National Research Council of Canada. National Science Infrastructure
Adapting to the Atmosphere Conference, 15 September 2014 through 18 September 2014
Astrophysics; Automation; Research laboratories; Atmospheric research; Automated systems; Local environments; North latitudes; Polar environments; Seeing monitors; Simple adaptive; Wide-field surveys; Adaptive optics
Time-domain astrophysics benefits from extreme-latitude sites, which can combine intrinsically extended nighttime with good sky conditions. One such location is the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), at 80° North latitude, on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island, Canada. Experience gained deploying seeing monitors there has been incorporated into an automated system called "Ukaliq" after the common arctic hare, which is also very well suited to its local environment. Even with modest aperture, high photometric reliability may be achieved using simple adaptive optics together with observing strategies that best fit the unique set of advantages available at PEARL: excellent image quality maintained during many clear, calm, dark periods of 100 hours or more. A potential multi-year search for gravitational microlensing of quasars with Ukaliq helps illustrate this niche in the era of large wide-field survey facilities.
Journal of Physics: Conference Series595, no. 1, 12034 (8 April 2015).