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The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
Not only is depression associated with increased inflammation but inflammation is a risk factor for the genesis of depression. Many of the environmental risk factors for depression are transduced through inflammatory signaling. Anti-inflammatory agents show promise for the management of depression in preclinical, epidemiological, and early clinical studies. This opens the door to the potential for anti-inflammatory agents to treat and prevent depression. There are no evidence-based pharmacotherapies for depression prevention.
ASPREE-D, aspirin in the prevention of depression in the elderly, is a sub study of ASPREE, which explores the potential of aspirin to prevent a range of inflammation related disorders in the elderly. With a sample size of 19,114, and a duration of 5 years, this placebo controlled study will be one of the largest randomized controlled trials in psychiatry and will provide definitive evidence on the ability of aspirin to prevent depression.
This paper presents the rationale for the study and presents a summary of the study design.
ASPREE-D may not only define novel therapy but will provide mechanistic proof of concept of the role of inflammation in depression.
Our knowledge of the universe comes from recording the photon and particle fluxes incident on the Earth from space. We thus require sensitive measurement across the entire energy spectrum, using large telescopes with efficient instrumentation located on superb sites. Technological advances and engineering constraints are nearing the point where we are recording as many photons arriving at a site as is possible. Major advances in the future will come from improving the quality of the site. The ultimate site is, of course, beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, such as on the Moon, but economic limitations prevent our exploiting this avenue to the degree that the scientific community desires. Here we describe an alternative, which offers many of the advantages of space for a fraction of the cost: the Antarctic Plateau.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.
Gattini and CSTAR have been installed at Dome A, Antarctica, which provide time-series photometric data for a large number of pulsating variable stars. We present the study for several variable stars with the data collected with the two facilities in 2009 to demonstrate the scientific potential of observations from Dome A for asteroseismology.
PILOT (the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope) is a proposed 2.5-m optical/infrared telescope to be located at Dome C on the Antarctic plateau. The atmospheric conditions at Dome C deliver a high sensitivity, high photometric precision, wide-field, high spatial resolution, and high-cadence imaging capability to the PILOT telescope. These capabilities enable a unique scientific potential for PILOT, which is addressed in this series of papers. The current paper presents a series of projects dealing with the nearby Universe that have been identified as key science drivers for the PILOT facility. Several projects are proposed that examine stellar populations in nearby galaxies and stellar clusters in order to gain insight into the formation and evolution processes of galaxies and stars. A series of projects will investigate the molecular phase of the Galaxy and explore the ecology of star formation, and investigate the formation processes of stellar and planetary systems. Three projects in the field of exoplanet science are proposed: a search for free-floating low-mass planets and dwarfs, a program of follow-up observations of gravitational microlensing events, and a study of infrared light-curves for previously discovered exoplanets. Three projects are also proposed in the field of planetary and space science: optical and near-infrared studies aimed at characterising planetary atmospheres, a study of coronal mass ejections from the Sun, and a monitoring program searching for small-scale Low Earth Orbit satellite debris items.
PILOT (the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope) is a proposed 2.5-m optical/infrared telescope to be located at Dome C on the Antarctic plateau. Conditions at Dome C are known to be exceptional for astronomy. The seeing (above ∼30 m height), coherence time, and isoplanatic angle are all twice as good as at typical mid-latitude sites, while the water-vapour column, and the atmosphere and telescope thermal emission are all an order of magnitude better. These conditions enable a unique scientific capability for PILOT, which is addressed in this series of papers. The current paper presents an overview of the optical and instrumentation suite for PILOT and its expected performance, a summary of the key science goals and observational approach for the facility, a discussion of the synergies between the science goals for PILOT and other telescopes, and a discussion of the future of Antarctic astronomy. Paper II and Paper III present details of the science projects divided, respectively, between the distant Universe (i.e. studies of first light, and the assembly and evolution of structure) and the nearby Universe (i.e. studies of Local Group galaxies, the Milky Way, and the Solar System).
Dome A on the Antarctic plateau is likely one of the best observing sites on Earth (Saunders et al. 2009). We used the CSTAR telescope (Yuan et al. 2008) to obtain time-series photometry of 104 stars with i>14.5 mag during 128 days of the 2008 Antarctic winter season (Wang et al. 2011). During the 2010 season we observed 2 × 104 stars with i>15 mag for 183 days (Wang et al. 2012). We detected a total of 262 variables, a 6 × increase relative to previous surveys of the same area and depth carried out from temperate sites (Pojmanski 2004). Our observations show that high-precision, long-term photometry is possible from Antarctica and that astronomically useful data can be obtained during 80% of the winter season.
While the summit of the Antarctic Plateau has long been expected to harbor the best ground-based sites for terahertz (THz) frequency astronomical investigations, it is only recently that direct observations of exceptional THz atmospheric transmission and stability have been obtained. These observations, in combination with recent technological advancements in astronomical instrumentation and autonomous field platforms, make the recognition and realization of terahertz observatories on the high plateau feasible and timely. Here, we will explore the context of terahertz astronomy in the era of Herschel, and the crucial role that observatories on the Antarctic Plateau can play. We explore the important scientific questions to which observations from this unique environment may be most productively applied. We examine the importance and complementarity of Antarctic THz astronomy in the light of contemporary facilities such as ALMA, CCAT, SOFIA and (U)LDB ballooning. Finally, building from the roots of THz facilities in Antarctica to present efforts, we broadly highlight future facilities that will exploit the unique advantages of the Polar Plateau and provide a meaningful, lasting astrophysical legacy.
We implemented an antimicrobial stewardship program at an urban, 60-bed long-term acute care hospital using a strategy of weekly postprescriptive chart audit with intervention and feedback. The results for the first 15 months demonstrated 80% acceptance of recommendations, a 21% reduction in use, and a 28% reduction in cost per patient-day.
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.
The Phase A design study of PILOT–the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope–has demonstrated that a wide-field
2.5 m optical/IR telescope can be constructed at Concordia for a reasonable cost. There are no technical “show stoppers”, and the cost of
logistics is also quantifiable and reasonable. A strong science case has been developed and published as three separate papers. In order to
proceed further, the next step is to undertake a detailed design study and identify potential manufacturers.
We present preliminary results of the measurements of sky transparency conducted at Dome C during the winter 2008. Using MOLIERE modeling, we estimate a low precipitable water vapour content above Concordia station, which is very promising for future submillimetre wave observations on the Antarctic Plateau.
In January 2005, members of a Chinese expedition team were the first
humans to visit Dome A on the Antarctic plateau, a site
predicted to be one of the very best astronomical sites on earth. In 2006, the Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy (CCAA) was founded
to promote the development of astronomy in Antarctica, especially at
Dome A. CCAA has since taken part in two traverses to Dome A, organized
by the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC), in the austral
summers of 2007/2008 and 2008/2009. These traverses resulted in the
installation of many site-testing and science instruments, supported
by the PLATO observatory. The Chinese Small Telescope ARray (CSTAR)
has produced excellent results from Dome A. Our future plans include further site-testing work, and the following
full-scale science instruments: three 0.5-m Antarctic Schmidt
Telescopes (AST3), and a proposed 4-m telescope for wide-field
infrared high spatial-resolution surveys. The first AST3 telescope is
under construction and is scheduled for installation in 2011.