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LAPCAT: the Large Antarctic Plateau Clear-Aperture Telescope John Storeya*
 

Summary: LAPCAT: the Large Antarctic Plateau Clear-Aperture Telescope
John Storeya*
, Roger Angelb
, Jon Lawrencea
, Phil Hinzb
, Michael Ashleya
and Michael Burtona
a
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052 Australia
b
Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
ABSTRACT
We present a proposal for an 8.4 metre off-axis optical/IR telescope to be located at Dome C, Antarctica. LAPCAT will
use a mirror identical to the offset segment recently cast for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) as a completely
unobscured f/2.1 primary. With a cooled deformable Gregorian secondary in a dewar following prime focus, LAPCAT
will allow for diffraction-limited imaging with only a single reflecting surface at ~ 220K, and thus the lowest possible
thermal background obtainable on earth. The exceptionally low atmospheric turbulence above Dome C enables very
high contrast imaging in the thermal infrared, and diffraction limited imaging extending to optical wavelengths (20 mas
at 800 nm, where Strehl ratios > 60% are projected). As an example, a deep 5 Ám exoplanet imaging survey to
complement current radial velocity methods could take advantage of both the low background and pupil remapping

  

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

 

Collections: Physics