MPA signed for the construction of Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)
Five countries participating in the project TMT- Canada, China, India, Japan and the U.S. have inked Master Partnership Agreement (MPA) for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) costing $1.5 billion.
Main promoters of Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project:
The main promoters of the international project are Caltech and the University of California in the U.S. and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA), with China, India and Japan providing additional financial and technical support. The telescope is expected to become operational in 2022.
Major Participating Institutes in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project from India:
- Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA)
- Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCCA), Pune
- Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital
India’s Contribution in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project:
- India has 10% share in the project, which implies a financial assurance of about Rs. 1,000 core. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) will jointly fund the Indian component.
- Indian astronomers will get observational time in proportion to India’s share in the total project cost
- India’s contributions will include fabrication of edge sensors, which sense relative displacement of segments due to gravity and temperature while tracking objects in the sky.
- India has the responsibility to build the entire actuator system to provide the best possible image of objects in the sky.
- Godrej and Avasarala companies have taken up segment support assembly, a very complicated system on which the primary mirror segments sit.
- India is also designing a mirror coating system and exploring the possibilities of setting up a unit to polish 100 segments to the project .India may also provide a part of the 492 mirror segments.
About the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project:
What is so special about
Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project?
- It will be world’s largest optical and infrared telescope which is proposed to be located just below the summit at Mauna Kea at a height of 4,050 m in Hawaii.
- It will be 81 times more sensitive than the current telescopes of its kind and resolve objects by a factor of 3 times better than the largest ground-based telescopes that are available at present across the world.
- It will be the first ground-based telescope to incorporate the technology of Adaptive Optics (AO) as an integral component of the telescope.
What is Adaptive Optics?
AO is the system designed to sense atmospheric turbulence in real time, make the appropriate corrections to the beam and enable true image on the ground limited only by optical diffraction.