EST continues its path for becoming a reality. The EST community is growing with the inclusion of more organisations in the European Association for Solar Telescopes, the most recent one being the University of Coimbra. EST also continues its involvement in important H2020 EU projects: SOLARNET and ESCAPE started early 2019 and will last until the end of 2022.
All EST partners are making strong efforts to present publicly the progress made during the Preparatory Phase, and different EST aspects are presented in scientific meetings, technological workshops and political fora. Of particular importance has been the set up of the EST Project Office (EST- PO). Fifteen persons have already been hired and more positions will be announced in the near future. In spring 2019, the new headquarters for the EST-PO were inaugurated.
The EST-PO team is working hard to upgrade the telescope design with the most advanced technological alternatives. Especially relevant is the feasibility study of an Adaptive Secondary Mirror, which may lead to a significant improvement of the performance of the telescope. During the second half of 2019, an international call for tenders for the preliminary design of the telescope structure, and for the primary and secondary mirrors, will be announced. This will represent a major milestone for the project.
The EST-PO team is also in close contact with the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) and the recently formed Technical Advisory Group (TAG). After the “Science with EST” meeting held in Giardini Naxos (Catania, Italy), a new version of the Science Requirements Document (SRD) has been recently produced by the SAG. This new SRD is fundamental for the Project Office team to freeze all technical requirements in close cooperation with the TAG.
This newsletter is just a glimpse of the things that are happening. I hope you enjoy it.
M. Collados, EST project coordinator