project, aka Square Kilometer Aray (SKA)-low in the post-2020 timeframe), from the Panel on Radio, Millimeter, and Submillimeter Astronomy from the Ground, which recommended a continuing U.S. role in the development of concepts for the international SKA-mid and SKA-high components; and GSMT (in either version, a privately led project in the United States with significant or perhaps eventually even dominant international participation) and LSST (proposed as a private-public partnership), from the Panel on Optical and Infrared Astronomy from the Ground. Complex equipment is essential for progress in addressing the compelling science opportunities outlined in Chapter 2.
CONCLUSION: Complex and high-cost facilities are essential to major progress in astronomy and astrophysics and typically involve collaboration of multiple nations and/or collaboration of federal and non-federal institutions. These partnerships bring great opportunities for pooling resources and expertise to fulfill scientific goals that are beyond the reach of any single country. However, they also present management challenges and require a new level of strategic planning to bring them to fruition.
The 14-nation ESO consortium is on track to become the undisputed leader in ground-based OIR astronomy with its planned construction of the 42-meter European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) facility by 2018 and to play a more prominent role in RMS by investing significantly in the SKA. By concentrating most of its resources into a single international partnership, Europe has minimized duplication of capability between facilities, created a major international research center, and established a funding line for construction that is intended to lead from ALMA to E-ELT to SKA. As a large monolithic, multinational institution, ESO inevitably carries a larger overhead than a U.S. private observatory, but it serves as a good example of a successful international partnership.
The United States, in contrast to Europe, is relying on an extension of its private-public model to remain competitive in the era of ELTs. The two major GSMT projects aiming to construct 30-meter-class telescopes, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), are organized by private and public U.S. universities and other non-profit institutions. It is notable that many countries around the world (Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, and Korea) are forming public-private partnerships with these U.S. groups. Although GSMT was endorsed