The AASTINO: Automated Astrophysical Site Testing International Observatory

Lawrence, J. S. et al., 2003, Earths: DARWIN/TPF and the Search for Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets, 539, 497 | View on ADS (2003ESASP.539..497L)


The AASTINO is a remote observatory that was deployed at the Italian/French base Dome C (75 S, 123 E, 3200 m) on the Antarctic plateau in January 2003. It is designed to run throughout the Antarctic winter without intervention, and to collect data on the astronomical qualities of the site: specifically the atmospheric turbulence profile, the infrared sky background, and the submillimetre opacity. The AASTINO represents an important step in the development of this site as a future astronomical observatory, which due to its excellent site qualities has the potential to act as an important technological step towards future space missions such as Darwin and TPF. The AASTINO also demonstrates the use of a unique hybrid power system in Antarctica, and a unique remote control systems architecture.

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