by the 2001 AANM report, U.S. public participation in either of these projects has yet to be determined.
In Chapters 6 and 7, the committee recommends public participation by the United States in at least one of the GSMT projects, participation that could come in the form of contributions to construction, operations, and/or advanced instrumentation. This would leverage the large private contribution, maintain a leading U.S. role in OIR astronomy, and realize the scientific potential of a 30-meter-class optical-infrared telescope for U.S. astronomers. The benefits of such participation could go beyond making a fraction of the observing time available to the entire community of U.S. astronomers. With a sufficiently early commitment from NSF, the broad U.S. community would have input into GSMT governance and could play an important role in ensuring that the telescope and its instruments will meet the needs of the full U.S. community of users and enhance the development and use of this facility by engaging the enthusiasm and experience of the entire community. This includes NOAO, which presumably would be identified as the public partner, with responsibility for representing the public interests during both the construction and the operation phases.
Rather than view Astro2010’s prioritization as a competition between LSST and GSMT, the Program Prioritization Panel on Optical and Infrared Astronomy from the Ground in its report stresses the synergy of these two projects. Each would be greatly enhanced by the existence of the other, and the omission of either would be a significant loss of scientific capability. The combination of wide-area photometric surveys and large-aperture spectroscopy has a long, productive history in OIR astronomy: interesting sources identified in the wide-field survey are studied in detail with the larger telescope. The panel concluded that a crucial goal for ground-based OIR astronomy in the coming decade should be to realize the potential of the combination of these facilities, as linchpins for an enlarged and more capable U.S. ground-based OIR system. Furthermore, the synergies with U.S.-led space missions are significant.
The next generation of radio telescopes beyond ALMA will exploit phased-array technology and a new generation of fast digital correlators to make possible radio telescope arrays with thousands of linked antennas, with collecting areas approaching a square kilometer, and extending up to thousands of kilometers. Retrofitting existing telescopes with focal plane arrays will enable (and already has enabled) gains of orders of magnitude in mapping speed. The most ambitious of these projects, the SKA, was co-ranked as the highest-priority large facility (with the E-ELT) for the