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Design and Performance of the Douglas Mawson Telescope Jon S. Lawrence, Michael C. B. Ashley, Michael G. Burton and John W.V. Storey
 

Summary: Design and Performance of the Douglas Mawson Telescope
Jon S. Lawrence, Michael C. B. Ashley, Michael G. Burton and John W.V. Storey
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2152 Australia
ABSTRACT
The Douglas Mawson Telescope (DMT) is a proposed 2 m telescope to be situated on the Antarctic plateau. The
proposal comes from Australia, and invites participation by other nations, especially those already active in Antarctic
astronomy; such as Italy, France and the United States. The DMT will be equipped with instrumentation to perform
wide-field imaging from the near to far infrared. Results from an extensive site testing campaign over the last decade
indicates that an Antarctic infrared telescope can be one to two orders of magnitude more sensitive than any other
ground based telescope of the same size. The DMT will be an important tool for astrophysical research. It will also be
beneficial as a technological test bed for future large (8-10 m class) Antarctic telescopes and interferometers, and for
space-based telescopes. This paper analyses the performance of the DMT in terms of the achievable resolution, field-of-
view, sensitivity and survey depth and compares it to a similar sized telescope located with the characteristic mid-
latitude atmosphere of Mauna Kea.
Keywords: astronomical optics, atmospheric turbulence, site testing, Antarctic astronomy, adaptive optics
1. INTRODUCTION
The first phase of the development of the Antarctic plateau as an astrophysical observatory commenced and is
continuing with an extensive range of site testing experiments characterising the atmosphere. These site testing
experiments have indicated that Antarctica is arguable the best location on Earth to place an infrared or submillimetre
telescope. The superiority of the site arises from several factors: the very low temperatures, which result in low thermal

  

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

 

Collections: Physics