2018 March: SPIRou completes first cryo-cycle at CFHT

SPIRou just completed its first on-site cryogenic cycle Following the cryostat closure and the beginning of the first cryo-cycle on February 16-20, most of the spectrograph components reached 75K in about a week, then another 1.5 week was necessary for the whole spectrograph, including its massive parabola and camera, to reach thermal equilibrium and obtain […]


2018 February: First cryogenic cycle at CFHT

SPIRou initiates on-site testing phase With the spectrograph, the Cassegrain module and the calibration unit reassembled and realigned, SPIRou is almost ready for a new series of on-site tests. The goal of these new tests is to repeat the main validation experiments carried out at IRAP / OMP in 2018 October and November before SPIRou […]


2018 February: SPIRou comes back to life

The whole instrument is integrated at CFHT Following the delivery of all 13 SPIRou crates at CFHT on the Maunakea summit (the last load arriving on Jan 30), integration of the various SPIRou subsystems began straight away. With the extremely helpful and dedicated contribution of the CFHT team, the SPIRou teams from IRAP / OMP […]


2018 January: SPIRou atop Maunakea

SPIRou crates are being delivered to CFHT After one month of travel around the world, the 13 SPIRou crates are being delivered to the CFHT Telescope, atop Maunakea. After leaving Toulouse, the crates went through Paris (France), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, USA), before reaching Louisville (Kentucky) where they stayed for two weeks, waiting for available flights to […]


2017 December: Good-bye Toulouse

SPIRou was packed and shipped to Hawaii During two weeks of intense work, SPIRou was entirely dismounted in order to be shipped to Hawaii. All critical optical components of the cryogenic spectrograph, in particular the mammoth parabola, the triple-prism train, the massive camera,the discreet fold-mirror,the miniature pupil slicer and the sensitive grating were removed from […]


2017 December: SPIRou gets pre-shipping visits

VIPs and artists visit SPIRou before it departs for CFHT Following the warm-up phase and prior to packing, SPIRou was the focus of several pre-shipping visits in the clean room of IRAP / OMP where it stayed for the last 15 months, since the beginning of its integration phase and until the end of the […]


2017 November: SPIRou goes to Hawaii

The review panel granted green light for SPIRou to be shipped to CFHT After 9 months of delicate tuning and intense testing, SPIRou successfully completed a long series of drastic validation experiments demonstrating that it meets the expected performances. As usual in such circumstances, a panel of scientists and engineers was gathered to confirm that […]


2017 November: SPIRou performances validated

SPIRou completes final acceptance tests at IRAP / OMP Since July 2017, SPIRou as a whole, including its cryogenic spectrograph, its Cassegrain module and its calibration unit, was busy 24/7 carrying out a very extensive testing programme at IRAP/OMP in Toulouse. The goal was to demonstrate that the instrument performances were on par with predictions, […]


2017 November: Staring at the Sun with SPIRou

SPIRou collects its first solar photons! SPIRou collected its first non-laboratory photons on Nov 15 & 16 by staring at the Sun for a couple of hours. For these observations we used a solar telescope with a motorized mount, allowing to track the Sun along its celestial course. A 300 µm fiber was attached to the side […]