ELT Site Characterization for AO, the Tools and the Results


M. Sarazin




With the choice of the sites of the three main ELT projects worldwide, an unprecedentedly large site characterization effort is coming to an end. During the past decade more than 20 summits have been studied by the site survey teams of E-ELT, GMT and TMT projects. Other institutions have provided support or funding (NOAO, EU-FP6) so that close to one hundred scientists, engineers and students have been involved in this search for top quality observing conditions. For the first time also, the various project have deployed a very uniform instrumentation suite, often using similar measurement methods (DIMM) and even in some cases identical instruments (MASS). The consequence is that the core of the collected database is directly usable and could be made available to the community in its original state. The various teams have also maintained close contact during the whole process and new instruments were developed on the fly to solve the remaining unknowns. After sharing the tools and ideas, the time of sharing data has come and a review is proposed of what has been achieved and what is now available.

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