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Proceedings Paper

Antarctic observations at long wavelengths with the IRAIT-ITM Telescope at Dome C
Author(s): Gilles A. Durand; Pascal Tremblin; Vincent Minier; Yann Reinert; Christophe Leroy dos Santos; Louis Rodriguez; Xavier Joffrin; Maurizio Busso; Gino Tosti; Giuliano Nucciarelli; Mauro Dolci; Oscar Straniero; Angelo Valentini; Carlos Abia; Jean Marc Christille; Eric Doumayrou; Michel Lortholary; Patrice Charron; Paul Lotrus; Christian Walter; Samuel Ronayette; Zalpha Challita; Laurent Fromont; Mathieu Condamin; Min Kyong Kwon; Daniele Tavagnacco
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Paper Abstract

We illustrate the status of the international infra-red telescope IRAIT-ITM, a project developed thanks to an Italian- Spanish-French collaboration and now sited at the Dome C Antarctic base. The telescope and its subsystems were installed at DomeC by a team of Italian and French scientists. The 80 cm telescope is placed on a small snow hill next to a laboratory of astronomy. The operations started in January 2013, with the Nasmyth focal planes equipped with the midinfrared camera AMICA for 1.25 to 25 μm and the sub-millimetre camera CAMISTIC for observation of the sky noise at 200 and 350 μm using a bolometer camera. During 2013 the two winter-overs worked mainly on technological duties, learning how to operate the telescope, while temperatures decreased down to -80°C. The cryogenic systems could be operated respectively at 0.25K and 4K at all times, with satisfactory use of the heat from the compressors of the cryocoolers to the warm-up the laboratory through a closed loop glycol system. The lack of tests and reliability in extreme conditions of some components and difficult access to maintenance hampered regular observations below -50°C. Using the lessons of this first winter, the summer team improves the robustness of the failing systems and ease the access to maintenance. The winter 2014 is the first one with programmed observations. Because of power restrictions, the two instruments are used each one at a time by periods of 2 weeks. The Camistic camera continues to observe the stability of the sky at a fixed altitude in chopping mode and performs skydips. The TCS is being upgraded in order to prepare the next summer season with extensive observations of the sun with Camistic.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 July 2014
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9145, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes V, 91450D (22 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056562
Show Author Affiliations
Gilles A. Durand, Lab. AIM, CEA-IRFU, CNRS, Univ. Paris Diderot (France) (France)
Pascal Tremblin, Univ. of Exeter (United Kingdom)
Vincent Minier, Lab. AIM, CEA-IRFU, CNRS, Univ. Paris Diderot (France) (France)
Yann Reinert, CEA-IRFU (France)
Christophe Leroy dos Santos, Univ. degli Studi di Perugia (Italy)
Louis Rodriguez, Lab. AIM, CEA-IRFU, CNRS, Univ. Paris Diderot (France) (France)
Xavier Joffrin, Lab. AIM, CEA-IRFU, CNRS, Univ. Paris Diderot (France) (France)
Maurizio Busso, Univ. degli Studi di Perugia (Italy)
Gino Tosti, Univ. degli Studi di Perugia (Italy)
Giuliano Nucciarelli, Univ. degli Studi di Perugia (Italy)
Mauro Dolci, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Teramo (Italy)
Oscar Straniero, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Teramo (Italy)
Angelo Valentini, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Teramo (Italy)
Carlos Abia, Univ. de Granada (Spain)
Jean Marc Christille, Univ. degli Studi di Perugia (Italy)
Eric Doumayrou, Lab. AIM, CEA-IRFU, CNRS, Univ. Paris Diderot (France) (France)
Michel Lortholary, Lab. AIM, CEA-IRFU, CNRS, Univ. Paris Diderot (France) (France)
Patrice Charron, CEA-IRFU (France)
Paul Lotrus, CEA-IRFU (France)
Christian Walter, CEA-IRFU (France)
Samuel Ronayette, Lab. AIM, CEA-IRFU, CNRS, Univ. Paris Diderot (France) (France)
Zalpha Challita, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
Laurent Fromont, Observatoire de Paris (France)
Mathieu Condamin, Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale Bâtiment 121, Univ. Paris XI (France)
Min Kyong Kwon, Observatoire de Paris (France)
Daniele Tavagnacco, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Tireste (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9145:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes V
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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