Report from the LRPIC

By / par John Hutchings (Chair, LRPIC)
(Cassiopeia – Winter / hivers 2018)

The LRPIC has followed issues and progress on both ground and space facilities. We welcome input and discussion either via the individual members or via the open discussion mailing list. We continue to communicate closely with the JCSA, GAC, and CATAC committees.

LRPIC has been involved in two pre-LRP workshops: wide field surveys in Waterloo, and space astronomy at the Universite de Montreal. We have noted recent developments in the site and partnerships in TMT and MSE, and the SKA organization and its precursor facilities now operating.

LRPIC, along with JCSA, the Coalition, and the Space Advisory Board continue to voice concern at the lack of a stable and adequate space science budget and mandate for CSA. Debacles like the failed WFIRST partnership are severely eroding our international reputation, and prospects are challenging for LRP2020. We note the continued absence of the promised space policy by the government, but note the many and active lobbying efforts towards redressing the situation, and have hopes that this will result in the needed changes.

A Subaru delegation attended the Waterloo workshop and presented a vision for instrumentation and international partnership. A $2M/year contribution would give full partnership status: access to at least 25 nights (regional time), a role in governance, and access to SSPs (Large Programs). In all, Canada could access over 100 nights for this level of participation. Subaru partnership would involve technical and scientific collaborations with Japan, also a TMT partner. For more about this, contact Michael Balogh.

CCAT-prime CDR was held in late October, and construction is now under way, on a schedule for first light in2021. The CATC consortium plans to ask for ~$9M CDN in the upcoming CFI round, with some $2-3M used for participation in instrumentation. This would give Canada a 20% share in the facility.

LRPIC is delighted at the appointment of Sarah Gallagher as CSA science advisor. Dan Wayner, ex NRC-VP, has been appointed to the similar science advisor position for NRC. NRC has appointed Luc Simard as HAA DG, to succeed Greg Fahlman. We congratulate all of these, and are following and working with therm in their new roles.

LRPIC members are M. Balogh, M. Dobbs, S. Ellison, J. Hutchings (chair), JJ Kavelaars, B. McNamara, N. Murray, I. Stairs.

Observers: R. Abraham, R. Kothes, J. Rowe, L. Simard, R. Thacker.

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