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ING Newsletter No. 10, December 2005

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Reference: ING Newsl., No. 10, page 25.
Article mirrored at: La Palma server | Cambridge server
Other available formats: PDF

News from the Roque

René Rutten* (ING)

Step-by-step the 10-m GTC is coming closer to completion. The telescope mechanical structure is already complete and is being tuned and balanced. Encoders and motors will be fitted soon, after which the telescope control system can be tested in anger. All main optical components are already on site, including the secondary mirror, which has been a demanding item because of its material and complex shape that mimics the shape of the primary. As soon as the telescope structure is operational the first segments of the primary mirror will be mounted, preparing GTC for its technical ‘first-light’ milestone.

On these pages in the past we have reported the construction of the 17-m MAGIC Cherenkov telescope. That telescope, now having been completed, is about to receive its twin, MAGIC-2. The new telescope will be very similar to the first one and will be erected in the same area, at about 85m distance from from MAGIC-1. The magic delivered by both together will be bigger than the sum of each. At the time of writing the concrete for the telescope base is already in place.

MAGIC Telescopes
MAGIC-1 (right) and MAGIC-2 (left, under construction). [ JPEG | TIFF ]

In the previous newsletter we mentioned the construction of the new IAC centre on La Palma, CALP: “Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma”. Since then the building has been inaugurated by the Spanish minister of Education and Science and has been taken in use. The GTC offices are located at CALP.

CALP inauguration
Inauguration event of CALP (credit Luis Cuesta, IAC). [ JPEG | TIFF ]

Not so visible, but nevertheless an important infrastructure improvement is the higher bandwidth from site to the outside world. The observatory now enjoys a 32Mbps internet connectivity. Now this may not seem much if you’re working in a research institute in Europe, but the observatory on top of our little island on the ocean it’s 15 times better than what we’re used to! The improved bandwidth allows ING to carry out data archiving to Cambridge over the internet. We are waiting for the ING offices in Santa Cruz de La Palma to be connected to the same bandwidth infrastructure as well. ¤

*: Email contact: René Rutten ()

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