Design and performance of the douglas mawson telescope

Jon S. Lawrence*, Michael C B Ashley, Michael G. Burton, John W V Storey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The Douglas Mawson Telescope (DMT) is a proposed 2 m telescope to be situated on the Antarctic plateau. The proposal comes from Australia, and invites participation by other nations, especially those already active in Antarctic astronomy; such as Italy, France and the United States. The DMT will be equipped with instrumentation to perform wide-field imaging from the near to far infrared. Results from an extensive site testing campaign over the last decade indicates that an Antarctic infrared telescope can be one to two orders of magnitude more sensitive than any other ground based telescope of the same size. The DMT will be an important tool for astrophysical research. It will also be beneficial as a technological test bed for future large (8-10 m class) Antarctic telescopes and interferometers, and for space-based telescopes. This paper analyses the performance of the DMT in terms of the achievable resolution, field-of-view, sensitivity and survey depth and compares it to a similar sized telescope located with the characteristic mid-latitude atmosphere of Mauna Kea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive optics
  • Antarctic astronomy
  • Astronomical optics
  • Atmospheric turbulence
  • Site testing


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