to-high spectral resolution (R~6000, 11000 and 18700). When the SCB is used MEGARA is boosted to R~21500.

The contribution of Estallidos-GR to MEGARA is being carried out by Isaac Morales (under a technical contract funded by PEX2011-FQM7058 of Junta de Andalucía), and regards one of the control working packages: the development of two software suites to optimize the configuration, positioning and movement of the MEGARA actuators. The first software suite will make use of sofisticated mathematical tools to determine, from a list of positions of celestial objects, the optimal configuration of the system of actuators, taking into account the number of targets and their priorities. The second one must allow the observer to prepare and optimize the observations avoiding collisions among the actuators. It must be integrated in the telescope control system and will be responsible for the generation of the observing blocks.