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Commission 9: Instrumentation and Techniques: (Instrumentation et Techniques)

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The last triennium, and coincidentally the last few years of the 20th century, has been a most remarkable time for Commission 9, and for astronomy in general. Ground-based astronomy in particular has received an enormous boost due to the arrival of an astonishing array of new telescopes, novel instruments and innovative techniques. For those of us closely involved in developing new observatories, instrumentation or detectors, the last few years have been rather hectic! As an astronomer with a long-time interest in the development of new instruments, what amazes me is the breadth of technology and the visionary scope of all these incredible new achievements. Many of the very large 8-10 meter class telescopes are now coming into full operation – yet, just as this is happening, numerous smaller “survey” telescopes are providing a wealth of new sources. Adaptive optics is being practiced at many sites and diffraction-limited imaging from the ground is now a reality. Several optical-IR interferometers are now working and more are coming along very soon. Detectors continue to get bigger and better, especially for the infrared, and instrumentation is increasingly more sophisticated, complex and efficient. Remote observing, robotic telescopes and global networks of telescopes are common, and international collaborations are larger and stronger than ever before.

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