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6 July 2018 UKIRT under new management: status and plans
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The United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) observatory has been transferred to the ownership of the University of Hawaii (UH) and is now being managed by UH. We have established partnerships with several organizations to utilize the UKIRT for science projects and to support its operation. Our main partners are the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO), the East Asian Observatory (EAO), and the UKIRT microlensing team (JPL/IPAC/OSU/Vanderbilt). The USNO is working on deep northern hemisphere surveys in the H and K bands and the UKIRT microlensing team is running a monitoring campaign of the Galactic bulge. EAO, UH, and USNO have individual P.I. research programs. Most of the observations are using the Wide Field Camera (WFCAM), but the older suite of cassegrain instruments are still fully operational. Data processing and archiving continue to be done CASU and WSA in the UK. We are working on a concept to upgrade the WFCAM with new larger infrared detector arrays for substantially improved survey efficiency.
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