Faculté des sciences

Climate-based site selection for a very large telescope using GIS techniques

Graham, Edward ; Sarazin, Marc S. ; Beniston, Martin ; Collet, Claude ; Hayoz, Michael ; Neun, Moritz ; Casals, Paula

In: Meteorological Applications, 2005, vol. 12, p. 77

Astronomical research at present requires that a telescope with an aperture diameter of between 50 and 100 metres be constructed within the next 10 years or so. This new generation of telescopes will be called OWL (Overwhelmingly Large), and it represents one order of magnitude increase in size over today's telescopes. Selection of an ideal site for this giant telescope is dependent on many... Plus

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    Summary
    Astronomical research at present requires that a telescope with an aperture diameter of between 50 and 100 metres be constructed within the next 10 years or so. This new generation of telescopes will be called OWL (Overwhelmingly Large), and it represents one order of magnitude increase in size over today's telescopes. Selection of an ideal site for this giant telescope is dependent on many climatological, meteorological and geomorphological parameters (Grenon 1990). Among these are cloud cover, atmospheric humidity, aerosol content, airflow direction and strength, air temperature, topography, and seismicity. Even relatively minor changes in weather patterns can have a significant effect on seeing conditions (Beniston et al. 2002).