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Proceedings Paper

Mauna Kea Site Survey
Author(s): Laird A. Thompson
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Paper Abstract

The summit of Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii is widely recognized as one of the best ground-based sites in the world for optical and infrared astronomy and, as such, it is a potential location for at least two of the advanced technology telescopes now in the planning stages. Because of the importance of further understanding the site characteristics for undeveloped areas near the summit of Mauna Kea, the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy, which is responsible within the state for the site, has undertaken a comprehensive site survey program to (1) study the orographic properties of the mountaintop and (2) to relate these properties to the image quality as observed through a large telescope. This site survey program will be closely coordinated with the U.S. National New Technology Telescope site survey. In our survey, we will be particularly interested in simultaneous measurements throughout a two-year period of wind speed, wind direction, and microthermal turbulence over a grid of test towers placed within the summit area. With such data--and simultaneous monitoring of image quality at the summit of Mauna Kea--we hope to identify the best potential locations for large telescopes on Mauna Kea and, in turn, to effect the most responsible use of this international resource.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 November 1983
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 0444, Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes II, (3 November 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.937972
Show Author Affiliations
Laird A. Thompson, University of Hawaii (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0444:
Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes II
Lawrence D. Barr; Brian Mack, Editor(s)

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