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Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System (2015)

Chapter: Appendix B: Observatory Demographics

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Observatory Demographics." National Research Council. 2015. Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21722.
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B
Observatory Demographics

The data in Table B.1 were submitted by the observatories at the request of the National Research Council. The information received was not uniform; most columns represent an estimate rather than an exact count. Some categories such as personnel were difficult for the observatories to estimate, since some people had responsibilities in more than one area, and some resources were shared. For some categories, observatories did not track the numbers. Some results are for 1 quarter, and were scaled up to 1 year. In some cases, only total numbers were given over the lifetime of the observatory. Nonetheless, despite being non-uniform, the data provide useful information on the range of people involved at different observatories and the wealth of results based on data obtained at each observatory.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Observatory Demographics." National Research Council. 2015. Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21722.
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TABLE B.1 Observatory Demographics


Observatory FTE Scientistsa FTE Mountainb FTE Engineers, Software Specialists, and Instrumentalistsc Papers from Observatory Data per Yeard Proposals Accepted at Each Telescope per Yeare Different PIs per Yearf Total Investigators per Yearg

APO ARC 3.5 m 0.25 8.5 3.5 50 240 120 400
APO Sloan (SDSS) 2.5 m 6 20.5 8.5 600 n.a. - 3 surveys 3 500
CFHT 9 4.5 day crew 17 127 187 172 627
CTIO SMARTS—ALL 1.21 5.0 4.8 65 121 74 352
CTIO 9.05 functional; 4.45 research 26 30 Blanco: 76 42 35  
        SOAR 41 24 21  
        SMARTS 13 26 23  
Discovery Channel 12 at Lowell 8 7 3 refereed, 7 notices 108 + 12 outreach 100 Unknown
Gemini 50 science 7 TT; 25 research; <8 FTE research 10-20 day crew 2 night crew 80 in N+S 202 150-200, 2/3 from US 300 (all partners) >1,400 (all partners)
GMT 12 PhDs 84, 2 shifts 33 Not yet built Not yet in operation n.a. n.a.
IRTF 4 6 8 105 150 100 300
Keck 12 33 31 3,741 total 233 226 535
KPNO 5 functional, 2 research 12 21 Mayall: 96 68 68 308
        WIYN: 44 24 (NOAO) 24 103
        2.1 m: 49 15 (14A only) 15 (14A only) 54 (14A only)
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Observatory Demographics." National Research Council. 2015. Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21722.
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Observatory FTE Scientistsa FTE Mountainb FTE Engineers, Software Specialists, and Instrumentalistsc Papers from Observatory Data per Yeard Proposals Accepted at Each Telescope per Yeare Different PIs per Yearf Total Investigators per Yearg

LBT 11 20 25 50 n.a. 85 n.a.
LCOGT 6 2 16 30 70 (network) 50 100
Magellan 4 27 10 200 350 200 500
McDonaldh HET 4 19 10 22 30 30 30
McDonald 2.7 m 3 8 plus physical plant and other jobs not directly related to telescopes 5 50 45 50 75
McDonald 2.1 m Shared with 2.7 m Shared with 2.7 m Shared with 2.7 m 20 12 25 40
MMT 5 10 9 100 137 86 292
Palomar 1 22 6 n.a. 120 80 150
SALT 24 17 37 20 184 104 334
WIYN 3.5 3.5 4.5 40; 2.8 PhD 60 40 150

NOTE: Acronyms are defined in Appendix C.

a Approximate number of full-time equivalent scientists who work at the observatory.

b Approximate number of full-time equivalent personnel who work on the observatory mountain.

c Approximate number of full-time equivalent engineers, software specialists, and instrumentalists who work at the observatory.

d Approximate annual number of peer-reviewed publications based on data acquired at the observatory.

e Approximate number of proposals accepted at each different telescope at the observatory per year.

f Approximate number of different principal investigators who observe each year.

g Approximate total number of observers at the observatory each year.

h For McDonald Observatory, the HET upgrade currently going on has an additional number of contract people working on it. HET is run by McDonald for a consortium of 5 institutions. McDonald does not track papers by users of the 2.7- and 2.1-m telescopes, so these are estimates.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Observatory Demographics." National Research Council. 2015. Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21722.
×
Page 110
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Observatory Demographics." National Research Council. 2015. Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21722.
×
Page 111
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Observatory Demographics." National Research Council. 2015. Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21722.
×
Page 112
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New astronomical facilities, such as the under-construction Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and planned 30-meter-class telescopes, and new instrumentation on existing optical and infrared (OIR) telescopes, hold the promise of groundbreaking research and discovery. How can we extract the best science from these and other astronomical facilities in an era of potentially flat federal budgets for both the facilities and the research grants? Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System provides guidance for these new programs that align with the scientific priorities and the conclusions and recommendations of two National Research Council (NRC) decadal surveys, New Worlds, New Horizons for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Vision and Voyages for Planetary Sciences in the Decade 2013-2022, as well as other NRC reports.

This report describes a vision for a U.S. OIR System that includes a telescope time exchange designed to enhance science return by broadening access to capabilities for a diverse community, an ongoing planning process to identify and construct next generation capabilities to realize decadal science priorities, and near-term critical coordination, planning, and instrumentation needed to usher in the era of LSST and giant telescopes.

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