Image: EOST PILOT: Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope.
Why a ~2.4 metre telescope? It is the next step along a path towards –An interferometer –A large filled-aperture HAR telescope –A large filled-aperture wide-field telescope –A sub-mm telescope It is available “off the shelf” and so it is –Inexpensive (eg, passive mirror support) –Fast (30 months) The instrumentation is small and inexpensive It can remain at Dome C as special-purpose telescope after the “pathfinder” phase.
PILOT, 2.4 metres, 2012 LAPCAT, 8 metres, 2016 GMTA, 24 metres, 2026 Towards an Antarctic ELT
LAPCAT The Large Antarctic Plateau Clear Aperture Telescope Animation: Inside Systems Gmbh
PILOT could be similar to the Lick Rocky Planet Finder telescope Image: EOST Strawman design: 2.4 metre primary Dual Nasmyth f/10 Brushless direct drive Fast tip-tilt secondary
PILOT Functional Specification PILOT will have mirror diameter 1.8m – 2.4m, with preference for the largest size possible. Classic two-mirror design; Ritchey-Cretien or Gregorian, and using Nasmyth focus. Able to point to any elevations greater than 20 at all azimuths. Two modes of operation; wide-field, natural-seeing limited operating at about f/10, over a field of view 75mm x 75mm; and Diffraction-limited imaging at about f/20 over at least 37mm x 37mm. Designs with fixed, or at least the same, camera in the two modes are strongly preferred. Possible future use of PILOT as part of an interferometer
PASA, 22, (2005),199 – 235. See also: www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jacara/ antbib.php
Can PILOT act as a pathfinder for future telescopes, and do good science? Image: John Storey
Image: NASA There are ~100,000 objects in earth orbit with sizes between 1 cm and 10cm. Most are in unknown orbits. A collision with any one of these objects could destroy a $1b satellite. Dome C is the ideal location for detection of polar-orbitting debris. Could PILOT have a “dual role”? Satellite debris
Telescope Elevation Advantages Rodgers, Swain and Hippler 2006
For wide-field imaging; no For high-res. imaging; maybe PILOT weighs 27 tonnes 30 m “Hammerschlag” tower weighs 100 tonnes Deflection under maximum wind gusts at Dome C is ~100 milli arcsec (Lanford et al 2006) Image: Robert Hammerschlag et al, 2006 Is a tower required? Dutch Open Telescope, La Palma
The new Australian Antarctic Division air-link will be fully operational in 2007. Dome C Images: Australian Antarctic Division
Logistic support from Hobart Hobart ● Sydney ● Dome C ● Image: Australian Antarctic Division DdU ● ● Casey l’Astrolabe
Getting PILOT from Dumont d’Urville to Dome C. Image: John Storey
Complete 1.8-metre telescope (minus mirror) Image: Electro-Optic Systems
2.4 m telescope Image: John Storey Another 2.4 m telescope And one more...
Governance of PILOT Australia and Europe share the total cost 50:50 Australia and Europe share the observing time 50:50 All data become publicly available after 18 months Instruments are preferably constructed as joint ventures (could also involve US?) Exchange of students, postdocs is strongly encouraged!
PILOT Organisational chart, Stage 1 FP6 Australian PILOT Project Office ARENA NA1NA2NA4NA3NA5 NCRIS AAL PILOT Science Office UNSW Univ. Nice ARENA MoU AAL = Astronomy Australia Limited AAAAC
Current status Contract with Australian DEST under negotiation Will Saunders appointed as Project Scientist Peter Gillingham appointed as Project Guru Applicant for Project Engineer being selected First meeting of AAAAC held on 22 February 07 Risk Workshop held at SKM on 23 February 07 Draft Functional Specification written
The next steps Appoint Project Manager Define work packages Further MoUs and contracts with European teams Joint DDP program (€600k+ ; 1 year) Engineering design studies Prototyping and testing of components Design Reference Mission (Science) Critical Design Review Formal agreement on construction Construction, deployment and operation!
...and following a successful Critical Design Review...
PILOT Organisation chart, Stage 2 European funding sources Aus. DEST AAL PILOT Board PILOT Office Aus. Ant. Astro. Australian PILOT Science Office European PILOT Science Office AAAAC
Image: David A. Hardy UNSW team: Michael Ashley, Colin Bonner, Tui Britton, Michael Burton, Jessie Christiansen, Jon Everett, Shane Hengst, Balt Indermuehle, Suzanne Kenyon, Jon Lawrence, Daniel Luong-Van, John Storey.
Image: Jon Lawrence M.C.B. Ashley, M.G. Burton, J.S. Lawrence & J.W.V. Storey, Robotic telescopes on the Antarctic plateau, Astronomische Nachrichten, 325, (2004), 619 – 625. See also: A.M. Fowler, N. Sharp, W. Ball, A.E.T. Schinckel, M.C.B. Ashley, M. Boccas, J.W.V. Storey, D. Depoy, P. Martini, D.A. Harper and R.D. Marks, ABU/SPIREX: The South Pole Thermal IR Experiment, Proc SPIE, (1998), 3354, 1170 – 1178.