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The Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton is involved in the SDSS-III projects, especially BOSS , SEGUE-2 , and APOGEE. SDSS-III is the successor to the hugely successful SDSS project (in which Princeton played a seminal and critical role).  BOSS will measure the large-scale distribution of 1.5 million galaxies to z~0.7, and the Lyman-alpha forests of 160,000 quasars, to measure the signature of baryon acoustic oscillations.  SEGUE-2 is carrying out R ~ 2000 spectroscopy of 250,000 stars to study Milky Way structure and stellar populations, and APOGEE is doing high-resolution H-band spectroscopy of 100,000 stars to do detailed metallicity studies. Jim Gunn and Robert Lupton are involved in modernizing the operations (primarily software) at Apache Point Observatory that will run SDSS-III, and also in the upgrades being carried out to the BOSS spectrographs.  With postdocs Fergal Mullally and Steve Bickerton we are also working on the software pipelines that process Segue-2 data. Princeton is also a member of the LSST collaboration, a project that aims to put an 8.4-m telescope at Cerro Pachon in Chile with a 3.2-Gigapixel camera, and image the entire accessible sky every 3 or so nights. Michael Strauss and Robert Lupton spend an ever increasing amount of their time working on this project, along with postdocs Steve Bickerton and Fergal Mullally. Michael is the chair of the science collaborations, and Robert is the lead for pipelines and algorithms within the data management group; both are members of the LSST science council.  Steve and Fergal are working with Robert to produce modules in the software pipeline that will eventually process LSST data (but are currently being deployed on data from the CFHT-LS survey, and will be used in the Subaru HSC project). Moreover, Princeton is a member of the Hyper-SuprimeCam (HSC) collaboration, which is building a new prime-focus camera on the 8m Subaru telescope with a field of view of 1.7 square degrees, and s proposing to carry out a very deep imaging survey over hundreds to thousands of square degrees. Michael Strauss, Jim Gunn, Ed Turner, and Robert Lupton are working with our Japanese colleagues to make the project a success;  Jim's directly involved with the camera team, and Robert and Michael are involved in the specification and design of the software. Postdocs Dustin Lang, Fergal Mullally, and Steve Bickerton are also part of the software team. Princeton Engineers and Scientists are also collaborating closely with a team at the Subaru telescope to develop the next generation of Extreme Adaptive Optics for High-Contrast Imaging.  Techniques developed here will be used with the HiCIAO instrument to significantly extend the range of objects available for study. In addition, Princeton faculty, staff, students, and postdocs are designing and developing an Integral Field Spectrograph to be used with HiCIAO for enhanced contrast and low resolution spectroscopy.

Department Faculty Members With Major Research Interests In Instrumentation:

"The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is a 6m millimeter-wave telescope on the high dry plateau of the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile. ACT is outfitted with three arrays of 1024 detectors at 150, 220, and 280 GHz. The goals of ACT are to measure the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at high angular resolution (1-2 arcminutes) in order to measure features of the very early universe as well as features in the more recent universe which lie between us (now) and the time the CMB was released from interactons with matter (around 300,000 years after the big bang)."