Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE) Update

Submitted by Patrick Hall, MSE Advisory Group member
(Cassiopeia – Hivers/Winter 2015)

mse-logo2Design work for the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE) continues apace.

The MSE Science Requirements Document

The MSE Science Requirements Document (SRD) was formally configured in October after a 12 month effort by the international science team to revisit the basic science drivers of the facility and identify the key science enabling capabilities. The SRD is the top level requirement document that gives a clear direction for the conceptual design phase; all other technical documents flow from the SRD. Engineers are therefore working to the requirements set out in this document, and changes to it are made through a formal review and approval process.

The SRD will shortly be available for download at the “Documents” page of the MSE webpages. In parallel, an exposure draft of the Detailed Science Case – providing the scientific narrative of the science cases and context from which the SRD has been derived – is being finalised and will be available for download in the first quarter of 2016.

Activities of MSE’s International Engineering Team

MSE’s International Engineering Team met for a second time, on 14-16 October 2015 at the original Paris Observatory. This meeting was graced by a number of new participants, including those from Spain, Lausanne Switzerland, Durham England, Lyon France and Meudon France. The workshop included discussion of the overall system architecture and the work packages designing the major subsystems.

Discussions at CFHT’s board meeting

This month’s CFHT Board meeting includes a full afternoon session devoted to MSE. Discussion will include the design work distribution, plans for science case review, operations planning, engineering status, budget and resources, and governance models.

Spain interested in joining the MSE collaboration

Spain, as represented by Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), have recently expressed a strong interest in joining the MSE collaboration. Letters of collaboration are expected imminently. Furthermore, Spain has offered to host the next MSE Team Collaboration Workshop, at La Palma. More details in the next Cassiopeia!

CFI proposal plans

A CFI proposal is being planned to support strong Canadian participation in the design and construction of MSE instruments and subsystems. If you are interested in being part of such a proposal and haven’t already been contacted, please contact Patrick Hall at

Web sites

MSE Website
MSE Overview

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