Difference: 13SPRITEReview4 ( vs. 1)

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META TOPICPARENT name="Proposals"
In the context of the five review elements, please evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal with respect to intellectual merit.

The intellectual merit is based on the science cases that SPRITE will provide through wide field astrometry by delivering NIR observations with a precision of 10 microarcseconds. This will open up a wide range of science cases related to dark matter distributions in the Galaxy and potentially detect earth-like planets in the HZ.

The proposal is not original or transformative, but it does provide the necessary groundwork for developing the SPRITE proposal through cold weather and ruggedizing the equipment needed for work at the South Pole.

The team and the institute have a proven track record of successfully deploying and using instrumentation systems. They are also well aware of the extreme technical challenges and systematic effects in astrometry that can prevent the science goal being obtained. They also have a strong and very successful track record of mentoring and training students for education.

In the context of the five review elements, please evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal with respect to broader impacts.

In the context of this proposal, the broader impacts are that the investigation will provide ruggedization technologies and methods that can be applied to other Antarctic instruments. It also provides the technological demostrators needed for the SPRITE project in a few years time.

The greatest weakness is that the required astrometric precision required to enable the science cases has not been demonstrated yet. The team have had experience in carrying out AO assisted observations and have achieved relative 70 microarcsecond astrometry, but that is over a relatively short time, and some of the science cases require long integrations of several hours to reach the required precision.

The SPRITE project is also dependent on GAIA to provide a large grid of astrometric standards to enable their core science.

Please evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal with respect to any additional solicitation-specific review criteria, if applicable

Summary Statement

This project is a request for feasibility activities only, and as such does not deliver a final science product. The group are extremely well qualified for the propsed activities, and the SPRITE concept is very interesting, but although the proposers have demonstrated a clear and deep understanding of the issues involved in astrometry, they have not discussed any contingencies to their project if the required astrometric precision is not met.

 
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