an international telescope to study very high energy gamma rays. (Medium-scale) CCAT (formerly the Cornell-Caltech Atacama Telescope)—a 25-meter wide-field submillimeter telescope that will complement ALMA by undertaking large-scale surveys of dust-enshrouded objects.
These major new elements must be combined with ongoing support of the core research program to ensure a balanced program that optimizes overall scientific return. To achieve that return the committee balances the program with a portfolio of unranked smaller projects and augmentations to the core research program, funded by all three agencies. These elements include support of individual investigators, instrumentation, laboratory astrophysics, public access to privately operated telescopes, suborbital space missions, technology development, theoretical investigations, and collaboration on international projects.
This report also identifies unique ways that astronomers can contribute to solving the nation’s challenges. In addition, the public will continue to be inspired with images of the cosmos and descriptions of its contents, and students of all ages will be engaged by vivid illustrations of the power of science and technology. These investments will sustain and improve the broad scientific literacy vital to a technologically advanced nation as well as providing spin-off technological applications to society.
The committee notes with appreciation the striking level of effort and involvement in this survey contributed by the astronomy and astrophysics community. The vision detailed in this report is a shared vision.
Maintaining a balanced program is an overriding priority for attaining the overall science objectives that are at the core of the program recommended by the survey committee. More detailed guidance is provided in the report, but optimal implementation is the responsibility of agency managers. The small-scale projects recommended in Table ES.1 are unranked and are listed in alphabetical order. The highest-priority ground-based elements in the medium (Table ES.2) and large (Table ES.3) categories are listed in priority order, and the highest-priority space-based elements in the medium (Table ES.4) and large (Table ES.5) categories are also listed in priority order. All cost appraisals are in FY2010 dollars.