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New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
that the U.S. AGIS team collaborate as a partner with the European CTA team and that a U.S. budget for construction and operations of approximately $100 million over the decade be shared between DOE, NSF-Physics, and NSF-Astronomy.
The recommendation for ongoing U.S. involvement in TeV astronomy is based largely on the demonstrated recent accomplishments of this field and the prospect of building fairly quickly a much more capable facility to address a broad range of astronomy and physics questions over the next decade.
CCAT (formerly the Cornell-Caltech Atacama Telescope ) is a powerful wide-field-of-view 25-meter telescope to be constructed at a high site in Chile just above the ALMA site. CCAT will perform sensitive millimeter and submillimeter imaging surveys of large fields, enabling studies of galaxies, stars, planets, and interstellar gas, as well as objects in the outer solar system. CCAT will complement ALMA by finding many of the sources that ALMA will follow up. The committee appraises the total development and construction cost at $140 million. The estimated start of operations is 2020, and the survey judges the cost and schedule risk, and technical risk, as medium. The committee recommends NSF support for the construction costs, on the order of $37 million, and a $7.5 million share of the operations costs, provided that the U.S. community has appropriate access to both the results of the surveys and competed observing time.
CCAT is called out to progress promptly to the next step in development because of its strong science case, its importance to ALMA, and its readiness.
Small Additions and Augmentations to Ground Research Program (Unranked)
Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (ATI)
ATI supports instrumentation and technology development, including computing at astronomical facilities in support of the research program. The current level of funding is roughly $10 million per year, which the committee proposes to increase to $15 million per year to accommodate key opportunities, including, especially, adaptive optics development and radio instrumentation.
Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Grants Program (AAG)
Individual investigator grants provide critical support for astronomers to conduct the research for which the observatories and instruments are built. The current