Meet the TMT team with a new interview in our blog. Before the pandemic we met with Caty Pilachowski, Professor of Astronomy, who has held several leadership positions in the astronomical community. She has been active in research on the evolution of stars, large telescope design and construction, women in science and much more.
An important project for the global astronomy community, TMT is working collaboratively with the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab) to develop a U.S.-Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP).
One of TMT’s three “Early Light” instruments, the Wide-Field Optical Spectrometer (WFOS), recently underwent an interim Conceptual Design Review via Zoom. The review’s purpose was to assess the instrument’s progress to date and to provide guidance on potential work needed to successfully complete the technical and scientific aspects to bring the overall design to a full Conceptual Design level.
Recently, the TMT Engineering Sensors System (ESEN) successfully passed its Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and is now ready to enter the Final Design phase. Chris Carter and Scott Michaels, TMT telescope control and software engineers, led a team of four people in presenting the design to the review panel.
The Thirty Meter Telescope recently reached another critical development milestone with the successful Conceptual Design Review close-out meeting of the Cryogenic Cooling System (CRYO). The online review, held on May 19, 2020, focused on the completion of the recommendations that arose from the CRYO Conceptual Design Review held in August 2018.
The results of a new scientific poll show Hawaii residents continue to support the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. The public opinion poll conducted in March 2020 by Ward Research, Inc. shows that 61 percent of Hawaii residents support moving ahead with construction of TMT, with 32 percent opposed.
Helping to mitigate the shortage of protective equipment across the island, TMT staff in Hilo recently sewed and donated 75 reusable cloth face masks to The Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of East Hawaii.
Unfortunately, thousands of students across Hawaii will be out of school for the next several months due to the coronavirus crisis. With parents taking on a larger teaching role to make sure their kids continue to learn and grow while sequestered at home, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Hilo-based Hawaii Science and Technology Museum to fund its innovative online STEM learning program.
The first TMT primary mirror (M1) metrology frame has been built and delivered to TMT’s technical laboratory near Pasadena. TMT will use the metrology frames, which are auxiliary equipment tools, to accurately locate the M1 mirror segments during installation.
Scientists recently attended the first joint TMT-GMT Science Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held virtually to ensure the safety of all its members. The meeting was of historical importance, as it was the first of its kind to be commonly organized with the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) Science Advisory Committee.