MSE is a wide field telescope (1.5 square degree field of view) with an aperture of 11.25m. It is dedicated to multi-object spectroscopy at several different spectral resolutions in the range R ~ 2500 - 40000 over a broad wavelength range (0:36 - 1:8μm). MSE enables transformational science in areas as diverse as exoplanetary host characterization; stellar monitoring campaigns; tomographic mapping of the interstellar and intergalactic media; the in-situ chemical tagging of the distant Galaxy; connecting galaxies to the large scale structure of the Universe; measuring the mass functions of cold dark matter sub-halos in galaxy and cluster-scale hosts; reverberation mapping of supermassive black holes in quasars. Here, we summarize the Observatory and describe the development of the top level science requirements and operational concepts. Specifically, we describe the definition of the Science Requirements to be the set of capabilities that allow certain high impact science programs to be conducted. We cross reference these science cases to the science requirements to illustrate the traceability of this approach. We further discuss the operations model for MSE and describe the development of the Operations Concept Document, one of the foundational documents for the project. We also discuss the next stage in the science based development of MSE, specifically the development of the initial Legacy Survey that will occupy a majority of time on the telescope over the first few years of operation.
The local turbulence is the only part of the seeing degradation that we can actively improve and reduce at the source. It is often a major contribution to the overall seeing1,2 and introduces effects that are highly localized and may be difficult to correct. For example, dome seeing is expected to be non-Kolmogorov, with a very small outer scale leading to a preponderance of high spatial frequencies. The first step in controlling the local seeing is to locate and quantify the turbulence present. This requires the development of a new type of sensor, specifically designed to sensitively measure local optical turbulence. We are in the process of developing such a sensor, based on a simple Mach-Zehnder interferometer layout. The sensor will be light and ruggedized so that it can be used to map out the turbulence inside the dome of any telescope, inside the telescope tube and even around the dome building. Eventually, such a sensor may be used to quantitatively and actively control dome vents.
The Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer is designed to be the largest non-ELT optical/NIR astronomical telescope, and will be a fully dedicated facility for multi-object spectroscopy over a broad range of spectral resolutions. The MSE design has progressed from feasibility concept into its current baseline design where the system configuration of main systems such as telescope, enclosure, summit facilities and instrument are fully defined. This paper will describe the engineering development of the main systems, and discuss the trade studies to determine the optimal telescope and multiplexing designs and how their findings are incorporated in the current baseline design.
The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope is currently in the conceptual design phase to redevelop its facility into the new Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE). MSE is designed to be the largest non-ELT optical/NIR astronomical telescope, and will be a fully dedicated facility for multi-object spectroscopy over a broad range of spectral resolutions. This paper outlines the software and control architecture envisioned for the new facility. The architecture will be designed around much of the existing software infrastructure currently used at CFHT as well as the latest proven opensource software. CFHT plans to minimize risk and development time by leveraging existing technology.
The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) is a high impact scientific program which will
see its final official release open to the world in 2012. That release will seal the legacy aspect of the survey
which has already produced a large collection of scientific articles with topics ranging from cosmology to the
Solar system. The survey core science was focused on dark energy and dark matter: the full realization of the
scientific potential of the data set gathered between 2003 and 2009 with the MegaCam wide-field imager mounted
at the CFHT prime focus is almost complete with the Supernovae Legacy Survey (SNLS) team preparing its
third and last release (SNLS5), and the CFHTLenS team planning the release based around the cosmic shear
survey later this year. While the data processing center TERAPIX offered to the CFHTLS scientific community
regular releases over the course of the survey in its data acquisition phase (T0001-T0006), the final release took
three years to refine in order to produce a pristine data collection photometrically calibrated at better than the
percent both internally and externally over the total survey surface of 155 square degrees in all five photometric
bands (u*, g’, r’, i’, z’). This final release, called T0007, benefits from the various advances in photometric
calibration MegaCam has benefited through the joint effort between SNLS and CFHT to calibrate MegaCam
at levels unexplored for an optical wide-field imager. T0007 stacks and catalogs produced by TERAPIX will be
made available to the world at CADC while the CDS will offer a full integration of the release in its VO tools
from VizieR to Aladin. The photometric redshifts have been produced to be released in phase with the survey.
This proceeding is a general introduction to the survey and aims at presenting its final release in broad terms.
OPERA is a Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) open source collaborative software project currently under
development for an ESPaDOnS echelle spectro-polarimetric image reduction pipeline. OPERA is designed to be
fully automated, performing calibrations and reduction, producing one-dimensional intensity and polarimetric
spectra. The calibrations are performed on two-dimensional images. Spectra are extracted using an optimal
extraction algorithm. While primarily designed for CFHT ESPaDOnS data, the pipeline is being written to be
extensible to other echelle spectrographs. A primary design goal is to make use of fast, modern object-oriented
technologies. Processing is controlled by a harness, which manages a set of processing modules, that make use
of a collection of native OPERA software libraries and standard external software libraries. The harness and
modules are completely parametrized by site configuration and instrument parameters. The software is open-
ended, permitting users of OPERA to extend the pipeline capabilities. All these features have been designed to
provide a portable infrastructure that facilitates collaborative development, code re-usability and extensibility.
OPERA is free software with support for both GNU/Linux and MacOSX platforms. The pipeline is hosted on
SourceForge under the name "opera-pipeline".