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T. W. Giblin, J. E. Neff, J. Hakkila (The College of Charleston), D. M. Drost, N. Andreasian-Thomas (The University of the Virgin Islands)
The College of Charleston is one of three institutions belonging to a consortium led by the Division of Science and Mathematics at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) to maintain and operate a research grade telescope at Etelman Observatory on the island of St. Thomas (18\deg 21\arcmin N, 65\deg W at an elevation 1325 ft with 1.5\arcsec seeing). Renovations to the pre-existing UVI observatory through an NSF grant to UVI have been ongoing for the past 18 months and include: (i) complete renovation of the control room and housing facility, (ii) installation of a new Ash dome, and (iii) delivery and installation of a TORUS Technologies 0.5 m telescope in early Spring, 2003. We anticipate the observatory to be fully operational in the summer of 2003. The observatory will serve a variety of needs to the consortium members. One of the primary research functions of this facility will be to perform rapid automated follow-up observations of Gamma-Ray Bursts observed with Swift. With the exceptional sky coverage at Etelman Observatory, we anticipate to collect a large database of GRB afterglow (and counterpart) photometry and light curves throughout the duration of the Swift mission. This is work is funded through NSF, AAS/NASA, and The College of Charleston.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.