TMT Project Update

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TMT Project Update. 29 November 2006 UCSC Astronomy Faculty Some of this information is sensitive or confidential. Recent activities. CoDR in May 2006 Cost Review in Sept 2006: 30m + 180nm AO system + 2 instruments + “Gemini”-style operations model=$910M (2006).
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TMT Project Update29 November 2006UCSC Astronomy FacultySome of this information is sensitive or confidentialRecent activities
  • CoDR in May 2006
  • Cost Review in Sept 2006: 30m + 180nm AO system + 2 instruments + “Gemini”-style operations model=$910M (2006).
  • Board-stipulated cost: $724M (2006)
  • Project-wide activity to “re-cost” without reducing science capability
  • Gregorian  RC
  • Low-bid estimates when defendable
  • Single source M1 fabrication
  • Reduce telescope structure mass (optimize some designs wrt cost)
  • Drop AM2
  • Current estimate: $750M (2006) + $25M/year operations
  • Recent News
  • Relevant Senior Review recommendations:
  • NOAO should take on the role of evaluating the existing ELT projects for technical readiness and appropriateness for meeting the US Design Reference Mission. NOAO should also orchestrate the “competition” between ELT projects, ultimately make a recommendation to the NSF about which project should receive US federal backing and then take a leadership role
  • US federal-backed ELT should proceed at a pace set by availability of NSF funding (MREFC and operations)
  • Although SR is advisory, based on meetings with Wayne van Citters and AURA actions, some of the SR recommendations have already been accepted.
  • AURA and TMT
  • “Leadership” positions have been vacated by AURA/NOAO Board and SAC members
  • AURA will not sign incorporation letter to join CELT
  • 2004 Letter of Intent remains basis of CELT-TMT arrangements through DDP or December 2008
  • NOAO employees in Project office will remain
  • Contributions of AURA/NOAO to Chile site testing/permitting efforts will likely continue
  • Wayne van Citters: changes will be “financially neutral for TMT”
  • No official public statements have been made by AURA so some of the above bullets may change
  • Where do we go?
  • Note: prospects for NSF MREFC capital on the CELT/TMT timetable have always been poor.
  • Q1: Does the 3-partner project wait for another partner or proceed at full speed? (Keck experience says move forward without pause)
  • Q2: Can the 3-partner project float credible capital proposals to the Moore Foundation and Canadian governments? (operations $ is a big question mark)
  • Note: DDP funding ends mid-2008
  • Q3: Do we scale back the aperture and beef up the early-light instrument suite or go ahead at 30m and assume we will attract partners with additional instrument $?
  • Q3a: is the current point design a compelling facility?
  • Other Partners
  • Meetings have been held with Japanese
  • Very promising if TMT goes to Mauna Kea
  • Concerns about resetting design and required involvement of Japanese industry probably unfounded
  • Meetings have been held with UNAM officials and soon with the incoming Mexican President and science advisors
  • San Pedro Martir is clearly inferior to sites in Chile
  • If Mexico could contribute $, particularly operations funds this would sweeten the pot somewhat
  • Discussions have been held with Harvard
  • UC involvement
  • UC is currently in the TMT Business plan for raising $175M and providing $11.25M/year in operations (President Dynes “approved” numbers)
  • Capital is simply a request to Moore Foundation. There are some politics here involving Caltech.
  • UC operations contribution is going to require some hard work developing enthusiastic support at UCOP and with the Chancellors. This can not be accomplished without support from the astronomers in the UC system.
  • The Plan
  • January 23, 2007 Board meeting the AURA/NSF situation will be understood and the Board will need to decide on a path forward.
  • MB best guess:
  • Full speed ahead
  • Submit construction proposals in May 2007 (staged)
  • 25m + four instruments within five years of 1st light
  • Actively seek additional partner
  • Related Search
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