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Proceedings Paper

The PLATO Antarctic site testing observatory
Author(s): 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
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Paper Abstract

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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7012, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes II, 701227 (10 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.787166
Show Author Affiliations
J. S. Lawrence, Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)
G. R. Allen, Solar Mobility (Australia)
M. C. B. Ashley, Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)
C. Bonner, Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)
S. Bradley, Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand)
X. Cui, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics Technology (China)
J. R. Everett, Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)
L. Feng, Purple Mountain Observatory (China)
X. Gong, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics Technology (China)
S. Hengst, Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)
J. Hu, National Astronomical Observatory of China (China)
Z. Jiang, National Astronomical Observatory of China (China)
C. A. Kulesa, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Y. Li, Polar Research Institute of China (China)
D. Luong-Van, Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)
A. M. Moore, California Institute of Technology (United States)
C. Pennypacker, Univ. of California , Berkeley (United States)
W. Qin, Polar Research Institute of China (China)
R. Riddle, Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory Corp. (United States)
Z. Shang, Tianjin Normal Univ. (China)
J. W. V. Storey, Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)
B. Sun, Polar Research Institute of China (China)
N. Suntzeff, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
N. F. H. Tothill, Univ. of Exeter (United Kingdom)
T. Travouillon, California Institute of Technology (United States)
C. K. Walker, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
L. Wang, Purple Mountain Observatory (China)
Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
J. Yan, Purple Mountain Observatory (China)
National Astronomical Observatory of China (China)
J. Yang, Purple Mountain Observatory (China)
H. Yang, Polar Research Institute of China (China)
D. York, Univ. of Chicago (United States)
X. Yuan, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics Technology (China)
X. G. Zhang, Purple Mountain Observatory (China)
Z. Zhang, Polar Research Institute of China (China)
X. Zhou, National Astronomical Observatory of China (China)
Z. Zhu, Purple Mountain Observatory (China)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7012:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes II
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi, Editor(s)

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