Summary of principal actions taken at the December 12-15, 2001
meeting of the Board of Directors

Jim Hesser - Chair, 2000-2001 - CFHT Board of Directors

To foster effective planning within the CFHT community, I wish to inform you of several actions taken at our recent meetings. While numerous actions were taken by the Board on other topics, the following represent momentous steps that we anticipate will ensure that CFHT is a highly competitive facility over the near-to-mid term, and that the large investment in the MegaPrime project will yield handsome results for our communities and for the entire astronomical world.


During the period of MegaCam construction, the CFHT scientific communities have been preparing, under SAC oversight, a bold concept for a major scientific project to be known as the CFHT Legacy Survey (CFHTLS).

The Board and Agencies benefited enormously from the intense efforts of the MegaCam Science Working Group, SAC, and the CFHT Executive over the past year to prepare for the launching of the ambitious CFHTLS project by France and Canada. With the benefit of that input, the Board and the member agencies prepared a series of documents that spell out the terms under which CFHTLS will proceed.

Two critical documents are found following this message.  These documents strive to make the vision we have for the CFHTLS itself, and access to CFHTLS data, as transparent, fair, and scientifically productive as possible. We attach extremely high importance to the principles established in these documents.  Among these principles, those of equitable access by all CFHT communities to the telescope during the period of the CFHTLS, and the mechanisms outlined for access to the data are essential to CFHTLS success and to the continued utilization by the CFHT communities of the telescope and instrumentation for discovery outside of CFHTLS.

I call attention specifically to Item 2 of the CFHTLS document, which specifies the percentage of dark and gray observing  time that NRC and CNRS have agreed to commit at this time. SAC and the MegaCam Science Working Group are still working on important aspects of balancing allocations among the proposed science themes, but this range of percentage time encompasses SAC's recommendations for CFHTLS. The range also ensures that principal investigator programmes falling outside the CFHTLS will have access to CFHT during the dark and gray time. Note also (Item 4) the provision for annual scientific and technical review of CFHTLS.

In addition to the attached documents, the Board worked closely with the Executive Director, his team, and SAC to develop the content for a series of additional documents to be finalized and submitted for Board approval before the end of January, 2002. These will provide a job description for a CFHTLS Project Scientist, and  establish the  mandate and membership for both a CFHTLS Operational Group and for a Science Coordinating Committee that will meet the needs envisioned by SAC, the MegaCam Science Working Group and the Board.


The Board approved the requested appropriation for the development of the Wide-field Infrared Camera (WIRCAM), with a fast-track schedule that could have it on the sky in 2004A. WIRCAM is made possible by the recent agreements for participation in CFHT by Korea and Taiwan, by extraordinary contributions from NRC and CNRS, and by prudent financial management by the CFHT Executive of overall expenditures in recent years.
Additionally, the Board approved, subject to detailed contract negotiations, work package assignments of major subsystems as proposed  by SAC and the Corporation.
Basic characteristics of the approved WIRCAM include 4 Rockwell Hawaii-2RG 2K X 2K HgCdTe arrays; J, H, K and perhaps Z (0.9 - 2.5 micron) spectral bands; 0.3 arcsec/pixel; field size (including gap) of 21 x 21 arcmin; and the change of the baseline design from Cassegrain (f/8) to Prime (f/4) operation.

3. CFHT Officers of the Board

The Board selected the following officers for the period 2002-2003:

This exceptionally dedicated and capable team has the wisdom to guide CFHT well as MegaPrime is commissioned, CFHTLS is implemented, and WIRCAM is developed.

Board Documents
CFHTLS vision CFHTLS policies