Does your robot need a flamethrower? Automated astronomical instrumentation in Antarctica

Tothill, N. F. H. et al., 2008, Astronomische Nachrichten, 329, 326 | View on ADS (2008AN....329..326T) | Access via DOI


The Antarctic Plateau contains sites with the potential to be the best in the world for many astronomical observations. The Plateau has strong advantages in the waveband between thermal-IR and millimetre-waves, for time-based astronomy, and for adaptive optics and interferometry. In such a harsh environment, automation of instrument functions becomes very important. At entirely remote (i.e., uncrewed) locations, automated instruments require robustness above all, especially in their self-contained logistics functions (power and communications). At crewed stations, with human intervention available, automation should concentrate on increasing functionality and decreasing workload on the winterover scientists, enhancing the scientific return on a significant investment. This is a rhetorical question - of course it does...


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Type/Instrument design

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