The Senior Review report urged NOAO to ensure that community access to facilities remains scientifically balanced over all apertures. To accomplish this, NOAO has charged this committee, ReSTAR (Renewing Small Telescopes for Astronomical Research), to develop a prioritized, quantitative, science-justified list of capabilities appropriate to telescopes with apertures less than 6 meters, together with estimates of the number of nights needed. The committee must both address current needs and uses of such telescopes and attempt to predict how these needs will evolve over the next ten years — into the era of Pan-STARRS, LSST, JWST, ALMA, GSMT, and the NVO.
NOAO submitted a proposal to NSF/AST in 2009 for funding for a three-year program to begin addressing the recommendations of the original ReSTAR report. An award of $6.9 million in the first two years of that program has resulted in new open-access observing time on the Hale 5m telescope, and the construction of three new instruments. A process to identify collaborators for a second three-year effort is now under way.
Last updated or reviewed February 28, 2011.