[oas] OAS - Osservatorio Astronomico Sormano
OAS > Ground telescopes dedicated to Sky Survey, Space debris, Exoplanets - Space Telescopes

Ground telescopes dedicated to Sky Survey, Space debris, Exoplanets - Space Telescopes

Page prepared by Francesco Manca (obs.sormano@alice.it)

Last update: April 29, 2022


 

Web page dedicated to advanced optical, radio and space telescopes involved in several scientific fields as Near Earth Objects, Space debris or Exoplanets.

 


 

 

SKY SURVEY (Asteroids Space debris)

 

 

ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: USA ______ Dome: USA

Operational Site: Hawaii

Telescope Status: In operation

 

 ATLAS telescopes

ATLAS is a system developed by the University of Hawaii and funded by NASA. It consists of two telescopes (ATLAS-HKO IAU code T05 and ATLAS-MLO IAU code T08), 160 km apart, which automatically scan the whole sky several times every night looking for unusual moving objects (NEA). Telescopes equatorially-mounted 0.5 meter diameter f/2 with 100-megapixel CCD camera 9μm as pixel size (scale of 1.86 arcsec) and a field of view of 7°.
New Near Earth Asteroids are submitted to the Minor Planet Center.

Additional telescopes are planned in Chile and South Africa.

The ATLAS Facilities are located in Mauna Loa and Haleakala - Hawaii.

 

(for more details see the Web site of the ATLAS telescopes).

 

 


 

 

CSS (Catalina Sky survey)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: USA ______ Dome: USA

Operational Site: Arizona (USA)

Telescope Status: In operation

 

 CSS telescopes

CSS (Catalina Sky survey) is a NASA funded project and operated by Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona where the team utilizes three telescopes in order to cover the sky with the main goal to discovery Near Earth Asteroids or objects with an unusual motion, in this case the astrometric positions are sending to the Minor Planet Center.

CSS is one of the most prolific Near Earth Asteroids survey operating three telescopes with IAU Observatory code as a 1.5 meter as primary mirror (IAU code G96) equipped with a 111-megapixel CCD camera with field of view of 5.0 deg2, 1 meter (IAU code I52) equipped with a 2k x 2k CCD detector field of view is 0.3 deg2 and 0.7 meter Schmidt catadioptric (IAU code 703) equipped with a 111-megapixel CCD mounted at prime focus field of view is 19.4 deg2 .

The CSS Facilities are located in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona.(USA).

 

(for more details see the Web site of the CSS (Catalina Sky Survey)).

 

 


 

 

Vera C.Rubin - LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: Spain ______ Dome: Italy

Operational Site: Chile

Telescope Status: Engineering First Light scheduled in 2020-2021

 

 LSST telescope

LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) named Vera C. Rubin Observatory, is an optical telescope having the primay mirror M1 of 8.4 meter in diameter (M2 3.5 meter and M3 5.0 meter). One of the main goals of LSST is the detection of Near Earth Objects as PHA (Potential Hazardous Asteroids) and asteroids as small as 140 meter thanks to the performance of the detector. The CCD camera developed for LSST has a mosaic of 189 16-megapixel detectors that provide a total of about 3.2 gigapixels and the field of view of 3.5 degree. The goal of the project is to conduct a 10 year survey of the sky.

The LSST Summit Facility is located on the Cerro Pachon ridge in north-central Chile.

 

(for more details see the Web site of the LSST telescope).

 

 


 

 

MS-LART (Multi-Spectral Large Aperture Receiver Telescope)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: Austria ______ Dome: Austria

Operational Site: Germany

Telescope Status: First light in 2021

 

 Johannes Kepler Observatory - MS-LART telescope

MS-LART (Multi-Spectral Large Aperture Receiver Telescope) is a DLR project for a new research observatory to determine the nature and trajectory of objects in low-Earth orbit. A primary mirror with a diameter of 1.75 metres will be housed in a 15-metre-high building with a rotatable dome.

Construction work started in May 2020 and first light is planned in 2021.

MS-LART site is located at Empfingen Innovation Campus in Baden-Württemberg-Germany.

The DLR research observatory in Empfingen will be named the Johannes Kepler Observatory

 

(for more details see the Web site of the MS-LART telescope).

 

 


 

 

NEOSTEL FLY-EYE

Designers of the structure
Telescope: Italy ______ Dome: Italy

Operational Site: Italy (first prototype)

Telescope Status: First Light scheduled in 2021

 

 NEOSTED Fly Eye

NEOSTEL FlyEye is developed by OHB Italy (was CGS- Compagnia Generale dello Spazio) as the European technological answer to mitigate the possible hazard due to Near Earth Asteroids and Space Debris monitoring inside the SSA (Space Situational Awareness) programme of ESA. This optical telescope class 1.2 meter of primary mirror splits the image into 16 CCD camera of 4k x 4k single chips and 15 μm of pixel size (scale of 1.5 arcsec), in order to expand the field of view as 6.7° x 6.7° . See also the infographic image to show the project and the image of the equatorial mount. In addition a clip video of the telescope is available in the ESA's web page for professionals.

Up to four FlyEye Telescopes will be installed, the first of them on Monte Mufara in Sicily (see WMT), is expected to shipped the telescope at the end of 2020 and first light in 2021. ASI (Italian Space Agency) in cooperation with ESA asked to perform test in dedicated facility (near ASI Antenna in Matera - Italy) before to install FlyEye in the final location

FLYEYE telescope has been realized also thanks to the contribution of great experts such as the astronomer Andrea Milani abd developer of OrbFit Software the first one to compute confidence region for VI asteroids

 

(for more details see the Web site of the Fly-Eye telescope).

 

 


 

 

Pan-STARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope And Rapid Response System)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: Belgium ______ Dome: USA

Operational Site: Haleakala - Hawaii

Telescope Status: In operation

 

 Pan-STARRS

Pan-STARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope And Rapid Response System) as PS1 (IAU code F51) and PS2 (IAU code F52) units are optical telescopes with a primary mirror of 1.8 meter in diameter equipped of a CCD camera (GPC) with 1.4 gigapixel and a field of view of 3.5 degree diameter. Construction of Pan-STARRS was funded in large part by the United States Air Force and now operated by the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii and supported by NASA.

The main goal of the Pan-STARRS project is the sky Survey to discovery Near Earth Objects using a sequence of four exposures that span a period of about an hour. Objects that have unusual motions that make them likely to be Near Earth Objects are immediately reported to the Minor Planet Center.

Pan-STARRS Facility is located on the summit of Haleakala .

 

(for more details see the Web site of the Pan-STARRS).

 

 


 

 

VLT (Very Large Telescope)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: Italy ______ Dome: Italy

Operational Site: Chile

Telescope Status: In operation

 

 VLT telescope

VLT (Very Large Telescope) is composed of four units with a primary mirror of 8.2 meter in diameter for any unit. Usually used for deep space studies, in the last years VLT has been used to observe very faint asteroids up to 26 in magnitude. European astronomers were able to recovered asteroids classified as VI (Virtual Impactor, see introduction at Neodys and CNEOS) and refined their orbits as the case of the small object 2008 LG2 VLT is under the responsibility of ESO (European Southern Observatory)

VLT Facility is located at Cerro Paranal in Chile.

 

(for more details see the Web site of the VLT telescope).

 

 


 

 

VLT Survey Telescope (VST)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: Italy ______ Dome: Italy

Operational Site: Chile

Telescope Status: In operation

 

 VLT Survey Telescope (VST)

VLT Survey Telescope (VST) programme is a joint venture between the INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy and ESO. INAF has designed and built the telescope with the collaboration of leading Italian industries VST is a 2.6-metre aperture telescope with an active optics system to keep the mirrors perfectly positioned at all times and is one of the largest telescopes in the world designed for surveying the sky in the optical band.

In 2022 the INAF-ESO agreement for the VST operations in Paranal will expire so INAF has appointed a working group to review the scientific potential of the VST telescope. that could be used to imaging Near Earth Asteroids or as a survey to search for Earth-like planets.

VLT Survey Telescope Facility is located at Cerro Paranal in Chile.

 

(for more details see the Web site of the VLT Survey Telescope).

 

 


 

 

WFST (Wide Field Survey Telescope)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: China (tbc) ______ Dome: China (tbc)

Operational Site: China

Telescope Status: First Light scheduled in 2023

 

 WFST telescope

The Wide Field Survey Telescope (WFST) is a 2.5-meter in diameter alt-azimuth optical telescope and a focus lenght of 6.2 meter, is expected to capture wide-field and high-resolution images of the sky as Solar system objects, Milky Way Local group. Construction of the telescope could be completed by 2022 and first light in 2023.

The University of Science and Technology of China that is funded the project, signed a cooperation agreement with the Haixi Mongol and Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Qinghai province. They plan to build the telescope on top of Saishiteng mountain.

CCD camera detail:
Camera: 27k × 27k, Pixel scale: 0.33”

WFST site is located at Saishiteng mountain near the town of Lenghu - China.

 

(for more details see the Web site of the Wide Field Survey Telescope (WFST)).

 

 


 

 

WMT (Wide-field Mufara Telescope)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: Italy ______ Dome: Italy

Operational Site: Italy

Telescope Status: indoor pre-erection stage, November 2019

 

 WMT telescope

WMT (Wide-field Mufara Telescope) an optical telescope with primay mirror of 1 meter in diameter will be dedicated both to the survey of Near Earth Objects and their follow-up under line guide of INAF (Italian National Institute for Astrophysics). The telescope is equipped with a CCD camera back-illuminated of 10k x 10k pixels and resolution of 9 μm with a field of view of about 7deg2. WMT is remote-controlled connected to the GAL Hassin facility that host also the support facility of the NEOSTEL FLY EYE telescope of ESA.

WMT site is located at Monte Mufara (Piano Battaglia) Sicily - Italy.

 

(for more details see the Web site of the WMT telescope).

 

 


 

 

 

DEEP SPACE (Exoplanets,Galaxies)

 

 

ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array)

Designers of the structure
Radio Telescope: Italy , Germany , USA

Operational Site: Chile

Telescope Status: In operation

 

 ALMA Radio Telescopes

ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) is mainly composed of European and American 12-meter diameter antennas (plus twelve 7-meter diameter antennas). The operational site is at 5000 meter in altitude where the antennas working as single or in array configuration combines signals from each, working as an interferometer, a single giant telescope equal in size to the total array to expand the capacity to collect radio waves in millimetric and submillimetric wavelengths detecting extrasolar planets under formation or to search complex organic molecules.

ALMA Facility is located at Atacama - Chile.

 

(for more details see the Web site of the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array)).

 

 


 

 

ELT (Extremely Large Telescope)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: Italy ______ Dome: Italy

Operational Site: Cerro Armazones - Chile

Telescope Status: First Light scheduled in 2025

 

ELT telescope

ELT (Extremely Large Telescope) is a giant optical telescope with a primary mirror M1 of 39 meter in diameter composed by a total of 798 segments. Secondary mirror M2 is a convex mirror of 4.2 meter in diameter plus other mirrors as M3 (3.8 meter), M4 (2.4 meter), M5 (2.1 meter) controlled by hexapod systems developed in Italy. One of the main goal of ELT is discovering and characterising planets and proto-planetary systems around other stars with all selecting instruments developed for this giant telescope.

An italian consortium signed the contract for the dome and telescope structure of ELT

ELT Facility is located at Cerro Armazones - Chile.

 

(for more details see the Web site of the ELT telescope).

 

 


 

 

GMT (Giant Magellan Telescope)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: Italy , Germany _ Dome: tbd

Operational Site: Las Campanas Observatory Chile?s Atacama Desert

Telescope Status: First Light scheduled in 2029

 

 GMT (Giant Magellan Telescope)

GMT (Giant Magellan Telescope) is one member of the next class of giant ground-based telescopes. It is a segmented mirror telescope that employs seven largest monolith mirrors as segments. Six off-axis 8.4 meter segments surround a central on-axis segment, forming a single optical surface 24.5 meters. Secondary mirrors are mounted on hexapod system to improve the image's acquisition as adaptive optics. The GMT will further understanding of the connections between stars, their disks and the planets that can form within them. It will also be able to detect new molecules and ices (including those involving water and organic materials) in protoplanetary disks.

On October 30, 2019 has been signed the contract to telescope structure with MT Mechatronics of Mainz, Germany, and Rockford, Illinois-based Ingersoll Machine Tools, part of the Italian Camozzi Group.

GMT Facility is located at Cerro Las Campanas Chile .

 

(for more details see the Web site of the GMT (Giant Magellan Telescope)).

 

 


 

 

IRAIT/ITM (International Robotic Antarctic Infrared Telescope/International Telescope Maffei)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: Italy

Operational Site: French-Italian research facility Concordia Station - South Pole

Telescope Status: In operation

 

 IRAIT Telescope

IRAIT/ITM is the first European infrared telescope operated on the Antarctic Plateau. The project was developed by Dr Paolo Maffei , he suggested to install an infrared telescope in Antarctica to observe the sky at infrared wavelenghts. After several upgrade IRAIT an 80 cm telescope develoed in Italy, is used for photometric observations of limited sky area on AGB (Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars).

 

(for more details see the Web site of the IRAIT/ITM).

 

 


 

 

TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope)

Designers of the structure
Telescope: tbd ______ Dome: tbd

Operational Site: Maunakea, in Hawaii

Telescope Status: onstruction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) started in the week of July 15, 2019

 

TMT telescope

TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope) is a new class of extremely large telescopes with primary mirror of 30 meter in diameter composed by 492 segments and a secondary mirror of 3.1 meter. The tertiary mirror is a large flat mirror, located in the center of the primary mirror, that is used to direct the telescope image to the instruments on the Nasmyth platforms. One of the science themes investigated is the ability to identify and characterize extrasolar planets with high-precision Doppler measurements

 

(for more details see the Web site of the TMT telescope).


 

 

 

SPACE TELESCOPES

 

 

ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey)

Designers of the payload
Mirror: Italy _ Spacecraft/Telescope: ESA's member Consortium

Operational Site: Lagrange Point L2

Mission Status: Scheduled for launch in 2028

 

ARIEL space telescope

ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey) is a medium (M4-class) mission. The mission is dedicated to study what exoplanets are made of, how they formed and how they evolve, by surveying a diverse sample of about 1000 extrasolar planets, simultaneously in visible and infrared wavelengths.
The spacecraft is designed with two distinct modules: the Service Module (SVM) and Payload Module (PLM)

The telescope configuration is based on a classic Cassegrain layout (M1 and M2 mirrors) with 14 m focal length.

ARIEL has a nominal 4-year operational timeline

 

(for more details see the Web site of the ARIEL mission).

 

 


 

 

CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite)

Designers of the payload
Spacecraft: Spain ______ Telescope: Switzerland and ESA's member

Operational Site: Sun-synchronous, with an altitude in the range between 650 and 800 km

Mission Status: In operation

 

CHEOPS space telescope

CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) is a small (S-class) mission in the ESA Science Programme in partnership with a nationally funded consortium led by Switzerland. The mission is dedicated to searching for exoplanetary transits by performing ultrahigh precision photometry on bright stars already known to host planets and to measure the bulk density of exoplanets with sizes/masses in the super-Earth ? Neptune range. The required photometric precision will be achieved by using a single, frame-transfer, back-illuminated CCD detector with 1024 x 1024 pixels and a pixel pitch of 13μm.
The CCD is mounted in the focal plane of a 330 mm diameter, f/8, on-axis Ritchey-Chrétien telescope.

 

(for more details see the Web site of the CHEOPS mission).

 

 


 

 

JWST (James Webb Space Telescope)

Designers
Telescope: USA , ESA's member , CSA

Operational Site: Lagrange Point L2

Mission Status: Mission in progress

 

JWST space telescope

JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) has been launched on December 25, 2021 onboard Ariane 5 launcher. It's operational position it will not be in orbit around the Earth as the Hubble Space Telescope, its position is at the so called Lagrangian Point L2 in orbit around the Sun at 1.5 million kilometers away from the Earth. JWST is a large infrared telescope with a 6.5 meter primary mirror. The instruments are able to detect light from distant stars and planets orbiting other stars. The main goal of JWST is the study of the atmospheres of exoplanets,

 

(for more details see the Web site of the James Webb Space Telescope).

 

 


 

 

PLATO

Designers of the payload
Telescope: Germany , Italy , Spain , France

Operational Site: Lagrange Point L2

Mission Status: Contruction phase begins, Targeted launch date in 2026

 

 Plato Space telescope

PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations) will be launched in 2026 to find and study extrasolar planetary systems around Sun-like stars and their habitable zone. The payload consist of a multi-telescope instrument concept, which is novel for a space telescope with 24 'normal' cameras with CCD-based focal planes (Each camera has 4 CCDs each with 4510?4510 pixels of 18 ?m size) The 'normal' cameras are arranged in four groups of six. Each group has the same field-of-view but is offset by a 9.2? angle from the payload module +Z axis and based on a fully dioptric design with 6 lenses. The orbit lifetime is 6.5 years with the possibility of mission operation extensions

 

(for more details see the Web site of the Plato mission).

 

 


 

 

Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope

Designers of the payload
Telescope: USA

Operational Site: Quasi-Halo orbit around Lagrange Point L2

Mission Status: Launch date is scheduled in 2025

 

Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope

Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope was Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) dedicated to Nancy Grace Roman known to many as the "Mother of Hubble", will have two instruments, the Wide Field Instrument (WFI) and the Coronagraph Instrument (CGI). The Space Telescope has a primary mirror that is 2.4 meters in diameter, and is the same size as the Hubble Space Telescope's (HST) primary mirror but with a field of view 100 times larger. WFI instrument provides wide field imaging and spectroscopy in support of dark energy, microlensing, and supernova surveys. The CGI provides high contrast imaging and spectroscopy for observations of exoplanets and debris disks.

 

(for more details see the Web site of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope).

 

 


 

 

SPHEREx (Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe and Ices Explorer)

Designers of the payload
Telescope: USA

Operational Site: Low Earth orbit (about 700 km)

Mission Status: Mission passed Critical Design Review

 

 SPHEREx Space telescope

Scheduled to launch no later than April 2025 SPHEREx is based on a telescope with an effective 20 cm diameter and a 11°x3.5° field of view.
SPHEREx will obtain near-infrared 0.75-5.0 um spectra every 6" over the entire sky. It implements a simple instrument design with a single observing mode to map the entire sky four times during its nominal 25-month mission. SPHEREx will scan over 99% of the sky every six months, scientists will measure the prevalence of life-sustaining materials like water that reside in icy dust grains in the galactic clouds from which new stars and their planetary systems are born.

 

(for more details see the Web site of the SPHEREx mission).

 

 


 

 

TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite)

Designers of the payload
Telescope: USA

Operational Site: 17 Earth-radii perigee, 59 Earth-radii apogee, 2:1 resonance with the Moon

Mission Status: Mission in progress

 

 TESS Space telescope

TESS observatory has an orbit 2:1 resonance with the Moon which is expected to be stable for almost 10 years. Its mission is to detect small planets with bright host stars observing nearly the entire sky to monitor bright stars in search of transits ? periodic dips in a star?s brightness caused by a planet passing in front of the star. It is expected that TESS will cover a total area of sky 400x larger than Kepler. The TESS payload consists of four identical CCD cameras

 

(for more details see the Web site of the TESS mission).

 

 


backBack to Sormano Astronomical Observatory Home Page

Web Curators: M. Carpino, F. Manca
Last modified: April 29, 2022