The “System”, as envisioned in the McKee-Taylor decadal survey, has become a reality. The entire U.S. community now has some access to all the large U.S. ground-based O/IR telescopes. The NSF-funded Telescope System Instrumentation Program has provided resources to build several major instruments for large telescopes. Priorities for selecting these have come largely from reports of the two previous system workshops.
We now have the opportunity to take the next step. A strategic plan for instrumenting the large telescopes could make the case for resources to support a coordinated development of the capabilities that the community wants the most. This would be the first time that planning has been undertaken for the public and private telescopes together.
At the request of ACCORD, the AURA Coordinating Council of Observatory Research Directors, a third workshop on the ground-based O/IR system is being planned, with the intent of developing a strategic plan for instrumenting the large (3.5m aperture and larger) telescopes, both public and private. This plan will be based on scientific discussions in a number of areas, aimed at identifying the most important capabilities to be developed over the next 5-10 years, together with statements of interest and expertise from the institutions that operate the large public and private telescopes.
The workshop will be held over two days, November 16 and 17, 2006, at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. Attendance will be limited to approximately 75 participants, drawn from all segments of the community that use these facilities. Cost of transportation, lodging, and meals for participants will be borne by NOAO.
If you are interested in attending the workshop and contributing to the discussion, please send an email expressing your interest to Todd Boroson (firstname.lastname@example.org). All expressions of interest received by Friday, September 29 will be given full consideration and those selected will be notified by Friday, October 6 with information on how to make their arrangements.
Todd Boroson (NOAO) for the System 3 workshop organizing committee:
Bruce Carney (University of North Carolina)
Alan Dressler (Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington)
Suzanne Hawley (University of Washington)
Shri Kulkarni (California Institute of Technology)
Patrick Osmer (Ohio State University)
Joseph Shields (Ohio University)