Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE) Update

By / par Sarah Gallagher (MSE Science Advisory Group Member)
(Cassiopeia – Autumn / l’automne 2018)

Status of Science Team Membership

The MSE Science Team has grown substantially, and now has more than 300 members, including 33 Canadians. Science Working Groups have begun work for the Design Reference Survey work that will begin within the next couple of months. If you signed up for the Science Team but have not been receiving e-mails, please contact MSE Project Scientist Alan McConnachie.

MSE Design Challenges Featured on Social Media

The engineering software company SolidWorks chose to feature MSE and CFHT for their software launch event with an interview with Greg Green (Instrument Designer and Machinist, CFHT). The relevant video segment is within the first few minutes, with MSE design models showcased in minutes 6–9.

Wide Field Astronomy in Canada

MSE science interests will be represented at the Wide Field Astronomy in Canada workshop at the Perimeter Institute (October 10–11, 2018; Waterloo). MSE MG Chair Pat Hall will give an invited presentation on the interrelationship of MSE and LSST, and an MSE splinter meeting will be held on Friday, October 12. We hope to see you there!

MSE Project Book

The MSE Project Book will be released next month. The Project Book is a summary of the technical status of MSE for engineers and technical managers as the project advances from the Conceptual Design Phase into the Preliminary Design Phase. The Book also provides information on the science motivations for the MSE capabilities and requirements, as well as project management information on how the Project is organized and on our plan to progress through and beyond the Preliminary Design Phase for readers who are scientists and decision makers.

SPIE Papers

Fifteen MSE presentations made at the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Astronomical Telescope and Instrumentation meeting (Jun 10–15, 2018; Austin, Texas, USA) this summer were posted on the arXiv. They are all available at this link. The breadth of topics is a testament to the hard work to date of the participants and the Project Office on the technical design and planning work key to the success of MSE.

IAU 2018

McConnachie presented at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Focus Meeting 13, Global Coordination of International Astrophysics and Heliospheric Activities from Space and Ground (Aug 20 – 23, 2018; Vienna, Austria), in a Discussion Session entitled “Global Coordination of Ground-based Astronomy,” chaired by Debra Elmegreen. The panel included leads from the TMT, GMT, ELT, MSE, LSST and SKA.

Preparation for a CFI Proposal

As reported in the last MSE Update, planning preparations continue for a CFI proposal submission for the next round (anticipated in 2019). Discussions are underway regarding a pathfinder spectrograph to be deployed on an existing 4- or 8-meter class telescope to enable unique science while demonstrating that MSE engineering and technology requirements can be met. If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please contact CFI Project Manager for MSE Colin Bradley.

MSE Preliminary Design Phase

A version of the MSE Statement of Understanding suitable for signature has been circulated to all participants. The ACURA Board and Executive Director, Don Brooks, are reviewing the SOU with lawyers at UBC to determine if ACURA can join the SOU as the Canadian signatory. We anticipate a more substantial update on this issue in the Winter Solstice edition of e-Cassiopeia.

References for Further Information and Key Contacts

The MSE website is Questions or comments about MSE governance can be directed to your MSE Management Group Members, Greg Fahlman and Pat Hall. Scientific questions or comments can be directed to your MSE Science Advisory Group Members, Sarah Gallagher and Kim Venn.

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