Konkoly Observatory
 H-1121 Budapest, Konkoly Thege Miklós út 15-17.

Konkoly VLTI Expertise Centre

Photo: G.Hüdepohl (atacamaphoto.com) / ESO

About us

As part of the OPTICON H2020 (2016-2020) » project and OPTICON/RadioNet Pilot (ORP) program (2021-2025) », a network of VLTI Expertise Centres » has been established in Europe. These centres are the backbone of dissemination activities to new VLTI users, by organising observing preparation and data reduction schools, by co-organising with ESO the VLTI community days, and being the end-points of the Fizeau staff exchange programme. The centres follow at a smaller scale the successful experience of the ALMA Regional Centres. They are the visible first contact point for astronomers interested in using VLTI.

The Konkoly VLTI Expertise Centre was founded in 2021, based on two decades of expertise in infrared interferometry, in particular in the MIDI and MATISSE instruments. It is hosted at the Konkoly Thege Miklós Astronomical Institute ('Konkoly Observatory') of the Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences (CSFK), Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH), in Budapest, Hungary. The Hungarian centre is also part of the European Interferometry Initiative (EII) » networking activity since EU FP7.

Konkoly Observatory has long-standing involvement with long-baseline infrared interferometric techniques since 2003.

In June 2023, the Konkoly Observatory and the VEC organised the 2023 VLTI Interferometry School in Budapest, Hungary ».

In paralell Konkoly Observatory is also actively working with the ALMA and VLBI telescopes.

The operation of the Konkoly VLTI Expertise Centre is funded by the OPTICON/RadioNet Pilot program », and the OTKA K132406 » grant of the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office.

The VLTI and its instrumentation

The Very Large Telescope Interferometer » is a globally unparalleled infrastructure, which provides European astronomers with access to observations at milliarcsecond angular resolution, at low, intermediate and high spectral resolution, at near-infrared and infrared wavelengths.

The currently available VLTI instruments are:

PIONIER » – 4-way beam combiner in the H-band, on the VLTI visitor focus.

GRAVITY » – 4-way beam combiner in the K-band, with spectroscopic, fringe tracking and astrometric capabilities.

MATISSE » – 4-way beam combiner in the L, M and N infrared bands.