Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope

Lawrence, J. S. et al., 2005, EAS Publications Series, 14, 321 | View on ADS (2005EAS....14..321L) | Access via DOI


PILOT (Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope) is a proposed 2 m class optical/infrared telescope to be sited at DomeC on the Antarctic plateau. Recent site testing results from DomeC have shown remarkable ground level seeing, a large isoplanatic angle, and a long atmospheric coherence time. These factors significantly improve the resolution and increase the capabilities of adaptive optics systems. Additionally, the low sky emission at DomeC gives a significant increase in infrared sensitivity compared to typical mid-latitude sites. PILOT is envisaged as a winterised version of a commercially available 2 m class telescope, with a simple low cost dome (sufficient for the low ground level wind speeds), and a tip-tilt and/or a deformable secondary mirror. A number of science cameras covering the visible to the sub-millimetre are being considered.

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