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Meeting of the Minds:
Pan-STARR Scientists

IfA astronomer John Tonry addresses a recent meeting of Pan-STARRS scientists and consultants. Sitting from left to right are Michael Liu, David Tholen, and István Szapudi from IfA Manoa. Joining the meeting electronically is Klaus Hodapp, who can be seen on the teleconferencing monitor behind Dr. Liu. Dr. Hodapp is IfA's associate director for Hilo operations. Teleconferencing technology allows IfA staff on three islands to meet without anyone boarding an airplane. The equipment has also been used to enable IfA astronomers to participate in meetings held on the mainland without traveling.

Forty-three scientists and engineers from 11 institutions met during the week of November 11 at UH Manoa to refine the data-processing methods and scientific goals of the Pan-STARRS project. The data-processing design working group included representatives from other major astronomical data-processing projects, such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Space Telescope Science Institute, as well as associates from the Maui High Performance Computer Center (MHPCC) and from Science Applications International Corp-oration (SAIC).

They are working with IfA team members to develop the "pipeline" that will process the huge data-flow that Pan-STARRS will generate. The science design working group met to develop a "design reference mission" that will make possible a wide range of science objectives. These groups, along with one working on detector design, are developing a conceptual design document that a panel of independent experts will review in January.

David Jewitt (center, IfA) chaired the scientific program discussion with Robert Lupton (left, Princeton University and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and Alan Harris (right, Space Science Institute).

Walter Siegmund (Pan-STARRS interim project engineer), Dave Monet (U.S. Naval Observatory, Flagstaff), Alan Stockton (IfA), and Richard Meyer and John Wick (SAIC) listen to a presentation.