Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE) Update

By / par Patrick Hall (MSE Management Group Member)
(Cassiopeia – Autumn / l’automne 2021)

Latest News

It’s been a while since an MSE update in Cassiopeia, in part because the latest MSE news can always be found on the MSE website. Monthly newsletters and science telecons are also held to which all members of the MSE Science Team are invited. To join the team, please contact the Project Scientist, Jennifer Marshall, at mseinfo@mse.cfht.hawaii.edu.

The MSE Project Office team has continued to advance the design of MSE. One significant change, motivated by risk reduction in the spectrograph design, is that the optical and NIR regimes are now planned to be fed by different fibers in the focal plane: 2166 optical fibers (0.36-1.0 um) and 1083 NIR fibers (1.0-1.3 um and 1.45-1.8 um). All fibers would operate in medium-resolution mode (R=3000 to 6000) but with the capability to bin to lower resolution as required for faint targets. More details of this and other design updates can be found in the SPIE Proceedings section of the MSE Documents webpage.

The MSE Management Group has also welcomed Kyung Hee University in South Korea as an official participant in the project, in recognition of contributions to MSE’s Program Execution Software Architecture conceptual design.

In Canada, MSE was ranked as one of two recommended investments in ground-based facilities in the Large (>$30M) category by the Long-Range Plan 2020. Building on this recommendation, a consortium of Canadian astronomers will again be submitting a CFI proposal to fund design studies and prototyping. Contact Pat Hall if you’re interested in being involved.

Project Office Personnel Additions

Two key full-time PO hires in the past year have been Dr. Jennifer Sobeck as System Scientist and Barbara Small as Project Administrator.

As the project manager who led the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV (SDSS-IV) Apache Point Galactic Evolution Experiment 2 and the operations manager who led SDSS-IV operations at the Las Campanas Observatory, Jennifer S. brings a full complement of scientific, technical, and managerial experience. She will lead the detailed planning and execution of the Design Reference Survey (DRS) and will take responsibilities to maintain MSE’s science performance through its development phases.

With her computer science background, Barbara brings her diverse corporate project and IT experiences to the PO. She will be the interface with the Management Group regarding bi-monthly meetings and general communication, and responsible in maintaining the overall PO work plan schedule.

Another recent PO personnel additions is Christian Surace as Program Execution Software Architecture Technical Lead (25%-time position). As leader of the Astrophysical Data Center of Marseille, Christian brings an end-to-end perspective in structuring high-level software to complete survey program from initial proposal submission to delivery of the calibrated science data. He will be the technical lead in directing and coordinating the Program Execution Software Architecture development with the different contributors.

Your MSE Representatives for Canada

Thanks to Sarah Gallagher for her work on the MSE Science Advisory Group, and welcome to Ting Li as the new representative for Canada on the SAG!

MSE Science Advisory Group Members: Ting Li (U Toronto) and Kim Venn (U Victoria)

MSE Management Group Members: Laura Ferrarese (HAA) and Patrick Hall (York U)

Canada is also represented among the MSE Science Team Working Group Leads by Prof. Ting Li (U. Toronto, Astrophysical Tests of Dark Matter WG co-Lead) and Prof. Will Percival (U. Waterloo, Cosmology WG co-Lead).

Pour marque-pages : Permaliens.

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