Jun Yan, NAOC Director General and Doug Simons, CFHT Executive Director sign the collaborative agreement.
The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences renewed their collaborative agreement on October 7th, extending the ongoing partnership between NAOC and CFHT for 4 more years but with some very important changes. In the new agreement NOAC, representing the Chinese astronomical community, will receive up to 15 nights per semester at CFHT (previously 10 nights per semester). NAOC scientists and engineers will continue to have the opportunity to collaborate with CFHT through on-site participation in CFHT operations and development activity.
Notably, the new collaboration agreement brings together CFHT and NAOC through Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE) development. The MSE project will transform CFHT’s current 3.6 meter optical telescope into a 10 meter class telescope dedicated to multi-object spectroscopy. NAOC’s involvement in the project begins on the ground floor with the MSE conceptual design process. NAOC engineers will have the opportunity work with MSE project office located in CFHT’s Waimea headquarters throughout the engineering design phase, scheduled to begin in early 2015.
MSE’s Project Manager, Rick Murowinski, comments “We are absolutely delighted to have NAOC join us in this exciting project! The expertise they have developed in their own LAMOST multi-object facility, together with their strong engagement with the TMT project, make China an extremely welcome collaborator. I believe our Chinese colleagues will bring great value to the MSE design process, and we’re looking forward to working with them.”
The new agreement formally begins February 1, 2015 and continues until January 2019.