Proposed instrumentation for PILOT

Saunders, Will et al., 2008, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 7014, 70144N | View on ADS (2008SPIE.7014E..4NS) | Access via DOI


PILOT (the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope) is a proposed Australian/European optical/infrared telescope for Dome C on the Antarctic Plateau, with target first light in 2012. The proposed telescope is 2.4m diameter, with overall focal ratio f/10, and a 1 degree field-of-view. In median seeing conditions, it delivers 0.3" FWHM wide-field image quality, from 0.7-2.5 microns. In the best quartile of conditions, it delivers diffraction-limited imaging down to 1 micron, or even less with lucky imaging. The areas where PILOT offers the greatest advantages are (a) very high resolution optical imaging, (b) high resolution wide-field optical imaging, and (c) all wide-field thermal infrared imaging. The proposed first generation instrumentation consists of (a) a fast, low-noise camera for diffraction-limited optical lucky imaging; (b) a gigapixel optical camera for seeing-limited imaging over a 1 degree field; (c) a 4K x 4K near-infrared (1-5 micron) camera with both wide-field and diffraction-limited modes; and (d) a double-beamed midinfrared (7-40 micron) camera.

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