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CUBES phase a design overview

Zanutta, Alessio; Cristiani, Stefano; Atkinson, David; Baldini, Veronica; Balestra, Andrea; Barbuy, Beatriz; Macanhan, Vanessa Bawden P.; Calcines, Ariadna; Calderone, Giorgio; Case, Scott; Castilho, Bruno V.; Cescutti, Gabriele; Cirami, Roberto; Coretti, Igor; Covino, Stefano; Cupani, Guido; De Caprio, Vincenzo; Dekker, Hans; Di Marcantonio, Paolo; D’Odorico, Valentina; Ernandes, Heitor; Evans, Chris; Feger, Tobias; Feiz, Carmen; Franchini, Mariagrazia; Genoni, Matteo; Gneiding, Clemens D.; Kałuszyński, Mikołaj; Landoni, Marco; Lawrence, Jon; Lunney, David; Miller, Chris; Molaverdikhani, Karan; Opitom, Cyrielle; Pariani, Giorgio; Piranomonte, Silvia; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Redaelli, Edoardo Maria Alberto; Riva, Marco; Robertson, David; Rossi, Silvia; Rothmaier, Florian; Seifert, Walter; Smiljanic, Rodolfo; Stürmer, Julian; Stilz, Ingo; Trost, Andrea; Verducci, Orlando; Waring, Chris; Watson, Stephen; Wells, Martyn; Xu, Wenli; Zafar, Tayyaba; Zorba, Sonia

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Alessio Zanutta

Stefano Cristiani

David Atkinson

Veronica Baldini

Andrea Balestra

Beatriz Barbuy

Vanessa Bawden P. Macanhan

Giorgio Calderone

Scott Case

Bruno V. Castilho

Gabriele Cescutti

Roberto Cirami

Igor Coretti

Stefano Covino

Guido Cupani

Vincenzo De Caprio

Hans Dekker

Paolo Di Marcantonio

Valentina D’Odorico

Heitor Ernandes

Chris Evans

Tobias Feger

Carmen Feiz

Mariagrazia Franchini

Matteo Genoni

Clemens D. Gneiding

Mikołaj Kałuszyński

Marco Landoni

Jon Lawrence

David Lunney

Chris Miller

Karan Molaverdikhani

Cyrielle Opitom

Giorgio Pariani

Silvia Piranomonte

Andreas Quirrenbach

Edoardo Maria Alberto Redaelli

Marco Riva

David Robertson

Silvia Rossi

Florian Rothmaier

Walter Seifert

Rodolfo Smiljanic

Julian Stürmer

Ingo Stilz

Andrea Trost

Orlando Verducci

Chris Waring

Stephen Watson

Martyn Wells

Wenli Xu

Tayyaba Zafar

Sonia Zorba


We present the baseline conceptual design of the Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph (CUBES) for the Very Large Telescope. CUBES will provide unprecedented sensitivity for spectroscopy on a 8 – 10 m class telescope in the ground ultraviolet (UV), spanning a bandwidth of ≥ 100 nm that starts at 300 nm, the shortest wavelength accessible from the ground. The design has been optimized for end-to-end efficiency and provides a spectral resolving power of R≥ 20000, that will unlock a broad range of new topics across solar system, Galactic and extraglactic astronomy. The design also features a second, lower-resolution (R ∼ 7000) mode and has the option of a fiberlink to the UVES instrument for simultaneous observations at longer wavelengths. Here we present the optical, mechanical and software design of the various subsystems of the instrument after the Phase A study of the project. We discuss the expected performances for the layout choices and highlight some of the performance trade-offs considered to best meet the instrument top-level requirements. We also introduce the model-based system engineering approach used to organize and manage the project activities and interfaces, in the context that it is increasingly necessary to integrate such tools in the development of complex astronomical projects.


Zanutta, A., Cristiani, S., Atkinson, D., Baldini, V., Balestra, A., Barbuy, B., …Zorba, S. (2022). CUBES phase a design overview. Experimental Astronomy,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 7, 2022
Online Publication Date May 24, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Sep 29, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 29, 2022
Journal Experimental astronomy.
Print ISSN 0922-6435
Electronic ISSN 1572-9508
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL


Published Journal Article (4.3 Mb)

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