Ben Monreal (CWRU Physics)
In the literature on telescope conceptual design, there is a divide which at first glance seems unusual: space telescope design is a free-for-all while ground based concepts are very conservative. As an instrument-builder, although most of my work is on neutrinos and dark matter I am also wading into the understudied edges of ground-based telescope design. In this talk, I will introduce WAET, a new (but still fairly conservative) construction concept for large ground-based optical/IR telescopes. WAET is intended to use conventional components and prescriptions to get to huge apertures at extremely low cost. I will show some of our recent engineering, optical, and cost-modeling work on WAET—in particular, on the 100~m version (“hectometer WAET” or “hWAET”) which can in principle do reflected-light detection of Earthlike exoplanets.