ELT-HIRES, the high resolution spectrograph for the ELT: the Phase A study and the path to construction
HIRES is the high-resolution spectrograph of the European Extremely Large Telescope at optical and near-infrared wavelengths. It consists of three fibre-fed spectrographs providing a wavelength coverage of 0.4-1.8 µm (goal 0.35-2.4 µm) at a spectral resolution of 100,000. The fibre-feeding allows HIRES to have several, interchangeable observing modes including a SCAO module and a small diffraction-limited IFU in the NIR. Therefore, it will be able to operate both in seeing- and diffraction-limited modes. Its modularity will ensure that HIRES can be placed entirely on the Nasmyth platform, if enough mass and volume is available, or part on the Nasmyth and part in the Coud`e room. ELT-HIRES has a wide range of science cases spanning nearly all areas of research in astrophysics and even fundamental physics. Among the top science cases there are the detection of biosignatures from exoplanet atmospheres, finding the fingerprints of the first generation of stars (PopIII), tests on the stability of Nature's fundamental couplings, and the direct detection of the cosmic acceleration. The HIRES consortium is composed of more than 30 institutes from 14 countries, forming a team of more than 200 scientists and engineers.