The leading institutions behind the Warwick 1 are the University of Warwick (UK) and the Institute of Space Sciences, together with a number of participating institutions (Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, John Moores University-Liverpool, Keele University, University of Leicester).
The Institute of Space Sciences has committed itself to carrying out a number of different aspects of the project, involving both hardware and software. In particular, these aspects are:
1) The two-arm instrument including the optical and mechanical design and construction, and the provision of the infrared filter and camera. Such camera contains a state-of-the art CCD detector employing sophisticated deep-depletion technology that enhances its sensitivity to infrared light.
2) An autoguiding system in a closed-loop fashion that uses the images from the camera to correct for drifts in the tracking motion of the telescope. This is one of the key elements permitting the highest precision possible in the photometry.
3) The robotic control software suite that must guarantee the safe operation of the telescope in fully automatic and unattended manner. In this case, the technology employed has been developed by the IEEC and implemented already at the Observatori Astronòmic del Montsec (OAdM).
The Institute participate in the science exploitation of the experiment from 2006 to 2017, leaving the collaboration in June that year. We have several times lead (in terms of 2 years each) the Galactic Working Group (including in the first two years of the experimetn) and participated in the Board, the Time Allocation Committee, the Key Projects Committee, and others along our decade of involvement.
Our contributions (together with the University of Granada), have been mainly focused in developing the moving optical system for the secondary (M2) and tertiary (M3) mirrors of the telescope. Moving parts of the optical system provide focusing and chopping capabilities, implemented in M2, and a rotation mechanism, implemented in M3, allow observation in either Nasmyth foci.
The work package includes the design and construction of both mirrors, the mechanical supports, the electronics and the control software, all prepared to work at the low temperatures at Antarctica. A Spanish company, fully space qualified, NTE, was contracted to carry out the instrument. Tests at low temperature and integration in the telescope were finished during summer 2006, and sent to Antartica.