Multi-AO Imaging Camera for Deep Observations

Short Description:

MICADO, the Multi-AO Imaging Camera for Deep Observations, is the first light instrument for the 39-m European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). MPE is the PI institute.

The key capabilities of MICADO exemplify the unique features of the E-ELT equipped with adaptive optics: sensitivity and resolution, precision astrometry, and high throughput spectroscopy. These capabilities are at the root of the science cases and have driven the simple and robust design of the camera.

Project Type:

Instrument for ground-based telescope

MPE participation:

The MICADO consortium comprises institutes from five countries:

MPE:    Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik

MPIA:   Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie

USM:    Universitäts-Sternwarte München

IAG:     Georg-August-Universität Göttingen/Georg-August-Universität; Göttingen Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts (Executing institute: Institute for Astrophysics)

NOVA:   Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor de Astronomie). Nova is a federation of several astronomical institutes. (Specific contributions to MICADO come from the University of Groningen, the University of Leiden, and the NOVA optical/infrared instrumentation group based at ASTRON in Dwingeloo.)

CNRS/INSU: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers (representing LESIA, GEPI and IPAG)

A*: An Austrian partnership collectively represented by University Vienna (The A* partnership comprises the University of Vienna, the University of Innsbruck, the University Graz, the University of Linz and RICAM Linz (Austrian Academy of Sciences). Contributions to MICADO come from Vienna, Innsbruck and Linz.)

INAF-OAPD: National Institute for Astrophysics at the Observatory of Padova

The German contribution is supported by the federal ministry of education and research (BMBF). In its early stages, the project was supported by the Heidenhain foundation.


The agreement was ratified between MPE and ESO in February 2008. The Phase A Final Review was held at in December 2009. In the meantime the consortium has been working on several aspects of the instrument, including improvement of the spectroscopic capability, the AO optical relay, the calibration requirements and the ADC. Phase B starts in autumn 2015 with the signature of the agreement with ESO and the Kick Off meeting of the entire consortium.

First light for MICADO is expected  in the mid-2020ies (after the commissioning of the E-ELT).


MICADO pages at MPE

E-ELT Project

Infrared/Submillimeter Astronomy (web pages of the MPE department involved in the project)


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