The PLATOSPec project idea originated during a joint meeting of Tautenburg and Ondrejov 2-m telescopes groups in 2017. Since then, we started the search for an unused 1-2-m sized telescope. We found former 1.52-m ESO telescope at La Silla, Chile, which was idle since 2003. The discussion and feasibility of the projects started immediately and our science proposal was recommended by the ESO STC in 2018.
The telescope E152 was successfully upgraded by the ProjectSoft HK a.s. company in 2022. All control systems were replaced and the telescope was made ready for the remote control mode. In September 2022, we started test observing with the photometric CCD which was later replaced by the interim spectrograph PUCHEROS+ (see Spectrograph tab). Since November 2022, we were in the test mode and major intervention to repair the roof was necessary so the telescope was out of service from January till April 2023. However, in April 2023, the main mirror was recoated. Since May 2023, test observing with PUCHEROS+ instrument is ongoing every night.
Furthermore, we plan to swap PUCHEROS+ for FIDEOS in October 2023. The PLATOSpec instrument should arrive in the first half of 2024.
The telescope time is shared within the consortium members and the 10% belongs to Chilean time, once the system is in full operations. However, we are open for external collaborations. In case, you would be interested to know more details, please feel free to contact any member of the consortium.