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28 September 2004 The IRAIT Project: infrared astronomy from Antartica
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The Antarctica Plateau has recently turned out to be the best place on the Earth to perform astronomical infrared observations in the 2-20 um atmospheric windows and beyond, thanks to the extremely low sky background emission, the excellent atmospheric transparency and stability, the virtual absence of winds and the possibility of passively cooling the telescope and its focal plane instruments down to very low temperatures. Dome C, a site jointly exploited by Italian and French scientific teams in the framework of the Concordia project, lays on the Antarctica Plateau at an altitude of 3200m and presents exceptionally cold and dry climatic conditions. In this paper we shall describe the scientific motivations and the technical details of the infrared telescope IRAIT that we plan to put at Dome C starting from in 2005-2006. The IRAIT telescope is an alt-azimuth f/20 reflector, with a 0.8m parabolic primary mirror and a wobbling secondary mirror suitable for the specific techniques of IR observations. It will be equipped with a Near/Mid IR-camera built in Italy .
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Gino Tosti, Maurizio Busso, Oscar Straniero, Carlos Abia, Marco Bagaglia, Mauro Dolci, Leonardo Corcione, Giuliano Nucciarelli, Fabio Roncella, Gaetano Valentini, Igor Di Varano, and Danilo Pelusi "The IRAIT Project: infrared astronomy from Antartica", Proc. SPIE 5489, Ground-based Telescopes, (28 September 2004);

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