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The PLATO Antarctic site testing observatory

Lawrence, J. S. and Moore, A. M. and Travouillon, T. and Riddle, R. (2008) The PLATO Antarctic site testing observatory. In: Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes II. Proceedings of SPIE. No.7012. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 701227. ISBN 9780819472229.

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Over a decade of site testing in Antarctica has shown that both South Pole and Dome C are exceptional sites for astronomy, with certain atmospheric conditions superior to those at existing mid-latitude sites. However, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau, Dome A, is expected to experience colder atmospheric temperatures, lower wind speeds, and a turbulent boundary layer that is confined closer to the ground. The Polar Research Institute of China, who were the first to visit the Dome A site in January 2005, plan to establish a permanently manned station there within the next decade. As part of this process they conducted a second expedition to Dome A, arriving via overland traverse in January 2008. This traverse involved the delivery and installation of the PLATeau Observatory (PLATO). PLATO is an automated self-powered astrophysical site testing observatory, developed by the University of New South Wales. A number of international institutions have contributed site testing instruments measuring turbulence, optical sky background, and sub-millimetre transparency. In addition, a set of science instruments are providing wide-field high time resolution optical photometry and terahertz imaging of the Galaxy. We present here an overview of the PLATO system design and instrumentation suite.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
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Moore, A. M.0000-0002-2894-6936
Riddle, R.0000-0002-0387-370X
Additional Information:© 2008 Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). The authors wish to thank all members of the 2008 Polar Research Institute of China Dome A expedition for a heroic effort in reaching the site and for providing invaluable assistance to the expedition astronomers in setting up the PLATO observatory. A number of staff and students from the University of New South Wales provided valuable “last minute” contributions that helped to ensure the success of this project: we particularly thank George Georgevits, Mikayla Keen, Tim Leslie, and Jessie Christiansen. This research is financially supported from the Australian Research Council, the Australian Antarctic Division, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the US National Science Foundation, and the United States Antarctic Program. Additional financial contributions have been made by the majority of institutions involved in this collaboration.
Group:Thirty Meter Telescope
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Australian Antarctic DivisionUNSPECIFIED
Chinese Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIED
National Natural Science Foundation of ChinaUNSPECIFIED
United States Antarctic ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:site testing, Antarctic astronomy
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:7012
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181112-110147443
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:J. S. Lawrence, G. R. Allen, M. C. B. Ashley, C. Bonner, S. Bradley, X. Cui, J. R. Everett, L. Feng, X. Gong, S. Hengst, J. Hu, Z. Jiang, C. A. Kulesa, Y. Li, D. Luong-Van, A. M. Moore, C. Pennypacker, W. Qin, R. Riddle, Z. Shang, J. W. V. Storey, B. Sun, N. Suntzeff, N. F. H. Tothill, T. Travouillon, C. K. Walker, L. Wang, J. Yan, J. Yang, H. Yang, D. York, X. Yuan, X. G. Zhang, Z. Zhang, X. Zhou, Z. Zhu, "The PLATO Antarctic site testing observatory," Proc. SPIE 7012, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes II, 701227 (10 July 2008)
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:90843
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Nov 2018 18:13
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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