The PLATO observatory: robotic astronomy from the Antarctic plateau

M. C. B. Ashley*, G. Allen, C. S. Bonner, S. G. Bradley, X. Q. Cui, J. R. Everett, L. Feng, X. H. Gong, S. Hengst, J. Hu, Z. Jiang, C. A. Kulesa, Jon Lawrence, Y. Li, D. M. Luong-Van, M. J. McCaughrean, A. M. Moore, C. R. Pennypacker, W. Qin, R. RiddleZ. H. Shang, J. W V Storey, B. Sun, N. Suntzeff, N. F. H. Tothill, Tony Travouillon, C. K. Walker, L. Wang, J. Yan, H. Yang, D. G. York, X. Yuan, X. Zhang, Z. Zhang, X. Zhou, Z. Zhu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


PLATO is a 6 tonne completely self-contained robotic observatory that provides its own heat, electricity, and satellite communications. It was deployed to Dome A in Antarctica in January 2008 by the Chinese expedition team, and is now in its second year of operation. PLATO is operating four 14.5cm optical telescopes with 1k x 1k CCDs, a wide-field sky camera with a 2k x 2k CCD and Sloan g, r, i filters, a fibre-fed spectrograph to measure the UV to near-IR, sky spectrum, a 0.2m terahertz telescope, two sonic radars giving inn resolution data on the boundary layer to a height of 180111, a 15m tower, meteorological sensors, and 8 web cameras. Beginning in 2010/11 PLATO will be upgraded to support a Multi Aperture Scintillation Sensor and three AST3 0.5m schmidt telescopes, with 10k x 10k CCDs and 100TB/annum data requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
EditorsIF Corbett
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)9781107005334
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event27th IAU General Assembly - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 3 Aug 200914 Aug 2009

Publication series

NameIAU Symposium Proceedings Series
ISSN (Print)1743-9213


Conference27th IAU General Assembly
CityRio de Janeiro


  • Site Testing
  • Instrumentation: miscellaneous
  • Atmospheric Effects
  • Telescopes
  • DOME

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