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MAORY (Multi-conjugate Adaptive Optics RelaY) is a post-focal adaptive optics module for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), the 39 m diameter optical-infrared telescope that the European Southern Observatory (ESO) will build in the next decade in collaboration with its community of member States. MAORY forms part of the E-ELT first light instrument suite.

MAORY supports the MICADO near-infrared camera by offering two adaptive optics modes: Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) and Single-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (SCAO). Development of the SCAO mode is a joint endeavour between the MAORY and MICADO instrument teams.
The MCAO mode is required to achieve uniform adaptive optics compensation over the full MICADO field of view; the SCAO mode is required for peak performance, rather than uniformity over the field, when a suitable Natural Guide Star is available.
In the MCAO mode, wavefront sensing is performed by a system based on up to six Laser Guide Stars for high-order wavefront sensing and three Natural Guide Stars for low-order wavefront sensing; wavefront compensation is achieved by up to two deformable mirrors in MAORY, which work together with the telescope adaptive and tip-tilt mirrors M4 and M5 respectively. In the SCAO mode, wavefront distortions are measured by a single Natural Guide Star wavefront sensor and compensated by the telescope M4 and M5 mirrors, while the deformable mirrors inside MAORY are kept flat.
MAORY also offers provision for a second port for a future instrument, as yet undefined.

Preliminary arrangement of instruments on the E-ELT Nasmyth platform; MAORY is the metal-gray structure on the right. This layout has been produced in the project phase A and is currently under review. Picture credit: ESO.












The phase A of the MAORY project was completed in December 2009 in the framework of the E-ELT Instrumentation phase A studies sponsored by ESO.

The international consortium that will develop MAORY from phase B (preliminary design) to phase E (commissioning) is led by INAF (with the project principal investigator at OABo), that is responsible for the design and construction of the instrument at system level. Consortium partners holding responsibility for specific MAORY sub-systems and components are Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG, France) and ESO.

The MAORY team at INAF includes personnel from 6 institutes: Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica cosmica di Bologna, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova.

The personnel at INAF-OABo involved in the MAORY project is: Renata Abicca, Carmelo Arcidiacono, Michele Bellazzini, Giovanni Bregoli, Paolo Ciliegi, Fausto Cortecchia, Giuseppe Cosentino (University of Bologna, INAF associate), Emiliano Diolaiti, Giuliana Fiorentino, Italo Foppiani, Matteo Lombini, Mauro Patti (PhD student at University of Bologna), Laura Schreiber.

The MAORY project phase A was funded by ESO and by the EC’s Framework Programmes 6 and 7.
The instrument construction is funded by ESO through a specific grant. The project is also funded by the Progetto premiale T-Rex.

Further information can be found on the project web site.