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The ALTAIR project provides a precision [0(0.1%) uncertainty] photometric reference calibration using in-situ-calibrated light sources above the atmosphere, in the optical and microwave spectra.

Flight Data
Auxiliary Data
Sample Images

ALTAIR will provide the means to eliminate the largest uncertainty in measurements of dark energy using supernovae, and (via an onboard precisely-polarized microwave source) a major uncertainty in the search for gravitational waves in the CMB, and additionally provides key information on atmospheric science.

Our partner project, ORCASat, a CubeSat version of the optical source of ALTAIR, was launched aboard CRS-26 from Kennedy Space Center up to the International Space Station (ISS) on Nov. 26, 2022, then deployed out of the ISS into its own low Earth orbit on Dec. 29, 2022.  ORCASat re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on July 7, 2023, after several extremely useful observation attempts using DECam on the Blanco 4m and at multiple other telescopes around the world.  ALTAIR will be approx. 20x closer to its observing telescopes than ORCASat was (~20 km altitude vs. ~400 km), and thus approx. 202 = 400x brighter than ORCASat.  Thus, ALTAIR will be much brighter and more easily observable using telescopes of all aperture sizes than ORCASat was able to be.

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Site maintained by Rolf Seuster at the University of Victoria.


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