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by MICHEL-DANSAC LEO, PECONTAL ARLETTE - published on , updated on

The Scientific Computing department at CRAL is currently involved in the following instrumental and scientific projects.


  • Instrumental Projects

ESO-EELT/HARMONI is an integral field spectrograph to be installed on the future E-ELT telescope. It is one of the first light instrument. The CRAL is responsible for the scientific software which includes the instrument numerical simulator and the data reduction software.


ESO-VISTA/4MOST is a multi-object spectrograph dedicated to the VISTA telescope (ESO-Paranal). Our service is currently supporting the optical teams by providing modelization routines for the Line Spread Funtion (LSF) and computing criteria used to check compliance with specifications.


ESO-VLT/MUSE is an integral field spectrograph installed in Chile at Paranal on one of the ESO large telecopes (UT4) since January 2014. It is offered to the community since October of the same year. The CRAL, through the Scientific Computing service, participated in this project by assuming the following responsabilities:
- software project management,
- instrument numerical model,
- some pieces of the control software (fast reconstruction of the field of view, star extraction, ...),
- observation preparation software,
- participation to the tests both in Europe and Chile,
- automatisation of the optical alignment tool and development of the associated software.


ESA-JWST/NIRSpec is one of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) instruments which will be launched in 2018. Through a formal contrat with EADS-Astrium (now Airbus Defence & Space), the CRAL developped the instrument performance simulator. This software was delivered in 2011. Nowadays the CRAL is competing for an extension of this software.


  • Scientific Projects

The MUSICOS project is an Advanced ERC leaded by the MUSE Principal Investigator. This project brings together scientists and postdocs from 7 laboratories and focus on the data analysis of MUSE data. It aims at better understanding the process of galaxy evolution. Our service participates in the reduction and analysis of the data and provides a dedicated python framework (MPDAF) to the scientists in order to facilitate the data analysis.


GALICS-HORIZON project is a set of N-body simulations for cosmology. The HORIZON part of this project cares about simulating galaxy formation. Our service participates in producing these simulations, by developing or improving existing codes, producing data and administrating clusters.