Astronomical site selection for Turkey using GIS techniques
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A site selection of potential observatory locations in Turkey have been carried out by using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) coupled with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and satellite imagery which in turn reduced cost and time and increased the accuracy of the final outcome. The layers of cloud cover, digital elevation model, artificial lights, precipitable water vapor, aerosol optical thickness and wind speed were studied in the GIS system. In conclusion of MCDA, the most suitable regions were found to be located in a strip crossing from southwest to northeast including also a diverted region in southeast of Turkey. These regions are thus our prime candidate locations for future on-site testing. In addition to this major outcome, this study has also been applied to locations of major observatories sites. Since no goal is set for the best, the results of this study is limited with a list of positions. Therefore, the list has to be further confirmed with on-site tests. A national funding has been awarded to produce a prototype of an on-site test unit (to measure both astronomical and meteorological parameters) which might be used in this list of locations.
KeywordsSite selection: Turkey Observatories Telescopes GIS Multi-criteria decision analysis Methods: Data analysis
This research is funded through the TUBITAK project MFAG-113F266. The authors thank to the Turkish Astronomical Society for the support in establishing the national synergie for the project. Each author thanks to their home university for their support in this national project. We are grateful to the reviewer for their constructive comments and recommendations. The authors thank to: TUG (TUBITAK National Observatory) for its support to the project and usage of its facilities; DAG (Dogu Anadolu Gozlemevi - Eastern Anatolia Observatory) and Atatürk University (through DPT Project No: 2011K120230) for their support in initiating a general GIS solution to the problem and support given to project; Turkish State Meteorological Service for the data sets that they have provided. The authors acknowledge the MODIS Science team for the Science Algorithms, the Processing Team for producing MODIS data, and the GES DAAC MODIS Data Support Team for making MODIS data available to the user community. Image and data processing by NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center. DMSP data collected by US Air Force Weather Agency. ASTER GDEM is a product of METI and NASA.
Nazım Aksaker, Sinan Kaan Yerli, Mehmet Akif Erdoğan, Erdem Erdi, Kazım Kaba, Tansel Ak, Zeki Aslan, Volkan Bakış, Osman Demircan, Serdar Evren, Varol Keskin, İbrahim Küçük, Tuncay Özdemir, Tuncay Özışık, and Selim Osman Selam declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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