Funding for UK access to the Swedish Solar Telescope

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Department Name: Sch of Mathematics and Physics

Abstract

Currently, the UK solar physics community has formal access to ground-based facilities via its guaranteed time on the Dunn Solar Telescope (DST) at the US National Solar Observatory Sacramento Peak, due to the provision of the Queen's University Belfast (QUB) and STFC-funded ROSA/HARDcam instrumentation suite. In addition, via the EU-funded SOLARNET agreement, the UK also had access to the Swedish Solar Telescope (SST), with 20 days per year available. The SOLARNET agreement ended in 2016, and the UK groups plan to apply for renewal for a further 3-year period (2017 - 2020). However, this means that during 2016 - 2017 we have no access to the SST.

The DST is an outstanding facility for the UK solar community via the no-cost provision of ROSA/HARDcam and other instruments, plus the US link to DKIST. However SST does provide, from a science aspect, an excellent complementary facility to the DST. For example, the new CHROMIS instrument can observe the top of the solar chromosphere/bottom of the transition region, nicely complementing the DST focus on photospheric and chromospheric phenomena. The UK solar physics community has also very successfully exploited the SOLARNET time on the SST. Given this, the UK community is very keen to continue to maintain access to the SST during 2016 - 2017, and the SST management is willing for us to have a 1-year 'bridging agreement' for SST time. Specifically, we may purchase 20 days of observing time for the UK community for 2016 - 2017, and then apply for SOLARNET support for SST access in future years.

In this proposal we therefore seek a contribution from STFC (£22,500 at 80% fEC) to purchase the SST time, with the matching funds coming from QUB, Armagh Observatory, Northumbria University, the University of Sheffield and University of Glasgow.

Planned Impact

Impact related to this proposal will be primarily in public understanding of science and other outreach activities in solar physics. Queen's University and other UK solar physics groups are highly active in outreach linked to their solar physics programmes. For example, Queen's University hosts annual events for 5th- and 6th-form schoolchildren, as well as public talks, which discuss our research on the solar atmosphere.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Funding for UK access to the Swedish Solar Telescope in 2018
Amount £44,961 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/P007198/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 03/2017
 
Description Not applicable
Amount £13,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 2391 
Organisation Armagh Observatory 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Description Not applicable
Amount £3,000 (GBP)
Funding ID OTSST 
Organisation University of Sheffield 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 02/2017
 
Description Not applicable
Amount £3,000 (GBP)
Funding ID TSST 
Organisation Northumbria University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 02/2017
 
Title Database of (reduced) data from the ROSA solar imager and instruments on the Swedish Solar Telescope. 
Description Database of reduced solar imaging data from the ROSA imager and Swedish Solar Telescope (including application of image reconstruction software to produce images at the diffraction limit). 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Databases for both ROSA and SST data are now well established and accessed by the solar physics community. 
 
Description Collaborative agreement for purchase of Swedish Solar Telescope Time 2017 - 2019 
Organisation Stockholm University
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Part-funding to purchase time on the Swedish Solar Telescope (SST) for use by the UK solar physics community during calendar years 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Collaborator Contribution UK partners - Armagh Observatory, Sheffield University and Northumbria University - also provided a financial contribution to purchase the SST time. There is also an agreement between Queen's University Belfast and Stockholm University for the purchase of the SST time from the latter.
Impact The agreement covers the provision of time on the SST only; exploitation of this time, and resultant publications etc, are the responsibility of the relevant UK teams who have been allocated time. They will hence report on the outcomes of their SST time awards in their own Researchfish submissions.
Start Year 2016