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PLATO–a robotic observatory for the Antarctic plateau

  • L. Spinoglio, N. Epchtein, M.C.B. Ashley (a1), G. Allen (a2), C.S. Bonner (a1), S.G. Bradley (a3), X. Cui (a4), J.R. Everett (a1), L. Feng (a5), X. Gong (a4), S. Hengst (a1), J. Hu (a6), Z. Jiang (a6), C.A. Kulesa (a7), J.S. Lawrence (a1) (a8) (a9), Y. Li (a10), D.M. Luong-Van (a1), M.J. McCaughrean (a11), A.M. Moore (a12), C. Pennypacker (a13), W. Qin (a10), R. Riddle (a14), Z. Shang (a15), J.W.V. Storey (a1), B. Sun (a10), N. Suntzeff (a16), N.F.H. Tothill (a11), T. Travouillon (a14), C.K. Walker (a7), L. Wang (a5) (a16), J. Yan (a5), H. Yang (a10), J. Yang (a5), D.G. York (a17), X. Yuan (a4), X. Zhang (a5), Z. Zhang (a10), X. Zhou (a6) and Z. Zhu (a5)...


PLATO is a fully-robotic observatory designed for operation in Antarctica. It generates its own electricity (about 1 kW), heat (sufficient to keep two 10-foot shipping containers comfortably above 0°C when the outside temperature is at -70°C), and connects to the internet using the Iridium satellite system (providing ~30 MB/day of data transfer). Following a successful first year of operation at Dome A during 2008, PLATO was upgraded with new instruments for 2009.


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[1] Bonner, C.S., et al., 2008, SPIE, 7012, 70146I-1-70146I-7
[2] Bonner, C.S., et al., 2009, Acoust. Aust., 37, 47
[3] Hengst, S., et al., 2008, SPIE, 7012, 70124E-1-70124E-10
[4] Hengst, S., Luong-Van, D. M., Everett, J. R., et al., 2009, Int. J. Energy Res., in press
[5] Kenyon, S.L., et al., 2006, SPIE, 6267, 62671M-162671M-9
[6] Kulesa, C.A., et al., 2008, SPIE, 7012, 701249-1-701249-11
[7] Lawrence, J.S., Ashley, M.C.B., & Storey, J.W.V., 2005, Aust. J. Electr. Electr. Eng., 2, 112
[8] Lawrence, J.S., et al., 2008, SPIE, 7012, 701227-1-701226-12
[9] Lawrence, J.S., et al., 2009, Rev. Sci. Inst., 80, 064501-1–064501-10
[10] Luong-Van, D.M., et al., 2008, SPIE, 7019, 70192U-1-70192U-10
[11] Moore, A., et al., 2008, SPIE, 7012, 701226-1-701226-10
[12] Yang, H., et al., 2009, PASP, 121, 174
[13] Yuan, X., et al., 2008, SPIE, 7012, 70124G-1-70124G-8


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