1 August 2016 LBTO's long march to full operation: step 2
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Abstract
Step 1 (Veillet et al.1), after a review of the development of the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (LBTO from the early concepts of the early 80s to mid-2014, outlined a six-year plan (LBT2020) aimed at optimizing LBTO's scientific production while mitigating the consequences of the inevitable setbacks brought on by the considerable complexity of the telescope and the very diverse nature of the LBTO partnership. Step 2 is now focusing on the first two years of implementation of this plan, presenting the encountered obstacles, technical, cultural and political, and how they were overcome. Weather and another incident with one of the Adaptive Secondaries slowed down commissioning activities. All the facility instruments should have been commissioned and offered in binocular mode in early or mid-2016. It will happen instead by the end of 2016. On a brighter side, the first scientific publications using the LBT as a 23-m telescope through interferometry were published in 2015 and the overall number of publications has been raising at a good pace. Three second generation instruments were selected, scheduled to come on the telescope in the next three to five years. They will all use the excellent performance of the LBT Adaptive Optics (AO), which will be even better thanks to an upgrade of the AO to be completed in 2018. Less progress than hoped was made to move the current observing mode of the telescope to a whole LBT-wide queue. In two years from now, we should have a fully operational telescope, including a laser-based Ground Layer AO (GLAO) system, hopefully fully running in queue, with new instruments in development, new services offered to the users, and a stronger scientific production.
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Christian Veillet, David S. Ashby, Julian C. Christou, John M. Hill, John K. Little, Douglas M. Summers, R. Mark Wagner, Elena Masciadri, Alessio Turchi, "LBTO's long march to full operation: step 2", Proc. SPIE 9910, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI, 99100S (1 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2234570; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2234570
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