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PLATO–a robotic observatory for the Antarctic plateau

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 December 2009

M.C.B. Ashley*
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
G. Allen
Affiliation:
Solar Mobility Pty Ltd., Thornleigh, NSW 2120, Australia
C.S. Bonner
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
S.G. Bradley
Affiliation:
Physics Department, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
X. Cui
Affiliation:
Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Nanjing 210042, China
J.R. Everett
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
L. Feng
Affiliation:
Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
X. Gong
Affiliation:
Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Nanjing 210042, China
S. Hengst
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
J. Hu
Affiliation:
National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
Z. Jiang
Affiliation:
National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
C.A. Kulesa
Affiliation:
Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
J.S. Lawrence
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia Department of Physics and Engineering, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia Anglo-Australian Observatory, NSW 1710, Australia
Y. Li
Affiliation:
Polar Research Institute of China, Pudong, Shanghai 200136, China
D.M. Luong-Van
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
M.J. McCaughrean
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QL, UK
A.M. Moore
Affiliation:
Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
C. Pennypacker
Affiliation:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
W. Qin
Affiliation:
Polar Research Institute of China, Pudong, Shanghai 200136, China
R. Riddle
Affiliation:
Thirty Meter Telescope Project, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA
Z. Shang
Affiliation:
Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300074, China
J.W.V. Storey
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
B. Sun
Affiliation:
Polar Research Institute of China, Pudong, Shanghai 200136, China
N. Suntzeff
Affiliation:
Physics Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
N.F.H. Tothill
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QL, UK
T. Travouillon
Affiliation:
Thirty Meter Telescope Project, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA
C.K. Walker
Affiliation:
Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
L. Wang
Affiliation:
Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China Physics Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
J. Yan
Affiliation:
Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
H. Yang
Affiliation:
Polar Research Institute of China, Pudong, Shanghai 200136, China
J. Yang
Affiliation:
Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
D.G. York
Affiliation:
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and The Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
X. Yuan
Affiliation:
Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Nanjing 210042, China
X. Zhang
Affiliation:
Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
Z. Zhang
Affiliation:
Polar Research Institute of China, Pudong, Shanghai 200136, China
X. Zhou
Affiliation:
National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
Z. Zhu
Affiliation:
Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
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Abstract

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.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© EAS, EDP Sciences, 2010

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References

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