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Near--infrared sky brightness monitor for the South Pole Michael C. B. Ashley
 

Summary: Near--infrared sky brightness monitor for the South Pole
Michael C. B. Ashley
Michael G. Burton
James P. Lloyd
John W. V. Storey
Joint Australian Centre for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica (JACARA)
School of Physics, University of New South Wales
Sydney 2052, Australia
ABSTRACT
The antarctic plateau has the potential for being the best site on Earth for conducting astronomical observations
from the near-infrared to the sub-millimeter. Particular gains are expected in the 1 to 5 micron region, where
the high altitude, low water vapour content, and low thermal emission from the atmosphere combine to create
observing conditions unequalled elsewhere on the surface of the earth. We describe an instrument, the Infrared
Photometer-Spectrometer (IRPS), that we are using to quantify site conditions at the South Pole by measuring the
near-infrared sky brightness. We also describe some ofthe unique problems associated with building instruments
to work in Antarctica.
Keywords: near-infrared, Antarctica, astronomy, site-testing
1 THE ENVIRONMENT AT THE SOUTH POLE
The US Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is located within a few hundred meters of the Geodetic South
Pole, at an altitude of 2900 m. Centrifugal and temperature effects reduce the air-pressure to the equivalent of

  

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

 

Collections: Physics