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Thirty Meter Telescope

The Project Manager’s Corner: Coming Out
Gary Sanders, TMT Project Manager

June 2006

TMT is "coming out." With this inaugural TMT Newscast, we move from informing you about various goings-on in the project by pulling you to our Web site to what is known as "push." We are starting to push some content out to an interested community. We are coming out.

We have provided a lot of information to date. I, myself, have written a series of articles covering the formation of the project, its technology, its technical progress and our recent design review:

What is new is that now we have a design that has been thoroughly reviewed, and we have come out publicly with many details and have lots to describe. We want you to be aware of the progress and developments. So, unless you opt out, you will receive regular updates on TMT.

The Conceptual Design Review presented our team and design to a blue-ribbon panel of external experts and observers from around the world. We got praise, we got questions, we got critiques, we got homework. Most importantly, we got to proceed to the next step. We will complete the development of a reference construction schedule and a cost estimate good enough to help the TMT Board plot the strategy ahead.

This review led to press coverage in Canada ("Canada's Big Space Shot," Toronto Star, May 14, 2006). There was coverage in Chile ("Listo el diseño de nuevo gran telescopio para Chile", El Mercurio, June 2, 2006), and in France ("Un oeil géant pour explorer le ciel," Le Figaro, June 7, 2006). Now that is coming out. There was more coverage on numerous space and science Web sites and other newspapers.

For the telescope builders, the biggest way to come out is the biannual SPIE/International Society for Optical Engineering meeting titled "Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation." Held in Orlando, Florida, conveniently just a week after our big review, this meeting gave the TMT project a chance to present 55 papers on every aspect of our design. In front of 1,700 astronomers, engineers and project enthusiasts, TMT staff and contributors unveiled the details of our work.

Organized in several plenary and parallel sessions, our overview papers on the telescope design, adaptive optics, and TMT scientific instruments referenced more detailed papers on specific aspects of these major systems for the real experts. The detailed papers were also presented at sessions of the meeting. The written papers will appear in the SPIE proceedings in several weeks. Now that is coming out.

We complete this burst of coming out activities with this first TMT Newscast. It is our outreach to you. We hope that you will find these periodic broadcasts informative and entertaining.

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Thirty Meter Telescope Project Manager Gary Sanders addresses team members at TMT Week.

The TMT project is a collaboration of Caltech, University of California (UC) and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA). © Thirty Meter Telescope


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