Dome C Antarktis (AWI)

Dome Concordia is a joint project of French and Italian Antarctic research with the participation of the German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), selected as the most suitable location for extremely high-resolution astronomical observations.

The transparency of the Antarctic atmosphere allows star observations even at an angle of elevation of 38°.
Dome C is one of the coldest places on earth, with temperatures ranging from -35°C in the Antarctic summer to over -80°C in winter. To build an observation dome for such extreme climatic conditions was our most technically challenging project so far, regarding the mechanics and the cold-proof power electronics.

The AllSky Dome is robotically controlled by the AWI from Bremerhaven, Germany.

An altazimuthal mount of 10Micron (AZ 2000) with a temperature resistance of up to -80° C was put into operation as a robotic mount in the dome in the Antarctic summer of 2011.

The image to the left shows some reasons why it is so important to have an hermetic seal around the telescope and mount, even if such locations postulate zero or almost zero humidity.

Abendhalo mit Baader-KuppelBaader Kuppel bei Mitternachtssonne Baader Kuppel mit Mitternachtshalo Christian in voll geöffneter Kuppel Mitternachtshalo Schildeinweihung-Mitternacht bei -43°C (-56°C Windchill) Testfahrt Christian und Martin Testfahrt