- Section 5.2 describes NIO's ongoing effort to characterize potential sites for GSMT, and to select the most promising candidates. The effort involves analyzing remotely available data from satellites and weather probes, modeling airflow over candidate peaks using computational fluid dynamics, and developing methodology and equipment that can be used to measure the key parameters in-situ. This work is being done in collaboration with other groups that are interested in building ELTs.
- Section 5.3 describes the Gemini/NOAO program to measure characteristics of the sodium layer in the upper atmosphere, in order to understand its properties for the use of laser guide stars for adaptive optics.
- Section 5.4 describes NIO efforts to find ways to produce off-axis aspherical mirror segments in quantity and in a cost-effective manner through collaborations with industry and other astronomy programs.
- Section 5.5 describes NIO efforts to characterize wind loading of telescopes through direct measurements and computer modeling.
- Section 5.6 describes the systems engineering approaches and technology development necessary to fulfill the promise of adaptive optics for ELTs.
- Section 5.7 describes design-to-cost techniques that are crucial to ensure that GSMT will have maximum scientific effectiveness within a limited-cost construction and operating environment.
Other developments are also in progress. These include the conceptual design of instruments, the design of hierarchical control systems, and the development of models and tools to simulate end-to-end system performance of alternative GSMT designs.
In all our development efforts, we are committed to working closely with other ELT projects and establishing collaborations with other groups interested in solving the same problems. Likewise, the technology we develop will be made available to other groups that are developing concepts for ELTs.