MORFEO (Multi-conjugate adaptive Optics Relay For ELT Observation ) formerly know as MAORY, is one of the first light instruments for the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), the 39 m diameter optical-infrared telescope that the European Southern Observatory (ESO) will build in the next decade in collaboration with its community of member States.
MORFEO is a post-focal adaptive optics module. It supports the MICADO near-infrared camera by offering two adaptive optics modes: Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) and Single-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (SCAO).
In the MCAO mode, wavefront sensing is performed by a system based on up to six Laser Guide Stars for high-order wavefront sensing and three Natural Guide Stars for low-order wavefront sensing; wavefront compensation is achieved by up to two deformable mirrors in MORFEO, which work together with the telescope adaptive and tip-tilt mirrors M4 and M5 respectively. In the SCAO mode, wavefront distortions are measured by a single Natural Guide Star wavefront sensor and compensated by the telescope M4 and M5 mirrors, while the deformable mirrors inside MORFEO are kept flat.
MORFEO also offers provision for a second port for a future instrument, as yet undefined.
The international consortium that will develop MORFEO from phase B (preliminary design) to phase E (commissioning) includes INAF (lead institute responsible for the design and construction of the instrument at system level) , IPAG (France) and NUIG (Ireland). ESO is the project customer and is also a supplier of components for the instrument construction.