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A deep near infrared survey of the southern sky

Objective



The aim of this project is to perform the southern part of a deep astronocal all-sky survey in the near infrared spectral range (project DENIS), the northern sky being surveyed in similar conditions by a US team. DENIS will be achieved in 3 years, using a dedicated 3 spectral bands (I 0.9 m; J 1.25 m m and K 2.2 m) camera equipped with the most sensitive array
detectors presently available and attached to the 1 meter telescope of the European Southern observatory at La Silla, Chile. DENIS will be 4 order of magnitudes more sensitive than the previous survey in this spectral range. It will produce a huge data bank still now severely missing to complete our knowledge of the Universe.It will not only benefit to the whole astronomical
community, but also produce invaluable tools for several major European astronomical programmes such as the Infrared Satellite Observatory (ISO) of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Very Large Telescope (VLT) project of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). This proposal is a request for a substantial financial and manpower support to DENIS which will be undertaken
in a wide international framework.A consortium of 17 laboratories pertaining to 9 countries, 6 of which in the EC or EFTA, has been set up in order to the scientific objectives and to carry on the project. They have already achieved the preliminary technical studies needed for the definition of a
dedicated focal IR camera, its data acquisition system and the Data Analysis Centers. Several most important scientific areas in astrophysical research will benefit of the data-base generated by this survey, e.g.: the search for low and very low-mass stars which might constitute an important part of the missing mass in the Galaxy, the late stellar evolution, the galactic
structure, the local structure of the Universe, and the study of the local gravity field which may lead to major advances in observational cosmology. Our consortium includes a Science Team composed of expert scienctists in each of these areas to guarantee the highest level of scientific interpretations of the data. Expertise in all the areas relevant to the project has been sought for within the EC. Two data analysis centers will be dedicated
to the final analysis of the data and to the release of the data products to the community. All participants will contribute to the observations, the building of parts of the instruments, the data analysis and scientific interpretations and will take part to the funding of the project through their own Institutes. The total cost of the project is estimated to 1.7MECUS and will need the participation of about 40 scientists and engineers and a corresponding manpower of 60 manyears. This project will contribute to the
development of exchange of scientific ideas and technologies within Europe. it will provide an excellent framework for the formation of young scientists and engineers in the fields of astrophysics, image processing and analysis and computer sciences. It will undoubtedly contribute to the progress and influence of the European Science and Technology.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Address
61 Avenue De L'observatoire
75014 Paris
France

Participants (6)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
Boulevard Arago 98 Bis
75014 Paris
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Italy
Address
Via Enrico Fermi 23
00044 Frascati Roma
INSTITUTO DE ASTROFÍSICA DE CANARIAS
Spain
Address
Via Lactea, S/n
38205 La Laguna
Landessternwarte Heidelberg Königstuhl
Germany
Address

6900 Heidelberg
Rijksuniversiteit Leiden
Netherlands
Address
2,Niels Bohrweg 2
2300 RA Leiden
Universität Wien
Austria
Address
17,Türkenschanzstrasse
1180 Wien