AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 64. New Developments in Ground Based Instrumentation
Display, Wednesday, June 5, 2002, 10:00am-7:00pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[64.08] Plans for a 1.8-m Adaptive Optics Telescope and a 1.1-m Wide Field Telescope at PARI

J. D. Cline, M. W. Castelaz (PARI)

The radio and optical observatories of the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, located in the Pisgah National Forest in Western North Carolina, recently acquired a 1.8-m adaptive optics mirror. The mirror is optically figured to 1/50 of a wavelength, with 40 actuators for rapid adjustment to improve seeing. PARI is in the process of defining the research that can be done with a telescope built around the mirror’s capabilities. This telescope’s mission is partially lidar research and high spatial resolution imaging. In addition to the 1.8-m adaptive optic telescope, PARI also acquired a 1.1-m f/4.4 optically figured mirror. Plans for this telescope include a prime focus imager with a 1.25 degree diameter corrected field of view, a fiber fed echelle spectrograph, and offset guiders. The telescope is to be designed for remote use. Part of its mission will be targets of opportunity, especially gamma ray burst afterglow measurement. We invite astronomers whose research can benefit from these telescopes to participate in their development. Our intention is to make the telescopes available to the astronomical community.

As these observatories mature, information of atmospheric conditions becomes increasingly important. A priori measurement of atmospheric transparency and seeing gives the remote observer the additional data needed to determine the best sequence of observations. Furthermore, atmospheric transparency and seeing measurements taken as the observations are made, provides feedback without having to use the astronomical observations themselves. We have developed a suite of small telescopes that measure atmospheric transparency and seeing conditions. The instruments and their interaction with the optical telescopes at PARI will be described.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.pari.edu. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: dcline@pari.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.