June 17 - 20, 2019 at ESO Garching, Germany
The VLT provides a powerful suite of visible and infrared instruments, including unique capabilities like coherent and incoherent combinations of the four 8m Unit Telescopes and a multi-laser guided adaptive optics system. In combination with ALMA, it provides a comprehensive coverage of the parameters space in visible, infrared and sub-mm ground-based observations.
With the advent of the Extremely Large Telescope the VLT will take on a new role. It will still serve a large community and will continue to provide unique data. The strengths will be the versatile instrumentation on four 8m telescopes, the spatial resolution achievable by interferometry and the flexible operational model. The VLT, VLTI and the instrumentation have been maintained at peak performance and new capabilities have been developed. A hardware and software obsolescence programme is ensuring that the facility can be operated for many years to come.
A discussion of future science served by the VLT should be the basis for its development in the ELT era. The ELT, VLT in its many functions and the ESO 4m telescopes will form a powerful astrophysics resource. The new role of the VLT needs to be defined and the workshop will provide a discussion forum to shape its future.
Discussion topics will be new and improved VLT and VLTI instrumentation, potential modifications or upgrades to the facilities, changes in the operational model and synergies with other facilities.
The outcome of the workshop should provide an overview of potential development paths of the VLT and VLTI when the ELT is operating. ESO will assess the priorities for future VLT developments according to the ideas presented at the workshop and available resources. These ideas will be consolidated by the VLT and VLTI programme scientists into a strategic proposal and incorporated into an implementation plan, to be submitted to STC and Council for recommendation and approval.