Tag Archive | Paranal Observatory

Sev talks about SAFER at Paranal

Sev talks about SAFER at Paranal

Just before we left Sev (RAL Space) the project manager of SAFER gave a talk to people at the Paranal Observatory. There were some projector problems in the beginning so the recording starts rather suddenly. Also once again sorry about the quality the light levels at ESO have to be kept low and we were not equipped for low light recording. Anyway enjoy the talk:


Intermission – The Atacama

After the post on Guillermo’s talk we felt that we should share a bit more about the location of the SAFER trials the Atacama desert. Gerd Hudepohl from ESO has used the chance of working within this amazing place to document some of the most interesting and amazing parts with his skills in photography. We invite you to visit his website and look at his gallery to see more of Chile, the Atacama, life in the Atacama and the Paranal Observatory:


And to find out even more, there is a nice piece on youtube about the Atacama: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fnmtPB_xpk

ESO publication on SAFER project

ESO has published a news article on the SAFER trials. Note that this was the second trial in the Atacama, about one and a half year ago a different consortium completed the SEEKER long range navigation trials not far from where SAFER operated. For the ESO publication please visit the ESO website:


Large crowd gathers to see Bridget off

Large crowd gathers to see Bridget off

It is time for Bridget to leave after many long hard days out in the desert. But this last day is the day for celebration and many people from the Paranal Observatory gather to watch Bridget’s last traverse before she needs to go back in the shipping crate.

Paranal staff gathers to see the rover. Even the chef is there!

Paranal staff gathers to see the rover. Even the chef is there!

A visitor this morning

A visitor this morning

We had a surprise visitor during breakfast today. Even this dry desert is full of life. credit: Elie Allouis ‎(Astrium)

We had a surprise visitor during breakfast today. Even this dry desert is full of life.
credit: Elie Allouis ‎(Astrium)

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

If you are wondering 07 is in the corner on the right

Home for the SAFER team for the duration of the trials is the “Bond Cabins” near the Paranal hotel

Most scientist at the Paranal Observatory work night shifts therefore people have to be quite in the building during the day. However with the rover we are working during the day, and we needed more space too so ESO kindly let us use to “Bond Cabins” that are at the edge of the site, and give us direct access to our assembly and integration area. The curious names comes from the time when the field crew of the Bond movie Quantum of Solace stayed at Paranal and needed the extra accommodation. Luckily they kept the cabins afterwards. We are not sure yet who will get cabin 07…

A garden in the driest desert

A garden in the driest desert


Any fan of Frank Herbert’s Dune will appreciate how difficult it is to maintain a wet garden on the middle of the desert, but the Paranal Observatory has this lovely space to relax in. And yes, that is a small pool hidden behind the trees. If you are working in the field in below 10% humidity and strong sunshine all day that is a must. By the way speaking of Dune, did we mention we are going out in the desert with a geologist and his native guide on Thursday?