Index of content:
Volume 80, Issue 6, June 2009
- GRAVITY; GEOPHYSICS; ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS
80(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3137081View Description Hide Description
The atmospheric conditions above Dome A, a currently unmanned location at the highest point on the Antarctic plateau, are uniquely suited to astronomy. For certain types of astronomy Dome A is likely to be the best location on the planet, and this has motivated the development of the Plateau Observatory (PLATO). PLATO was deployed to Dome A in early 2008. It houses a suite of purpose-built site-testing instruments designed to quantify the benefits of Dome A site for astronomy, and science instruments designed to take advantage of the observing conditions. The PLATO power generation and control system is designed to provide continuous power and heat, and a high-reliability command and communications platform for these instruments. PLATO has run and collected data throughout the winter 2008 season completely unattended. Here we present a detailed description of the power generation, power control, thermal management, instrument interface, and communications systems for PLATO, and an overview of the system performance for 2008.