CRIRES is a high-resolution near-infrared spectrograph at the Very Large Telescope in Chile, operated by the European Southern Observatory. In 2014, the instrument was unmounted and shipped back to Germany to undergo an upgrade. The upgrade project, called CRIRES+, will transform the instrument into a cross-dispersed spectrograph, thereby increasing by a factor of ten the wavelength range that is covered simultaneously. In addition, a new detector focal plane array of three Hawaii 2RG detectors will replace the existing detectors, a new spectropolarimetric unit will be added and the calibration system will be enhanced.

CRIRES cryostat in the main assembling hall of the ESO headquarters in Garching (Germany). Some of the instrument optics are still inside.

Uppsala Universitet is part of the CRIRES+ consortium, together with the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, the Institute for Astrophysics Göttingen, and the INAF Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory. We are responsible for the design and manufacture of the polarimetric unit, and the design and implementation of the Data Reduction System. Moreover we contribute the new detectors with the help of a grant from the Knut and
Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

The instrument is planned to return to the telescope in 2019, and will allow astronomers to improve our understanding of stellar magnetic fields, detect planets in the habitable zone of low-mass stars, characterize atmospheres of exoplanets, and more!

Contact: Nikolai Piskunov, Eric Stempels, Ulrike Heiter, Thomas Marquart, Alexis Lavail