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The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is the most important intergovernmental science and technology organization in astronomy in the Southern Hemisphere, in which Spain joined as a full member in 2007.

ESO carries out a program aimed at the design, construction and operation of powerful astronomical observation facilities, providing the necessary tools to uncover important scientific discoveries in space. Currently, ESO operates in three unique locations in the Chilean Atacama Desert and have been selected for their high quality for the observation: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor.

The Paranal observatory, at 2,600 meters high and 12 kilometers inland from the Pacific coast, houses the Very Large Telescope (Very Large Telescope, VLT) where Procon Systems will develop its next project of upgrade of control systems. The VTL is currently the most advanced telescope in European astronomy that allows to see objects that are four billion times weaker than those seen with the naked eye. It is made up of four “Unitary Telescopes”, each with a mirror of 8.2 meters in diameter and four mobile “Auxiliary Telescopes” with mirrors of 1.8 meters in diameter.

Furthermore, the VTL can be used as a giant optical interferometer combining the light from several of the 'Unitary Telescopes' and the 'Auxiliary Telescopes', which allows a vision so acute that it is equivalent to a distance of more than 200 meters. This means that the VLT can reconstruct images with an angular resolution of milliseconds of arc, which would be equivalent to distinguishing the two headlights of a vehicle at a distance like the distance that separates the Earth from the Moon.

In concrete it will be in the VTL where Procon Systems will modernize the coating process of the mirrors of the Very Large Telescope, replacing the current control system based on a Siemens S5 PLC with a new one based on a Siemens S7 PLC.

This is Procon Systems' first collaboration with ESO, which will begin next Sunday, March 24, 2019, with the project team traveling to Chile for the project kick-off meeting.

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  • The ESO Extremely Large Telescope Project
    The European Southern Observatory’s Large Telescope (ESO’s ELT) is a revolutionary scientific project for a 40m-class telescope that will allow us to address many of the most pressing unsolved questions about our Universe.

    The ELT will be the largest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world and will gather 15 times more light than the largest optical telescopes existing today. The ELT will be able to correct for the atmospheric distortions (i.e., fully adaptive and diffraction-limited) from the start, providing images 15 times sharper than those from the Hubble Space Telescope.
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  • Procon Systems and the CERN have completed the preliminary tests in order to start the recommissioning of the SPS
    Procon Systems and the CERN Engineering Group have completed the preliminary tests in order to start the recommissioning of the SPS ( Super Proton Synchrotron).

    The renewal of the Access Zones has been partially completed and tested allowing the CERN´S Operations Group top take over again the control of parts of the accelerator complex.
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    Procon Systems has installed a robotic cell at the VW-Navarra factory to measure paint thickness in car bodies. This measurement by layers and without contact is carried out with the IRYS system from Das Nano using Terahertz technology.
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