Skip to main content

CUBES (Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph)

CUBES (Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph) is a high efficiency spectrograph that will be installed at a Cassegrain focus of the VLT. It will offer two resolution modes with R≥5,000 for low resolution and R≥20,000 for high resolution within a spectral range between 300 and 405nm.

CUBES provides a significant gain in sensitivity and spectral resolution for ground-based Spectroscopy in the UV. Its wide range of science cases include: galactic science, such as stellar nucleosynthesis (Beryllium, Iron-peak elements, heavy elements and CNO abundances); solar system and planetary science and extra-galactic science, including the study of missing baryonic mass in the high-redshift circumgalactic medium and cosmic UV background.

This instrument is led by INAF with Stefano Covino as Principal Investigator. Durham University leads the slicer work package and is responsible for the optical design of two image slicers (one per resolution mode). These image slicers are used as field re-formatters and are composed of only two arrays of six spherical mirrors each (slicer mirrors and camera mirrors) offering high efficiency at low technical complexity.

The image slicers are considered a Long Lead Item and its Final Design Review took placed in November 2023.