This paper is a biennial update on the productivity and impact of observatory publications. The primary scientific output of a telescope is the collection of papers published in refereed journals based on data from that telescope. A telescope's productivity is measured by the number of papers published, while its scientific impact is the sum of each individual paper’s impact as measured quantitatively by the number of citations that the paper receives. The period covered by this paper ifor the years between 2012 and 2016.
Recent studies have shown that the proposal peer review processes employed by a variety of organizations to allocate astronomical telescope time produce outcomes that are systematically biased depending on whether proposal's principal investigator (PI) is a man or a woman. Using Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) and Gemini Observatory proposal statistics from Canada over 10 recent proposal cycles, we assess whether or not the mean proposal scores assigned by the National Research Council's (NRC's) Canadian Time Allocation Committee (CanTAC) also correlate significantly with PI sex. Classical t-tests, bootstrap and jackknife replications show that proposals submitted by women were rated significantly worse than those submitted by men. We subdivide the data in order to investigate sex-disaggregated statistics in relation to PI career stage (faculty vs. non-faculty), telescope requested, scientific review panel, observing semester, and the PhD year of faculty PIs. Consistent with the bivariate results, a multivariate regression analysis controlling for other covariates confirmed that PI sex is the only significant predictor of proposal rating scores for the sample as a whole, although differences emerge for proposals submitted by faculty and non-faculty PIs. While further research is needed to explain our results, it is possible that implicit social cognition is at work. NRC and CanTAC have taken steps to mitigate this possibility by altering proposal author lists in order to conceal the PI's identity among co-investigators. We recommend that the impact of this measure on mitigating bias in future observing semesters be quantitatively assessed using statistical techniques such as those employed here.
This paper examines the primary scientific output from a number of telescopes, which is the collection of papers published in refereed journals based on data from each telescope. A telescope's productivity is measured by the number of papers published, while its scientific impact is the sum of each individual paper’s impact as measured quantitatively by the number of citations that the paper receives. In this paper I will examine the productivity and impact of 27 telescopes, mainly optical/IR, for the years between 2010 and 2014.
Gemini's Fast Turnaround program is intended to greatly decrease the time from having an idea to acquiring the supporting data. The scheme will offer monthly proposal submission opportunities, and proposals will be reviewed by the principal investigators or co-investigators of other proposals submitted during the same round. Here, we set out the design of the system and outline the plan for its implementation, leading to the launch of a pilot program at Gemini North in January 2015.
The primary scientific output from an astronomical telescope is the collection of papers published in refereed journals. A telescope's productivity is measured by the number of papers published which are based upon data taken with the telescope. The scientific impact of a paper can be measured quantitatively by the number of citations that the paper receives. In this paper I will examine the productivity and impact of over 20 telescopes, mainly optical/IR, with apertures larger than 3.5-m for the years between 2008 and 2012.
Gemini Observatory has operated Gemini North and South in multi-instrument queue mode since 2005. Each telescope has about 85% of the time scheduled for science, of which 90% are in queue mode. More than one instrument is used 75-80% of all science nights. We present on-sky performance data from the last five years: Completion rates for queue programs, open-shutter performance, and acquisition times. Open-shutter performance and acquisition times are competitive with other 8-10 meter-class telescopes for which data are available. We give an overview over how the queue is populated, planned and executed.
The primary scientific output from an astronomical telescope is the collection of papers published in refereed journals. A
telescope's productivity is measured by the number of papers published which are based upon data taken with the
telescope. The scientific impact of a paper can be measured quantitatively by the number of citations that the paper
receives. In this paper I will examine the productivity and impact of the CFHT, Gemini, Keck, Magellan, Subaru,
UKIRT and VLT telescopes using paper and citation counts.
The reflective coatings applied to telescope mirrors affect not only the optical performance, but also affect significantly the telescope operation. Replacement of a primary segment of a large segmented mirror is expected to be a major event. An increased service life span of such segment is of enormous value. The optics community is currently aggressively pursuing development in broadband high reflective durable coatings. We are undertaking research with the goal of a high, broadband reflective coatings that, with appropriate cleaning and in situ maintenance, will provide a service life time of more than seven years. Based on the VLOT (Very Large Optical Telescope) project requirements, we conducted a literature search on available materials, thin film deposition and cleaning processes to get as much information as possible. The results of this survey will be presented as the starting point of our study. Different thin film processes have been identified but energetic processes such as Reactive Low Voltage Ion Plating (RLVIP), Magnetron Sputtering and Ion Beam Assisted Deposition (IBAD) will be of great interest for durable coating fabrication. Regarding the cleaning process, we have concentrated our effort on laser cleaning processes.
Canada has pursued conceptual design work and technical studies related to a 20-m segmented mirror telescope (VLOT). This paper provides an overview of the Canadian effort over the last 3 years. VLOT can achieve exciting and significant scientific goals that are not possible with today's 8-meter class telescopes. The scientific promise of instruments on a 20-m telescope enhanced by adaptive optics is particularly exciting. The technical work done thus far indicates that while there are many challenges in designing and constructing a VLOT and its instruments, a 20-m telescope is feasible and achievable without major advances in technology.
A design is proposed for a 20 m Canadian Very Large Optical Telescope (VLOT). This design meets the science, schedule, and availability requirements of the Canadian astronomical community. The telescope could be operational by early in the next decade to complement the science discoveries of the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) and Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). This design is suitable for location on the Mauna Kea summit ridge, and could replace the current 3.6 m CFHT telescope. The telescope structure provides room for two vertically oriented Nasmyth instruments, implements a very stiff monocoque mirror cell, and offers a short and direct load path to the telescope mount. A Calotte style dome structure offers many advantages over current designs including lower and more even power requirements, and a circular aperture that will better protect the telescope structure from wind buffeting. The science requirements are presented, and the telescope optical design, primary mirror pupil segmentation options, including hexagonal segments and a radial segment design with a central 8 m mirror, are considered. Point spread function plots and encircled energy calculations show that there is no significant diffraction performance difference between the options except that hexagonal segments in the 1 m point-to-point range appear to deliver poorer PSF's as compared to 2 m and larger segments. Plans for implementation of a Matlab based integrated telescope model are discussed. A summary of adaptive optics system issues for large telescopes is presented along with plans for future research in AO.