The PLATO dome a site-testing observatory: Instrumentation and first results

H. Yang, G. Allen, M. C.B. Ashley, C. S. Bonner, S. Bradley, X. Cui, J. R. Everett, L. Feng, X. Gong, S. Hengst, J. Hu, Z. Jiang, C. A. Kulesa, J. S. Lawrence, Y. Li, D. Luong-Van, M. J. McCaughrean, A. M. Moore, C. Pennypacker, W. QinR. Riddle, Z. Shang, J. W.V. Storey, B. Sun, N. Suntzeff, N. F.H. Tothill, T. Travouillon, C. K. Walker, L. Wang, J. Yan, J. Yang, D. York, X. Yuan, X. Zhang, Z. Zhang, X. Zhou, Z. Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

The PLATeau Observatory (PLATO) is an automated self-powered astrophysical observatory that was deployed to Dome A, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau, in 2008 January. PLATO consists of a suite of site-testing instruments designed to quantify the benefits of the Dome A site for astronomy, and science instruments designed to take advantage of the unique observing conditions. Instruments include CSTAR, an array of optical telescopes for transient astronomy; Gattini, an instrument to measure the optical sky brightness and cloud cover statistics; DASLE, an experiment to measure the statistics of the meteorological conditions within the near-surface layer; Pre-HEAT, a submillimeter tipping radiometer measuring the atmospheric transmission and water vapor content and performing spectral line imaging of the Galactic plane; and Snodar, an acoustic radar designed to measure turbulence within the near-surface layer. PLATO has run completely unattended and collected data throughout the winter 2008 season. Here we present a detailed description of the PLATO instrument suite and preliminary results obtained from the first season of operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-184
Number of pages11
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Volume121
Issue number876
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Yang, H., Allen, G., Ashley, M. C. B., Bonner, C. S., Bradley, S., Cui, X., Everett, J. R., Feng, L., Gong, X., Hengst, S., Hu, J., Jiang, Z., Kulesa, C. A., Lawrence, J. S., Li, Y., Luong-Van, D., McCaughrean, M. J., Moore, A. M., Pennypacker, C., ... Zhu, Z. (2009). The PLATO dome a site-testing observatory: Instrumentation and first results. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 121(876), 174-184. https://doi.org/10.1086/597547