Status of the telescope and open use for 2018

Feburary 23, 2018

Dear ASTE observers,

We would like to inform you the latest status of the ASTE telescope. This affects all of the ASTE observations for the 2018 season, so please read carefully.

Toward the end of the 2017 season, the ASTE team has discovered a recurring problem related to the telescope Azimuthal drive. After a detailed investigation of the telescope mechanics, we have found the root cause of the problem is related to a mechanical failure at the Azimuthal gear. We found that the problem is not easily fixable, and the telescope will not be available for open use for the entire 2018 season. This means that we have no choice but to cancel all of the observations that are scheduled for the 2018 season. Our current plan is to fix the problem as soon as practical, and make the telescope available again for the 2019 season.

We apologize for the inconvenience that this will cause, and we will keep you updated with the status of the telescope.

Seiichi Sakamoto
Director, Chile Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan