This paper is concerned with the process of creating a major observatory at minimum cost. Its premises are that cost optimization starts with an appropriately modestly priced building block, a 7. 5m telescope. There are many possible configurations in which this building block can be used, ranging from a single telescope or a set of separate telescopes with at most electronic data addition, to an MMT in which the light of all telescopes can be phased when desired. In addition there are options for using elements in a non-redundant linear array or Michelson inteferometer. We provide the reader with a means of estimating costs of different facilities all on the same basis, and tied to the actual cost of producing the MMT. It is also important to place the observatory on a site which maximizes the output per unit cost of the facility. We discuss the selection process which has led to Mt. Graham in Arizona as being likely to satisfy this criterion. We give brief details of our preliminary knowledge about the site.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Unknown Host Publication Title|
|Publisher||European Southern Observatory (IAU Colloquium n 79), Garching|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 1984|
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