DESI’s installation began in February 2018. The instrument’s components were built all across the globe, and these various parts came together at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO). The process of building such a large and complex instrument has introduced unique challenges. Check out videos of DESI work in progress and components in motion here!
DESI prototypes have been built to test specific functionality and prepare for commissioning of the final DESI instrument. ProtoDESI, for example, evaluated DESI’s ability to point its fiber-optic cables at selected sky objects. A commissioning instrument was installed on the telescope during Spring 2019 to evaluate the performance of the corrector, which houses an array of large, intricate lenses.
Now DESI has been installed on the telescope and, as of October 22 2019, several months of commissioning are taking place to test the performance of the instrument. When the instrument has demonstrated that it meets all specifications, a phase of science validation will begin to ensure that DESI can meet its science goals.