The PLATO Dome A Site-Testing Observatory: Instrumentation and First Results Academic Article uri icon


  • The PLATeau Observatory (PLATO) is an automated self-powered astrophysical observatory that was deployed to Dome A, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau, in 2008 January. PLATO consists of a suite of site-testing instruments designed to quantify the benefits of the Dome A site for astronomy, and science instruments designed to take advantage of the unique observing conditions. Instruments include CSTAR, an array of optical telescopes for transient astronomy; Gattini, an instrument to measure the optical sky brightness and cloud cover statistics; DASLE, an experiment to measure the statistics of the meteorological conditions within the near-surface layer; Pre-HEAT, a submillimeter tipping radiometer measuring the atmospheric transmission and water vapor content and performing spectral line imaging of the Galactic plane; and Snodar, an acoustic radar designed to measure turbulence within the near-surface layer. PLATO has run completely unattended and collected data throughout the winter 2008 season. Here we present a detailed description of the PLATO instrument suite and preliminary results obtained from the first season of operation. © 2009. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Yang, H., Allen, G., Ashley, M., Bonner, C. S., Bradley, S., Cui, X., ... Zhu, Z

complete list of authors

  • Yang, H||Allen, G||Ashley, MCB||Bonner, CS||Bradley, S||Cui, X||Everett, JR||Feng, L||Gong, X||Hengst, S||Hu, J||Jiang, Z||Kulesa, CA||Lawrence, JS||Li, Y||Luong-Van, D||McCaughrean, MJ||Moore, AM||Pennypacker, C||Qin, W||Riddle, R||Shang, Z||Storey, JWV||Sun, B||Suntzeff, N||Tothill, NFH||Travouillon, T||Walker, CK||Wang, L||Yan, J||Yang, J||York, D||Yuan, X||Zhang, X||Zhang, Z||Zhou, X||Zhu, Z

publication date

  • January 1, 2009 11:11 AM