Overview VLTI Expertise Centre Support

Below is an overview of the support and resources provided by each of the VLTI Expertise Centres. Please refer to individual webpages for details.

  • JMMC
    • End-to-end support for GRAVITY and MATISSE
      • proposal preparation
      • Phase 2 observation preparation
      • data reduction
      • training in JMMC preparation and modeling tools (ASPRO2, SearchCal, LitPro)
      • image reconstructiion
    • ESO pipelines are installed on a dedicated server
    • Currently supports scientists in Paris (GRAVITY), Nice (MATISSE), Grenoble (GRAVITY), and Lyon (Model fitting, image reconstruction)
    • Webpage


  • Portuguese VLTI Expertise Centre
    • 2 support scientists 
    •  Support for GRAVITY
      • proposal preparation
      • data reduction
      • model fitting
      • image reconstruction
    • ESO pipelines installed on a dedicated workstation.
    • As of March 2021, and due to the Pilot Program, the centre offers reduction of archive data in coordination with ESO.
    • Webpage


  • University of Exeter
    • Support on observing proposal preparation and data reduction for VLTI instruments
    • Promoting collaboration between interferometrists world-wide, including coordination of cross-facility observations with the US interferometers.
    • Webpage


  • KU Leuven
    • End-to-end support for PIONIER, GRAVITY, MATISSE
      • Proposal and observation preparation
      • Data reduction
      • Model fitting
      • Interferometric imaging
      • High-contrast signal extraction
      • Webpage


  • Leiden Observatory
    • Under construction
    • presently limited support for proposal preparation for VLTI instruments, with a special emphasis on MATISSE
    • From P110, we will gradually expand our support to proposal preparation for all VLTI instruments, (archival) data quality assessment, and (archival) data processing and scientific analysis, including imaging and parameterised model fitting
    • The Leiden Expertise Center has data storage and processing facilities available for qualified users.
    • Webpage


  • Konkoly Observatory
    • Primarily assistance with proposal preparation
    • knowledge exchange from our radio interferometry experts
    • training in using Aspro2, LitPro
    • independent reviewers for novice/expert proposals
    • Data reduction support (in a near future)



For User Support at ESO, the VLTI instruments are fully integrated into the general support of ESO facilities. The ESO User Support Department operates a helpdesk system  where users can address questions and request assistance on all aspects of ESO telescope Service Mode operations (observing proposals writing, Phase 2 material preparation, and post-observation activities). General information on observing with ESO telescopes is available.

Data Protection Policy

The VLTI Expertise Centres are open to every researcher wanting to reduce a raw VLTI dataset to which they have access (either as PI or CoI, or because the ESO protection period lapsed). A VLTI Expertise Centre can accept several requests on the same raw dataset. Any dataset reduced with the help of a VLTI Expertise Centre is put on OIDB (Optical Interferometry DataBase) in a private collection only accessible by the user and his/her designated colleagues. Such a collection will be kept private until the first publication of scientific results based on the reduced dataset, or ultimately until one year after the end of the ESO protection period on the raw data.

Therefore, the general rule is that all data reduced with the help of a VLTI Expertise Centre will be made publicly available after the first scientific publication, or ultimately one year after the release of the raw data. As a corollary, if a VLTI Expertise Centre reduces raw data that have been public for more than one year, the reduced data will be made public immediately on OIDB.