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Astron. Nachr./AN 325 (2004) 6/7, xxxxxx Robotic telescopes on the Antarctic plateau
 

Summary: Astron. Nachr./AN 325 (2004) 6/7, xxx­xxx
Robotic telescopes on the Antarctic plateau
M. C. B. ASHLEY , M. G. BURTON, J. S. LAWRENCE, and J. W. V. STOREY
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Received; accepted; published online
Abstract. The high plateau that covers half of the continent of Antarctica contains the best astronomical observing sites
on Earth. The infrared sky background is low, the precipitable water vapour is low, the sub-millimetre sky opacity is low,
the winds are low, the atmosphere is exceedingly clear and stable, it never rains, there is no dust, it is geological stable,
and the seeing at some sites, notably Dome C, is superb. The turbulence profile in the atmosphere is beneficial for adaptive
optics, with fewer actuators and fewer deformable mirrors being required, and with significant correction being possible at
visible wavelengths. For projects that require continuous monitoring, e.g., planet detection through micro-lensing, a single
robotic telescope in Antarctica can replace a network of 4­6 telescopes placed around the world at mid-latitude sites. For
many projects requiring large apertures, a given size telescope in Antarctica will outperform a telescope of 2­3 times the
aperture at a mid-latitude site. We review what is known about the site conditions, and outline some of the issues involved
with designing robotic telescopes to work in Antarctica.
Key words: Telescopes -- Site testing -- Atmospheric effects -- Instrumentation: adaptive optics -- Instrumentation: high
angular resolution
c 0000 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
1. Introduction
The possible advantages of the Antarctic plateau for astro-

  

Source: Ashley, Michael C. B. - School of Physics, University of New South Wales

 

Collections: Physics