CFHT and its communities prepare the future of the Observatory

In addition to serving the community of today's users, CFHT is constantly involved in developing new projects and getting prepared to welcome the instrumentation for tomorrow's astronomy.

Ongoing Development


VISION is an optomechanical interface that will allow installing SPIRou and ESPaDOnS at the Cassegrain focus of the telescope at the same time. Thanks to a beam splitter that will separate the near IR and optical beams without affecting polarization, and relay optics, VISION can be used to observe with SPIRou only (no intervening optics), or with ESPaDOnS only (using relay optics), or with both SPIRou and ESPaDOnS simultaneously (using the beam splitter).

This project is led by OMP/IRAP in collaboration with CFHT. Funding is provided by CFHT and CNRS in France. The current project timeline has all 3 VISION modes integrated at CFHT (hardware assembled and tested, software integrated, including QSO and Kealahou) at the end of 2024 or early 2025

Proposed new narrow-band SITELLE filter

This proposal for a new narrow-band filter covering Halpha will open new scientific opportunities with SITELLE. This filter will increase by a factor of about two both its spectral resolution and sensitivity, and will allow the exploration of prime interest science cases in various domains that are currently not within the reach of SITELLE.

Future Developments

Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer

The Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE) is CFHT’s plan to reimagine our existing facility into a 10-meter class telescope fully dedicated to spectroscopy. For full information regarding MSE, visit the MSE website.

A brief overview in pdf format can be downloaded here


Pathfinder-IFU is a single large format 33×28.5”, fiber-fed integral field unit (IFU) that feeds highly efficient optical spectrographs that provide complete wavelength coverage from 360 nm to 980 nm at a minimum resolving power of ~3000. This system will excel at the characterization of galaxies and other faint, diffuse, or uncertain coordinate objects. Pathfinder-IFU is also the first component of the planned MSE-Pathfinder instrument that will bring a 1000 fiber multi-object (Pathfinder-MOS) optical to infrared spectrograph system to CFHT.

The development of this instrument will depend on community support and funding. A brief overview in pdf format can be downloaded here

Previous developments

SPIRou-The latest instrument integrated at CFHT. For more information, please consult the SPIRou pages at CFHT

SITELLE - Integrated in 2015. For more information, please consult the SITELLE pages at CFHT

GRACES - Retired in 2023A. GRACES was a fiber link between CFHT and Gemini. For more information, consult the GRACES pages at Gemini.

Dome venting - A project to improve the dome seeing

OAP - Observatory Automation Project

DANCE - Dual Amplifier New CCD for ESPaDOnS

`OHANA - Optical Hawaiian Array for Nanoradian Astronomy

CLOE - The CFHT-LSP On-sky Experiment

Gyes - a wide-field multi-object spectrograph project

'IMAKA - a high-resolution wide-field optical imager