MooSci - Lunar Scintillometer
Texas A&M University has developed a Lunar Scintillometer (MooSci) to be used at the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) site at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The MooSci uses multiple photoelectric diodes at various distances that monitor minor changes in the light reflected from the moon. The slight changes are the result of scintillation, or the bending of light as it passes through turbulent layers in the Earth's atmosphere. The signals from the diodes are then compared to one another for corresponding signals patterns to measure the levels of turbulence immediately above the test site. The distances between diodes are used to map turbulent layers of the Earth's atmosphere at altitudes up to 500m above the instrument. MooSci was designed and built at Texas A&M University and is currently obtaining data at the GMT site at Las Campanas, where it will operate for one year before the mountaintop is leveled in preparation for the construction phase of GMT. The MooSci data will be used with Texas A&M and its GMT partners to inform the design of the GMT telescope and its AO capabilities.