Abstracts can still be submitted, the final programme will be released at the beginning of the conference.

Complete programme at this Google sheet.

June 16 2019
09:00 - 17:00Arrivals
17:00 - 18:00Registration
June 17 2019
09:00 - 09:20Welcome to conference (JM Christille)
09:20 - 09:30Introduction to Scar and the AAA (Tony or James)
09:30 - 10:00Talk 1: E. Fossat (Site Testing)
What we have learned in more than 10 years of site testing at Concordia
The Concordia station at Dome C has been open to winter-over teams for more than a decade now. It has been exploited for a large number of site testing measurements, and also for the quite exciting first astronomical programs. This presentation will broadly scan most of the main results of the site testing campaigns.
10:00 - 10:30Talk 2: Y Hu (Site Testing)
Results from KLAWS-2G and KLCAM for astronomical site testing at Dome A, Antarctica
We built the second-generation Kunlun Automated Weather Station (KLAWS-2G) and Kunlun Cloud and Aurora Monitor (KLCAM) for monitoring astronomical site condition at Dome A, Antarctica. KLAWS-2G has 11 temperature sensors and 7 anemometers in different elevations, 1 humidity sensor and 1 barometer, which are mounted on a 15-meter-tall mast. By analyzing the data from KLAWS-2G in 2015 and 2016, we find that a strong and long-lasting temperature inversion (TI) and stable atmosphere existed at all heights for most of the time, confirming our results from 2012 data. Furthermore, the temperature gradient profile suggests that elevation of 8 m might be a minimum height for building a telescope at Dome A to take advantage of the good site. KLCAM is an all-sky camera which has a commercial camera equipped with fisheye lens. It was installed in the early of 2017 and had worked for about 1.5 years. The original data of KLCAM have been fetched from Dome A this year, and we will present the statistics of clouds and aurorae in this talk.
10:30 - 11:00Coffee break
11:00 – 11:30Talk 3: Z Shang (Site Testing)
Site Testing Efforts and Results at Dome A during 2018/2019 Traverse
We will review the astronomy programs at Dome A during the 35th CHINARE traverse of 2018/2019. In addition to the maintenance of PLATO-A and AST3-2, the second Antarctic Survey Telescope, we have installed and upgraded several site testing instruments including DIMMs for seeing measurements, KLAWS-2G for temperature inversion monitoring, KLCAM for cloud and aurora monitoring, etc. Direct seeing measurements at Dome A will be presented.
11:30 – 12:00Talk 4: L Liu (Site testing)
Optical turbulence characterization with WRF model at Dome A, Antarctic
Research on the Antarctic site has shown that it has outstanding features such as excellent seeing, low water vapor, and extremely long polar nights. It is exceptional conditions for astronomical observations. Since the Dome A station was built by China at Antarctic, it has been lacking long-term monitoring research for optical turbulence evaluation. Therefore, a complete one year simulation is analyzed with WRF model, delivering detailed meteorological parameters such as pressure, temperature, humidity, wind velocity and PWV above a 60x80 km area around Dome A site, and from ground up to 20 km. Optical turbulence is also deduced, using Trinquet-Vernin model, leading to a statistical analysis of seeing, isoplanatic angle and time coherence. From this one year preliminary study, Dome A seems a very promising potential astronomical site. We also developed a Single Star Scidar (SSS) in order to achieve more detailed characterization of the optical turbulence within the boundary layer as well as the free atmosphere. The SSS is a portable monitor, which can retrieve profiles of optical turbulence from the ground to the top of atmosphere. Due to the harsh environmental conditions in Antarctica, we are committed to developing a fully robotic version of the SSS and WRF model validation with in situ SSS measurements at Dome A.
12:00 - 12:30Morning discussion
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 - 14:00Talk 5 A Moore (IR - Dome C) -
Exploring the dynamic infrared Universe with Turbo Gattini-IR
While optical and radio transient surveys have enjoyed a renaissance over the past decade, the dynamic infrared sky remains virtually unexplored. The infrared is a powerful tool for probing transient events in dusty regions that have high optical extinction, and for detecting the coolest of stars that are bright only at these wavelengths. The fundamental roadblocks in studying the infrared time-domain have been the overwhelmingly bright sky background (250 times brighter than optical) and the narrow field-of-view of infrared cameras (largest is 0.6 sq deg). To begin to address these challenges and open a new observational window in the infrared, we present a dual hemisphere, infrared-optimized, ultra-wide field high cadence machine called Turbo Gattini-IR. To take advantage of the low sky background at 2.5 um, two identical systems will be located at the polar sites of the South Pole, Antarctica and near Eureka on Ellesmere Island, Canada. Turbo Gattini-IR will survey 15,000 sq. degrees to a depth of 20AB, the same depth of the VISTA VHS survey, every 2 hours with a survey efficiency of 97%. Turbo Gattini-IR is based the pathfinder instrument at Palomar Observatory called Gattini-IR, a smaller infrared scope with fixed J band filter, that entered science observations in January 2019.
14:00 - 14:30Talk 6 T Travouillon (IR - Dome C)
FENIX: An Infrared camera for astronomical observations from Dome C
The Antarctic plateau provides unique observing conditions in the infrared (IR) bands. Australian and Italian institutions are partnering together in order to develop an IR camera, FENIX for the 0.8m ITM telescope at Dome C. Once FENIX is complete, it will provide astronomers with some of the deepest IR images of the universe and contribute to many astronomical questions. FENIX will be complementary with other astronomical instruments in Antarctica such as the Kunlun Infared Sky Survey that is planned at Dome A.The camera will be based on a H1-RG infrared sensor in order to investigate the bands around 2.25 and 2.5 microns, hence the K-dark band based on the KISS optimized band. The field of view will be approximately 0.28x0.28 sq.deg.
Such an upgrade between the focal instrument of ITM will allow the FENIX collaboration to investigate AGB (Asymptotic Giant Branch) stars behaviour, AGN (Active Galactic Nuclei) dust torus dynamics, CIB (Cosmic Infrared Background) and its cross-correlation with other probes, such as the Cosmic Microwave Background and other Large Scale Structure tracers.
14:30 - 15:00Talk 7 L Wang (IR - Dome A)
Time Domain Astronomy: From Exoplanets to Fast Transients
I will report observational work carried out with the AST3-2 telescope at Dome A, Antarctica. The exoplanet transit search at Dome A has produced hundreds of exoplanet candidates. Some of these candidates were confirmed by TESS observations. We are carrying out followup observations to confirm these candidates. The AST3-2 telescope is also participating in the Deeper, Wider, and Faster survey program aiming discovering Fast Radio Burst simultaneously on the X-ray, optical and radio wavelengths.
15:00 - 15:30Talk 8 H Zhang (IR - Dome A)
Exoplanets in the Antarctic Sky: from Searching to Characterizing
Thanks for the wide-field exoplanet surveys on the ground and in the space, thousands of exoplanet samples have been found in the last two decades. From Dome A, the highest point of the Antarctic plateau, we have also contributed over 100 candidates using the AST3 telescopes in 2018. Now, besides searching, we are progressing forward to study special exoplanet systems in details to reveal their dynamics and physics properties. I will first introduce our recent works on searching exoplanets with the help from deep learning methods. And I’ll present some results on characterizing Proxima Cent b, the nearest potential habitable world, using AST3-II. This is an excellent example to show the advantages of monitoring high-value targets from Dome A. To further utilize these advantages I’ll also introduce the KISS (Kunlun Infrared Sky Survey) project and its usage on exoplanet characterization.
15:30 - 16:00Talk 9 T Guillot (Vis - Dome C)Abstract
16:00 - 16:30Talk 10 M Potenza (IR science)
Two-point field-field correlations affect light scattering and extinction from aggregates composed by submicron particles
The role of optical properties of dust in astrophysics is relevant in many cases, both in view of understanding the dust itself and its behavior, and in radiative transfer models to evaluate the effect of dust on astronomical observation. The composition/structure of dust grains, made up of a number of submicron heterogeneous smaller monomers, introduces appreciable complexity in view of a comprehension of the optical/radiative properties. In particular, the influence of the correlations between the near fields from each monomer, also named as dependent scattering, multiple scattering, near field effects, etc. has been repeatedly questioned.
Here we address this issue by proving with laboratory based experiments the strong influence of two-point field-field correlations within the aggregate, that can in no way be described with the effective medium approximation. We present experimental results obtained on very well-known aggregates formed in colloidal suspensions, adopted as a control for inspecting the ultimate effects of the internal structures on radiative properties. Thanks to the recently introduced Single Particle Extinction and Scattering method, we rigorously characterize the complex amplitude of the field scattered forward by single aggregates, S(0). Data are supported by extensive numerical simulations, and a general interpretation is obtained and available.
We find that correlations mainly affect the phase of S(0), while the effect on the modulus is negligible. This could reasonably explain why many optical methods fail to evidence this effect. Nevertheless, the effect is of utmost importance in many cases of interest in Astrophysics: indeed, in force of the Optical Theorem the phase is related to the extinction cross section, essential to feed radiative transfer models through dust clouds, interstellar medium, protoplanetary disks.
16:30 - 17:00Talk 11
17:00 - 17:30Afternoon Discussion
June 18 2019
09:00 - 09:30Talk 12 J Madsen (Icecube)
Recent Results from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory has been fully operational at the South Pole for a little over eight years. The science reach of the facility continues to expand. This talk will provide an overview of current operations and recent results and serve as an introduction to more detailed presentations on multimessenger efforts, the IceCube Upgrade and IceCube-Gen2 projects.
09:30 - 10:00Talk 13 D Barkats (CMB)
Overview and Update of CMB polarization measurements from the South Pole
For the past 50 years, measurements of the CMB have shaped our understanding of the universe, firmly grounding the ΛCDM 6-parameter cosmological model on observational evidence. Yet, this remarkably successful model leaves profound questions un-answered such as the seeding event of our universe. Cosmologists believe that the entire observable Universe may have been spawned in a fraction of a second by the rapid “inflation” of a sub-atomic volume. Inflation provides a testable prediction: the same quantum process that plants the seeds of structure also produces a gravitational-wave (GW) background. Currently the most promising method for constraining, and potentially detecting an inflationary GW background is to search for the imprint of these tensor perturbations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) B-mode polarization. Detecting this faint pattern requires making maps of unprecedented sensitivity, while separating the faint polarization signals intrinsic to the CMB from other signals including polarized emission from dust and electrons in our own galaxy and patterns caused by weak gravitational lensing of large scale structure.
South Pole experiments have helped pioneer polarization studies, starting with the DASI detection of E-mode polarization, to the SPT detection of lensing B-mode, to BICEP/Keck’s best limits on the level of B-mode polarization generated by primordial gravitational waves. With ever-increasing sensitivity at degree angular scales, the small aperture BICEP/Keck telescopes have produced the deepest-ever maps of CMB polarization in four frequency bands. They are exploiting the unique polar atmosphere to push these maps to high (up to 270 GHz) and low frequencies (down to 30 GHz) to separate galactic emission from CMB signals. At the same time, the 10m-SPT has recently deployed a new receiver with 17000 detectors and resolution sufficient to reconstruct the weak lensing
patterns. Together they are producing the most sensitive constraints yet on primordial gravitational waves.
This talk will present an overview of current leading CMB measurements at the South Pole: BICEP3, BICEP Array, and SPT, now comprising the newly formed South Pole Observatory (SPO), as well as the longer term plans for a CMB-Stage4 experiments.
10:00 - 10:30Talk 14 (HEAT?)
10:30 - 11:00Coffee break
11:00 – 11:30Talk 15 Z Li (SSA)
Investigating the capability of Antarctic Kunlun Station as a window of space debris monitoring site
The astronomical observations carried out at Dome A has illustrated that the Kunlun Station is one of the best astronomical sites on Earth due to its extreme good seeing condition, very low thermal background on infrared waveband and capable of continuous observation in polar night. Astronomical images taken by Chinese Small Telescopes Array (CSTAR) on May 29th to 31th 2008 are selectively analyzed to investigate the characteristics of space debris detection at Kunlun Station. Line features on the images caused by Low Earth Orbit debris are effectively identified through image subtraction and Hough transform methods. By comparing the detected objects with published catalogs, we found that telescope with a field of view of 20 square degrees and an aperture diameter of 100mm could detect more than 80% of polar-orbit space debris with a surface area greater than 1 square meter in a continuous observation time of 72 hours, suggesting a very high efficiency on space debris monitoring at Kunlun Station.
11:30 – 12:00Talk 16 F Bennet (Opt Comms)
Optical communications with satellites from Antarctica
The Australian National University have been developing adaptive optics for free-space optical communications. With organisations such as SpaceX and OneWeb planning on launching constellations of satellites for high-speed global communication, this provides an opportunity for research programs to be expanded into commercial sectors for wide adoption. The most highly populous orbits have high inclination and pass over Antarctica multiple times a day, making Antarctica an ideal location for an optical telescope to communicate with satellites in low Earth orbit. A proposed optical ground station network across Australia and Antarctica will support both classical and quantum communications techniques, and will be available for researchers and commercial downlink from exisiting and future satellite laser communications platforms. The 0.7 m telescope design and facility will be capable of housing optical benches for quantum communications, adaptive optics, and transitional transmit/receive modems commercially available. The ANU are developing highly secure quantum communications protocols to enable space-based quantum communication using techniques such as quantum key distribution. These techniques rely on the quantum nature of light and enable provable security over a free-space optical link. Data rates can reach hundreds of megabits and gigabits using these techniques, and future advances will enable terabit performance similar to conventional optical communication networks.
12:00 - 12:30Morning discussion
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 - 14:00Talk 17 F Nati (Blast-tng)
The BLAST-TNG experiment
BLAST-TNG is a long-duration, high altitude, balloon-borne telescope scheduled to fly in the 2019-2020 season from Antarctica. The data from the 28 day flight will provide new insight into the properties of dust and the role of magnetic fields in the interstellar medium through a wide range of densities, producing multiple degree-scale polarimetric maps at sub-arcminute resolution. It will perform simultaneous measurements in its 3 broad bands centered at 250, 350, and 500 μm. BLAST-TNG is the rebuilt and upgraded Balloon-borne Large Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope for Polarimetry (BLASTPol), and with a 16-fold increase in mapping speed it will make larger and deeper maps. Major improvements include a 2.5 m carbon fiber mirror (40% larger diameter than the BLASTPol mirror), and ~3000 polarization sensitive detectors. The telescope will also serve as a pathfinder project for microwave kinetic inductance detector (MKID) technology, applied to feed-horn coupled sub-millimeter detector arrays. The arrays are cooled to 270 mK by a closed-cycle 3He refrigerator, all enclosed in a liquid helium cooled cryostat with long hold time (28 days expected). This will enable us to map more targets at a much higher level of detail than any sub-millimeter polarimeter to date. BLAST-TNG will also be the first balloon-borne telescope to offer shared risk observing time to the community.
14:00 - 14:30Talk 18 J Soler (Atmos)
Interstellar magnetic fields as seen from Antarctica
One of the main open questions in astrophysics is what are the physical processes that regulate the process of star formation. Interstellar magnetic fields are a longstanding candidate to explain the observed star formation rates in our galaxy. But observing the magnetic fields in and around star-forming regions from the ground is a difficult task.
I will review the results of the study of the interstellar magnetic fields based on the observations obtained in the two Antarctic campaigns of the balloon-borne experiment BLAST-Pol, discuss their implications for our current understanding of the star formation process, and finally, explore the scientific potential of future balloon-borne missions to be flown over Antarctica.
14:30 - 15:00Talk 19 P Purohit (Atmos)
Ionospheric response to solar eclipse of 29 April 2014 in Antarctica and Australian Regions
An annular and partial solar eclipse was observed on 29 April 2014 over Australian and Antarctic regions. In this study we have analyzed the Ionospheric response of this solar eclipse event. We have done a comprehensive study to find out the changes that occurred in various Ionospheric parameters during the solar eclipse event over Australia and Antarctic region. We selected four Australian stations Brisbane (27.5∘S, 152.9∘E), Canberra (35.3∘S, 149.1∘E), Hobart (42.9∘S, 147.3∘E) and Perth (31.955∘S, 115.859∘E) as well as one Antarctic station Mawson (70.6455∘S, 131.2573∘E). We have studied the changes in the 𝐸 and 𝐹 ionospheric layers using the ground based observations at these stations. From our analysis we found that there occurred a decrease in the critical frequencies of sporadic 𝐸 (𝑓𝑜𝐸𝑠) and 𝐹 (𝑓𝑜𝐹2) layers during the time eclipse was in progress at all the four Australian stations while as at Antarctic the value of 𝑓𝑜𝐹2 recorded an enhancement. At the same time an increase in the corresponding heights of these layers (ℎ ′𝐸𝑠, ℎ ′𝐹2) was also observed. KEYWORDS: Annular solar eclipse; Ionospheric parameters; sporadic 𝐸; critical frequency.
15:00 - 15:30Talk 20 Y Bullha (X-ray burst)
Detection of the thermonuclear X-ray bursts and dips from the neutron star 4U 1323-62 with AstroSat/LAXPC.
We present the results from an observation of the Low Mass X-ray Binary 4U 1323-62 obtained with the LAXPC instrument onboard AstroSat satellite. The observations of 4U 1323-62 made during the performance verification phase of AstroSat showed six thermonuclear X-ray bursts in a total exposure of ∼ 100 ks over a period of about two consecutive days. All the bursts are detected having a orbital period of about 9400 seconds. Moreover, the light curve of 4U 1323-62 revealed the presence of two dips. We also present results from time-resolved spectroscopy performed during all of the six X-ray bursts. In addition, we have also detected a Quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) at ∼ 1 Hz. However, we did not find any evidence of kilo-hertz QPOs. We have shown the bursts profile at different energy range. We estimate an orbital period of P=2.66 h compatible with the estimations in the literature. The radius of the blackbody is highly consistent with the blackbody temperature and blackbody flux of the bursts.
15:30 - 16:00Talk 21 O Havenga (Star formation)
Star formation in brightest group galaxies in a CLoGS sub-sample
An important component of galaxy formation and evolution studies, is to accurately constrain their star formation histories (SFHs). While the SFHs of most massive early-type galaxies can be described using a single passively-evolving stellar component (Single Stellar Population [SSP]), there is a fraction of massive early-type galaxies in the centres of galaxy groups and galaxy clusters where recent star formation is observed and are better described by two or more stellar components (Composite Stellar Population [CSP]). In this project we identify and constrain possible recent star formation episodes in a sample of 23 BGGs (Brightest Group Galaxies), of which most are in the centres of X-ray rich groups and all are closer than 80Mpc, and a sub-sample of the Complete Local-Volume Groups Sample (CLoGS). We use archival spatially-resolved long-slit spectroscopy from the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at the McDonald Observatory, and determine whether the BGGs are better described by a SSP or a CSP using ULySS. We compare the results with existing X-ray observations of some of the BGGs, obtained by Chandra/XMM-Newton, and the X-ray determined physical properties of the host groups, e.g. cooling time and central entropy. The results of these BGGs can then be compared to a comparable sample of 32 Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs) in rich galaxy clusters at a redshift (z) between 0.05 and 0.3. We also analyze the MILES SSP models for different parameters such as age, metallicity and IMF.
16:00 - 16:30Talk 22
16:30 - 17:00Talk 23
17:00 - 17:30Afternoon discussion
18:00 - 00:00Conference dinner
June 19 2019
09:00 - 09:30USA (V. Papitashvili)Abstract
09:30 - 10:00France (J. Chappelaz)Abstract
10:00 - 10:30Italy (?)
10:20 - 10:30Aus. (Gwen Fenton)Abstract
10:30 - 10:50Coffee break
10:50 - 11:20China (?)
11:20 - 11:50Japan (?) / J Cooper
11:50 - 12:30Wrap up discussion
12:30 - 13:50Lunch break
14:00 - 17:00Excursion

Last updated on Friday 3 May 2019, 4.00pm