Design Concept

The science case for METIS dictates the following key requirements for the instrument design:

  • Diffraction-limited imaging at 3-13 microns with a field of view of approximately 11 x 11″. The imager also includes low/medium resolution slit spectroscopy as well as coronagraphy for high contrast imaging.
  • An IFU-fed high-resolution spectrograph in L and M bands with a field of view of 0.5 square arcseconds and spectral resolving power of ~100,000, including a mode with extended instantaneous wavelength coverage and options to combine the IFU with coronagraphy.

The instrument consists of two separate units, one for the imager and another for the spectrograph. It is – together with the AO wavefront sensor and the fore-optics – entirely encased in a cryostat to maintain the stable low temperatures required for good performance at mid-infrared wavelengths. To achieve diffraction limited performance, METIS will use a single conjugate adaptive optics system to compensate for atmospheric turbulence. The wavefront will be measured inside METIS, and this information will be used to control the adaptive mirror M4 of the ELT.

METIS explainer app

The optical design of METIS as presented at PDR (May 2019) including a Warm Calibration Unit (WCU) outside and the Common Fore Optics (CFO) / Central Cold Structure (CSS), the Single-Conjugate Adaptive optics system (SCA), the L/M band high resolution spectrograph (LMS) and the imagers and spectrographs (IMG) in the L/M and N/Q bands, all inside the cryostat (CRY).

Clicking on this image will open a new window with an interactive animation showing the operation for all modes/configurations of METIS.

The whole METIS system on its warm support structure (WSS). The beam from the ELT is shown in blue. The electronic cabinets are part of the Instrument Control System (ICS)

The METIS cold instrument (inside in the cryostat), containing the Cold Central Structure (CCS), Common Fore Optics (CFO), Single-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (SCA), Imagers (IMG) and the L and M band high-resolution Spectrograph (LMS).

The METIS optical design.

You can also download these drawings in very high resolution (printable to poster size):

The METIS observing modes can be interactively explored in our web app. A teaser video is available for download (43 MByte, 39 seconds, H.264 video)