The IPY traverse to DomeA? , Antarctica
This Antarctic summer (2007/2008) the Polar Research Institute of China will once again venture to one of the most remote locations on the planet, that being the highest point on the Antarctic plateau, DomeA?
. The traverse will take with it an automated laboratory, designed and constructed by the University of New South Wales, for the purpose of site testing a site many consider to be the best ground based astronomical site on the planet. Several international groups have been invited to partake in this traverse by providing site testing instruments.
A team consisting of members from Caltech Optical Observatories and The Thirty Meter Telescope Project were awarded funding by the National Science Foundation to contribute 2 site testing projects. Substantial donations from the Michelson Science Center and the Univeristy of Texas expanded the basic site testing functionality of the cameras to enable first class science observations. Science possible with the acquired site tesing data, specifically the cameras with their unique dataset, will be available to a wide team of astronomers researching:
- Nova detection (Caltech)
- Planetary transits (The Michelson Science center and The University of Texas)
- OH band structure and variability (PRIC, The University of Sussex and the British Antarctic Survey)
- Astroseismology (The University of Sydney)
The Caltech faculty members endorsing this project are George Djorgovsky and Chris Martin.
The Gattini-DomeA cameras
These are two cameras for the measurement of optical sky brightness, cloud cover, OH band structure and bright auroral detection are under assembly at Caltech Optical Observatories.
Ground layer profiling over 30m
The project has been extremely fortunate to have received financial contributions that expand the functionality of the cameras above and beyond the original site testing goals. The contributing groups are:
Apogee CCD Inc. (http://www.ccd.com
Lifan Wang and Nick Suntzeff (The University of Texas)
Chas Beichman and Gerard Van Belle (The Michelson Science Center)
Patrick Espy (The British Antarctic Survey)
- 14 Sep 2007