Research

Ground Instrumentation

IRAIT – The International Robotic Antarctic Infrared Telescope

Science


The IRAIT telescope is a fully robotic 80 cm telescope prepared to observe in the infrared range. It has been designed to study cool stellar objects in the Galaxy as well as to serve as a test bed for the establishment of a future Antarctic astronomical observatory.




Instrument


The telescope has been installed at the French-Italian Dome C, Concordia station, which is located in the Antarctic plateau at an altitude of 3280 m a.s.l. The low temperatures, the low humidity and the absence of catabatic winds make it one of the best sites for near- and mid-infrared astronomical observing.




IEEC’s Contribution


The participation of the institute, in collaboration with the Universidad de Granada and the technological company NTE, is focused on the design and construction of the secondary and tertiary mirrors, as well as the mountings and mobile structures that need to operate in the harsh Antarctic conditions. The mirrors M2 and M3, mechanical supports, electronics, control software, are all prepared to work at low temperatures (Temp.min.: -84 ºC).