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Proceedings Paper

The Thirty Meter Telescope site testing system
Author(s): Warren Skidmore; Matthias Schock; Andrei A. Tokovinin; George Djorgovski; Alistair R. Walker; Robert D. Blum; Tony Travouillon; Juan Seguel; Edison E. Bustos; David Walker; Joselina Vasquez; Paul E. Gillett
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Paper Abstract

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) site testing team are developing a suite of instruments to measure the atmospheric and optical characteristics of candidate TMT sites. Identical sets of robotically operating instruments will be placed at each candidate site. The fully developed system will comprise of a combined MASS/DIMM. a SODAR, tower mounted thermal probes and a portable DIMM. These instruments have overlapping altitude coverage and provide a measure of the C2n profile from the ground up with sufficient resolution to make conclusions about the ground layer and high altitude turbulence characteristics. The overlapping altitude coverage is essential to ensure consistency between these very different instruments. In addition to checking for consistency in the overlap regions, procedures are being used to cross check between instruments, i.e. the calculation of the isoplanatic angle from both the MASS and DIMM and that the integrals of the C2n profiles from the MASS, SODAR and 30m tower gives the same r0 value as measured by the DIMM. We discuss a variation of the traditional DIMM system in which we employ a continuous drift mode readout technique giving a maximum of nearly 300 samples per second. Findings of our major equipment testing campaigns and first field deployment are presented that demonstrate our progress in developing a rigorous approach to site testing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5489, Ground-based Telescopes, (28 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.549384
Show Author Affiliations
Warren Skidmore, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Matthias Schock, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Andrei A. Tokovinin, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
George Djorgovski, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Alistair R. Walker, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Robert D. Blum, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Tony Travouillon, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Juan Seguel, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Edison E. Bustos, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
David Walker, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Joselina Vasquez, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Paul E. Gillett, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5489:
Ground-based Telescopes
Jacobus M. Oschmann, Editor(s)

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