The present stage of the instrument is manufacturing and final designs. We concluded the primary optical design phase and the slight modification to the initial concept that compressed CIRCE into the envelope size specified for the Bent Cassegrain Port of the GTC. We also conclude the analysis of the optical layout. Using an enclosed energy diagram, we find that throughout most of the field, CIRCE reaches enclosed energy values > 80% in the J-band. Even at the corners, one 18 micron pixel contains more than 70% of the light from a point source. Brackets and blank mirrors were manufactured in our machine shop and are ready to be mounted on the bench.
The software has already been developed 2003-2005 (Marin-Franch et al 2006). These software has been tested with Flamingos-II and with a like-CIRCE virtual environement. It is working and it will be tested in real systems in the near future. Electronics and motor control hardware is under assembling phase. We expect they will be ready in the following weeks in order to be able to test the software control system.
The bench design and the feasability study concluded in a final solution of three independent pieces that are bolted together using an aluminum structure. We started the manufacturing process of the bench and we will be ready for assembling in the near future. We expect to start manufacturing the filter box and mechanisms during the summer in order to be ready when the optical bench come back from Janos with mirrors polished and aligned.
The liquid nitrogen can is still under design and we expect to finalize them by the end of the summer. We expect the can, thermal shields and vacuum jacket to be ready in the fall when the testing phase of the instrument will start.