MAXAT ISSUES FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION

The final session of the workshop consisted of a group discussion of major points that came up during the Workshop.

SCIENCE CASE: our initial explorations suggest that strong science cases can be developed, but to do so a clearer understanding of technical issues is required.

1. Future studies need to cross cut across wavelengths to properly develop the multiple dimensions of interesting scientific problems, and thereby better define the role of MAXAT in addressing them.

COMPLEMENTARITY: The focus during the Workshop was on NGST with the conclusion that the combination of MAXAT and NGST would be extremely powerful.

  1. MAXAT operating as a high sensitivity, high angular resolution imaging spectrograph system in the optical and IR terrestrial windows would complement NGST (spectroscopy of objects it images and takes low resolution spectra of; lower background a major advantage in thermal IR for NGST if optics are cooled) and MMA (infrared characteristics of dense regions, observed with comparable angular resolution).

TECHNOLOGY: Major technical uncertainties exist. The Workshop saw several opportunities to develop basic capabilities as steps towards a better-defined concept for a MAXAT.

  1. Primary Mirror.
  2. Adaptive Optics (AO)
  3. Instruments
  4. Other Technical Issues

OPERATIONS SUPPORT: A successful MAXAT will work in concert with other highly capable astronomical facilities. Since it will not be able to replace all other US OIR ground-based facilities, we must be extremely careful about operating costs: