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The future of

MOS technologies

A virtual OPTICON-CSIC Workshop
26-29 April 2021


The technologies required to enable large spectroscopic surveys are among the most challenging in astronomical instrumentation: instruments need to be accurate, with micrometer positioning accuracy and repeatability; fast, to minimise overheads; robust, to minimise failure; and low cost.

In recent years, new mechatronic devices have been developed to place thousands of high-throughput optical fibres at any given position on the focal plane. Other technologies subject to current R&D involve micro-mirror and micro-shutter arrays, programmable slit masks and, with increasing importance, photonics technologies (e.g., multi-core fibres, photonic lanterns, multiplexers, arrayed waveguide gratings).

This event will provide an excellent opportunity to bring together experts from different areas and groups with the goal to:


  • Present current and future MOS instruments and facilities​

  • Discuss and share innovative ideas for the design and development of new MOS instrumentation.​

  • Identify the key enabling technologies that will require active industrial development.​

  • Recognise new techniques and manufacturing capabilities in the market.​

  • Examine optimal target acquisition and positioning methods and algorithms.​

  • Review unbiased estimators to account for MOS assignment strategies.


Jean-Gabriel Cuby

Bianca Garilli

Vanessa Hill

Andreas Kelz

Francisco Prada (Chair)

Suzanne Ramsay

Rubén Sánchez-Janssen (Chair)



All sessions scheduled for 15:00 - 18:00 (CET)

List of participants

Mon 26 April (14:45-18:30 CEST)
Science drivers and MOS projects

Chair: Vanessa Hill

14:45   Welcome, and OPTICON introduction

15:00   The science case for MOS: Galactic archaeology and the Local Group

E. Tolstoy (I)

15:25   The science case for MOS: Cosmology and galaxy evolution

L. Guzzo (I)


15:50   The MOS programme at ESO

V. Mainieri (I)


16:15   The international MOS landscape

A. Bolton (I)

16:40   10 min break

16:50   Concept and design of the ESO spectroscopic facility

L. Pasquini

17:05   The Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer: Science, Status and Technology

A. McConnachie

17:20   Round table: Overview of upcoming MOS instrumentation, and lessons learned

G. Dalton (WEAVE), K. Dawson (DESI), R. de Jong (4MOST), O. Gonzalez (MOONS), R. Lupton (PFS) -- Moderator: Jennifer Marshall

18:30   End

Tue 27 April (9:50-13:30 CEST)
MOS solutions (I): optics, fibres, positioners & algorithms


Chair: Suzanne Ramsay

09:50   Welcome


10:00   Technologies for fibre positioners

J. Lawrence (I)


10:25   Fibre technologies for MOS

G. Murray (I)

10:50   GMT/MANIFEST: An overview

T. Zafar

11:05   How to measure fibre positions: The 4MOST Metrology System

R. Winkler

11:20   10 min break

11:30   Characterisation of the MOONS fibre positioners

S. Watson

11:45   The fibres of MOONS

I. Guinouard

12:00   Prime focus correctors and fast optics

P. Doel (I)

12:25   Spectrograph solutions for MOS

E. Oliva (I)

12:50   Discussion session

13:30   End

Wed 28 April (14:50-18:30 CEST)
MOS solutions (II): optics, fibres, positioners & algorithms


Chair: Bianca Garilli

14:50   Welcome


15:00   An optimized tiling pattern and probabilistic fibre-to-target assignment algorithm for MOS surveys

E. Tempel


15:15   The MOONS Observation Preparation Software

A. Belfiore


15:30   Operational rehearsals of MOS survey data flow systems

C. Worley


15:45   Implementation techniques for massive MOS surveys

K. Dawson (I)


16:10   The DESI Focal Plane

P. Fagrelius


16:25   10 min break

16:35   Fiber switching for future astronomical instrumentation

C. Poppett


16:50   Focal ratio degradation measurement for the Cobra fiber positioner of Subaru PFS

B. Belland


17:05   Keck-FOBOS: A next-generation spectroscopic facility

K. Bundy


17:20   The Magellan Infrared Multiobject Spectrograph - MIRMOS

N. Konidaris


17:35   Discussion session

18:30   End

Thu 29 April (09:50-13:30 CEST)
Photonics and non fibre-based technologies

Chair: Andreas Kelz

9:50   Welcome

10:00   Astrophotonics applications for MOS

J. Bland-Hawthorn (I)


10:25   Fibre fed spectroscopy in the AO regime

S. Ellis


10:40   Ultrafast laser inscription - an enabling technology in astrophotonics

R. Thomson


10:55   Non-fibre MOS solutions

F. Zamkotsian (I)


11:20   Metallic image slicer technology for the Gemini North telescope

A. Calcines


11:35   Operations, calibrations, and idiosyncrasies of KMOS on the VLT

E. Sani


11:50   10 min break

12:00   Multi-object Spectroscopy at GTC

A. Cabrera-Lavers

12:15   The development of MOSAIC, a flexible MOS facility for the ELT

G. Dalton

12:30   HRMOS: A high resolution multi-object spectrograph for the VLT

G. de Silva

12:45   Discussion session

13:30   End



Key dates
19 March - Deadline for abstract submission
20 April - Closing of registration
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