Proposed Operations and Renovation of the JKT by the Southeastern Association for Research In Astronomy
The Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA) is a consortium of 11 US universities that currently remotely operates a 0.9 m telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory and a 0.6 m telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Collectively, the SARA institutes predominantly use differential photometry techniques for studies ranging in scale from solar system asteroids and minor planets, to transiting exo-planets, most types of variable stars and binaries, to active galactic nuclei and blazers. In addition, the SARA telescopes are frequently used in preliminary observations for other major observatories (HST, for example). In this talk a brief history and the philosophy of SARA will be given, as well as more details on the current types of scientific programs run by the SARA institutes. The new scientific opportunities enabled by the JKT will also be highlighted. Finally, our development and funding plans will be presented. A description of the telescope automat ion process by Astronomical Consultants & Equipment, Inc. will conclude.