Thirty Meter Telescope

Astronomy's next generation observatory.

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TMT WFOS China Partnership Meeting


Beijing, China (October 16, 2017) – Representatives from the Thirty Meter Telescope’s (TMT’s) Wide-Field Optical Spectrograph (WFOS) team and TMT’s China partners gathered recently in China to discuss potential collaboration during the next stage of the conceptual design of WFOS.

WFOS is planned to be one of TMT’s first-light instruments. It will offer extraordinary new capabilities to study the early, distant universe, including the first stars and galaxies, and the intergalactic medium.

WFOS is now in its conceptual design phase, studying two different instrument designs: a slicer-based concept, and a fiber-based concept. The final decision will be made in March 2018. The next step will then include optimizing and prototyping the opto-mechanical design, fiber or slicer concepts, cameras, dispersive architecture, large refractive gratings, dichroics, robotics systems, and details of detector design. This will be followed by a two-year preliminary design phase, then final design, fabrication and integration and test phases, prior to fielding and commissioning on the telescope.

Dr. Fengchuan Liu, the Deputy Project Manager of TMT, updated the current status of TMT to all attendees remotely. WFOS Instrument Project Manager Maureen Savage (UCO), Lead Engineer Matthew Radovan (UCO) and Dr. Zheng Cai (UCO) introduced the program, the technical opportunities and the science goals of WFOS, respectively.

Representatives from several Institutes of Chinese Academy of Sciences and universities introduced their interests and their corresponding abilities, including National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) and its affiliate, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology (NIAOT); Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (SHAO); Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics (CIOMP); Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (SIOM), University of Science and Technology of China (USTC); Shanghai Jiao Tong University (STJU); Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST); Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT).

The TMT WFOS delegation also visited SHAO, SIOM, NIAOT, USTC and Tsinghua University, and held face-to-face discussions with each team.