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Final Report - E-ELT PREP (Preparing for the construction of the European extremely large telescope)

Project ID: 211257


This is the final publishable summary report for the E-ELT PREP project which received funding under the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Its main aim is to ensure that the level of legal, financial, governance and technical maturity required by the funding agencies in the Member States to give a go-ahead for building of facility is met by 2010.

The aim of the E-ELT PREP Work packages (WPs) was to help preparations for a 2010 decision by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Council to give a go-ahead for building the facility, concentrating on a number of not directly design-related, yet crucial items. Important aspects were to establish efficient coordination with other similar projects world-wide (WP2), strengthening of the system engineering process within the E-ELT project office (WP8), evaluating financial mechanisms (WP7) that may support the funding of the EUR 1000 M plus Facility and developing close links with critical industries (WP3). Optimizing the science output of the E-ELT is paramount, and the E-ELT Prep aimed to fully develop the design reference mission (WP4), and provide a blueprint for scientific access to the telescope data output (WP5). Large multinational teams of astronomers and engineers in the ESO community were organized in networks (WP6) to develop the powerful and innovative instruments that will be at the heart of the E-ELT scientific capability. Eight instrument concepts were studied by the community in the frame of the E-ELT detailed design. Upgrade paths (WP9) were considered to establish new enabling technologies that will permit upgrading of the first light observing capabilities, e.g. for Earth-like exo-planet detection, study of the first lights in the early universe.

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