Saturday, May 14, 2011

Site Monitoring

Over the last year, we have started to provide site monitoring information for Sutherland. In addition to the normal weather information that has always been provided by SALT, we are now publishing information about the seeing conditions in Sutherland. This project has been on-going for quite sometime, but it has really taken off due to the hard work of SALT astronomer Tim Pickering and Laure Catala, a NASSP masters student.

We are now measuring the seeing conditions ever night that SALT is open and publishing the results online. The two main instruments are timDIMM and MASS. The MASS (Multi-Aperture Scintillation Sensor) instrument was purchased from CTIO based on the designs from The MASS Group. The timDIMM instrument is a Differential Image Motion Monitor built by Tim Pickering to work with the MASS instrument enclosure. Combined, the two instruments provide integrated and differential measurements of the seeing.

On the seeing page, we provide information about the integrated seeing provided by the DIMM measurements, the free seeing provided by the MASS measurements, and the Cn2 profile. In addition, all data that have been produced are also available at that website.

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