Pan-STARRS Prototype Being Built on Maui
A schematic plan for the PS1 telescope.
PS1, the prototype for Pan-STARRS--the Panoramic Survey Telescope
and Rapid Response System, will soon be under construction inside LURE
Observatory on Haleakala, Maui, in an area that formerly housed
the NASA Satellite Laser Ranging Station. Pan-STARRS is an innovative wide-field
imaging facility being developed by IfA and its partners, the Maui High-Performance
Computing Center (MHPCC), Science Applications International Corporation
(SAIC), and MIT Lincoln Laboratory, under a grant from the Air Force Research
Laboratory. A primary goal of Pan-STARRS is to discover asteroids that
may impact our planet.
This model that shows how PS1 will fit into the new dome that will be placed on the former LURE Observatory.
PS1 is essentially one quarter of Pan-STARRS. It will allow project scientists
and engineers to test all the technology that is being developed for Pan-STARRS,
including the telescope design, the cameras, and the data reduction software.
PS1 will be used to make a full-sky survey that will provide calibration
data for the full Pan-STARRS survey.
The pier that will support the telescope has already arrived on Maui,
and the six-foot primary mirror has been cast on the mainland and is now
being ground. The camera that will be used on PS1 is under development
at IfA Manoa
and Lincoln Laboratory under the direction of IfA astronomer John Tonry.
According to PS1 Project Scientist Kenneth Chambers, it will be "the
largest camera in the world that looks at the sky on a regular basis."
PS1 will attain first light in January 2006. The IfA is undertaking an
environmental impact statement that will determine where the complete Pan-STARRS
four-telescope system, scheduled to become operational in 2008, will be
built. The EIS will consider both Mauna Kea and Haleakala.