Millimetre Astronomy from the High Antarctic Plateau: Site Testing at Dome C

Valenziano, L. & Dall'Oglio, G., 1999, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 16, 167 | View on ADS (1999PASA...16..167V) | Access via DOI


Preliminary site testing results at Dome C (Antarctica) are presented, using both Automatic Weather Station (AWS) meteorological data (1986-1993) and Precipitable Water Vapour (PWV) measurements made by the authors. A comparison with the South Pole and other sites is made. The South Pole is a well established astrophysical observing site, where extremely good conditions are reported for a large fraction of time during the year. Dome C, where Italy and France are building a new scientific station, is a potential observing site in the millimetre and submillimetre range. AWS are operating at both sites and they have been continuously monitoring temperature, pressure and wind speed and direction for more than ten years. Site testing instruments are already operating at the South Pole (AASTO, Automated Astrophysical Site-Testing Observatory), while light experiments have been running at Dome C (APACHE, Antarctic Plateau Anisotropy CHasing Experiment) during summertime. A direct comparison between the two sites is planned in the near future, using the AASTO. The present analysis shows that the average wind speed is lower at Dome C (̃1 ms-1) than at the South Pole (̃2 ms-1), while temperature and PWV are comparable.

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