Comprehensive characterization of astronomical sites

Kislovodsk, Russia. 4–9 October 2010

Results of ELT site testing programs - II

Lessons learned from the Thirty Meter Telescope site testing

October 6, 15:00 – 15:40
Tony Travouillon (TMT), Angel Otarola (TMT), Matthias Schoeck (TMT), Warren Skidmore (TMT), Reed Riddle (TMT), Sebastian Els (TMT)

Characterization of Precipitable Water Vapor at the TMT Candidate Sites in Northern Chile: The Importance of Surface Data

October 6, 15:40 – 16:30
Warren Skidmore (TMT), Reed Riddle (TMT), Angel Otarola (TMT), Sebastian Els (TMT), Tony Travouillon (TMT), Matthias Schoeck (TMT), R. Dahl (ISIS), D. Naylor (ISIS), R. Querel (ISIS)

The results of the characterization of precipitable water vapor (PWV) in the atmospheric column carried out in the context of identifying potential sites for the deployment of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) are presented. Sites of interest for the deployment of astronomical telescopes are ideally located in regions dominated by high pressure systems. Therefore, the subsiding air represents a way to couple the different levels of the troposphere all the way down to the surface. This coupling is more effective in the absence of a strong near-surface temperature inversion. Consequently, adequate monitoring of the absolute humidity at the surface together with a knowledge of the water vapor scale height offers a way to estimate the amount of water vapor in the atmospheric column. This strategy was used to characterize the PWV at the TMT candidate sites; the results will be presented together with advise on how to monitor the PWV scale height to help get more accurate results.

Coffee break

October 6, 16:30 – 17:00

Using site testing data for AO simulations

October 6, 17:00 – 17:40
Glen Herriot (HIA), David Andersen (HIA), Jean-Pierre Véran (HIA), Brent Ellerbroek (TMT), Luc Gilles (TMT), Lianqi Wang (TMT)


October 6, 18:30 – 19:00