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UKIRT

The United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) is a 3.8m IR-dedicated telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea summit in Hawaii. It was originally owned and operated by a variety of UK public bodies, most recently STFC, sometimes in partnership with other international agencies. It was operated in tandem with the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope by the Joint Astronomy Centre in Hilo, Hawaii. Between 2005 and 2014 the UKIRT Wide Field Camera (WFCAM) made observations for both the UKIDSS project and individual PI projects, and began the UKIRT Hemisphere Survey (UHS). The data is processed and archived by the "VISTA Data Flow System" which is a project operated by the Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit (CASU) and the Wide Field Astronomy Unit (WFAU) in Edinburgh. The same system is responsible for the VISTA Science Archive.

In 2014 UKIRT was handed over to the University of Hawaii, and is operated by the UH Institute for Astronomy, through the cooperation of the East Asian Observatory. Between November 2014 and May 2017 UKIRT was supported by NASA and operated under an agreement among the University of Hawaii, the University of Arizona, and Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center. Data continued to be processed by CASU and WFAU under agreement with STFC. As well as undertaking PI projects and NASA programmes, UKIRT continued to progress the UHS project.

Since June 2017, UKIRT has been operated under a new agreement between UH and the US Naval Observatory. This includes a continuation of the UHS project.

More information is available at the UKIRT web pages. You can read about the history of UKIRT in the book by John Davies.



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WFAU, Institute for Astronomy,
Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill
Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ, UK

wsa-support@roe.ac.uk
30/8/2017