Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer Update – Mid-Term Review, Collaboration Meeting, and More

By/par Patrick Hall, MSE Advisory Group member
(Cassiopeia – Spring/printemps 2016)


With spring comes a new logo for the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer project. Science and technical work for MSE continues: a draft of the Detailed Science Case will shortly be sent to the Science Team, and a new engineer has been hired to work in the Project Office.

Progress in Canada

The MSE project was well-received by the Long-Range Plan Mid-Term Review Panel (MTRP). The comment draft of the MTRP report highlighted how MSE will help understand the process of galaxy formation in dark matter halos. The MTRP “strongly recommends that Canada develop the MSE project, and supports the efforts of the project office to seek financial commitments from Canadian and partner institute sources”.

To that end, a group of Canadian engineers and scientists is proposing to conduct conceptual design studies of the Fibre Transport System which connects the fibre positioners to the spectrographs. A CFI application is also in preparation for construction of a prototype high-resolution spectrograph and design and development of integrated observational and operational databases and software. Industry partners Fibertech Optica and ABB Bomem are involved in both these initiatives. Contact Patrick Hall at to find out more.

Meetings Worldwide

The annual MSE Collaboration Meeting will be held April 27-29 at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. Spain, as represented by Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), officially joined the MSE project in December 2015. You can register to attend the meeting at this site.

MSE will also have a presence at the CFHT users’ meeting in Nice on May 1-4, at the CASCA meeting in Winnipeg on May 30 – June 2, and at the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation meeting in Edinburgh June 26 – July 1. Hope to see you there!

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