Subject: APO 3.5m plans, ARC community discussions at the AAS meeting

From: Ed Turner

Submitted: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 15:14:41 -0500 (EST)

Message number: 533 (previous: 532, next: 534 up: Index)

All members of the ARC and APO 3.5m user community are invited to attend
either or both of two discussions which will be held at the January AAS
meeting in Washington, DC.  These meetings will focus on two planning
issues for the 3.5m which are described below, with emphasis on the first
of the two.  The second will be dealt with at additional future
opportunities as well, but these January discussions will be the primary
opportunity for the general ARC community to consider the first one.

> First, at a rather brisk pace (roughly by the end of January), we must
> set priorities for the use of CIF (projects) funds for the coming 2-3
> calendar years.  In essence this will probably mean choosing between a
> set of very attractive instrumentation options and telescope improvement
> projects, all of which it would be very sensible to undertake but not all
> of which we can afford simultaneously.
> Second, on a somewhat more deliberate schedule, we need to formulate a
> definite strategic plan for the telescope which will determine our goals
> on a 5-10 year time scale.  As a first and central issue, we must decide
> whether our primary goal is to maintain a highly capable, general purpose
> telescope to be used for a wide variety of programs by the research staff
> of member institutions (i.e., our current primary goal) or whether it is
> to develop some specialized "niche" application in which the 3.5m can
> contribute uniquely (i.e., the role envisioned for 4m class telescopes in
> the NAS Decadal Survey, as components of a "national observing system").
> Maybe there are completely different or hybrid possibilities too.

Both meetings will be held in the Bancroft Room at the Hilton (where the
AAS is meeting); one will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Tuesday,
January 8, and the other will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 pm on Wednesday,
January 9.  There may well be some overlap in content between the two, but
I hope that the discussion on the second day can build on what transpires
at the first gathering, so please attend both if possible (but one will be
better than none, of course).  For those unable to be in DC, we plan to
have a speaker phone with a dial-in conference line available.  We also
hope to have light refreshments available for those who show up in the

If you think that there is a reasonable chance that you will attend one or
both meetings, please inform Gretchen ( at
APO so we know roughly how many to expect, even if you are among those who
have already told me that you will be there.  Also, let her know if you
would like to receive electronic copies of some relevant documents before
the meeting.  She will also be able to provide you with the call-in number
once it is arranged.

This is being sent to apo35-general and so should reach most of the
relevant people; however, I would like to ask Users Cmte members and
Schedulers at each institution to forward the message to anyone who might
be interested but who does not subscribe to that email list.

I look forward to seeing you in Washington and to lively discussions!

Ed Turner

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