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Proceedings Paper

MOSE: a feasibility study for optical turbulence forecast with the Meso-Nh mesoscale model to support AO facilities at ESO sites (Paranal and Armazones)
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Paper Abstract

We present very encouraging preliminary results obtained in the context of the MOSE project, an on-going study aiming at investigating the feasibility of the forecast of the optical turbulence and meteorological parameters (in the free atmosphere as well as in the boundary and surface layer) at Cerro Paranal (site of the Very Large Telescope - VLT) and Cerro Armazones (site of the European Extremely Large Telescope - E-ELT), both in Chile. The study employs the Meso-Nh atmospheric mesoscale model and aims at supplying a tool for optical turbulence forecasts to support the scheduling of the scientific programs and the use of AO facilities at the VLT and the E-ELT. In this study we take advantage of the huge amount of measurements performed so far at Paranal and Armazones by ESO and the TMT consortium in the context of the site selection for the E-ELT and the TMT to constraint / validate the model. A detailed analysis of the model performances in reproducing the atmospheric parameters (T, V, p, H, ...) near the ground as well as in the free atmosphere, is critical and fundamental because the optical turbulence depends on most of these parameters. This approach permits us to provide an exhaustive and complete analysis of the model performances and to better define the model operational application. This also helps us to identify the sources of discrepancies with optical turbulence measurements (when they appear) and to discriminate between different origins of the problem: model parameterization, initial conditions, ... Preliminary results indicate a great accuracy of the model in reproducing most of the main meteorological parameters in statistical terms as well as in each individual night in the free atmosphere and in proximity of the surface. The study is co-funded by ESO and INAF-Arcetri (Italy).

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2012
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 8447, Adaptive Optics Systems III, 84475A (13 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925924
Show Author Affiliations
Elena Masciadri, INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)
Franck Lascaux, INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8447:
Adaptive Optics Systems III
Brent L. Ellerbroek; Enrico Marchetti; Jean-Pierre Véran, Editor(s)

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