Doubling the power of the TAIPAN survey facility (ARC LIEF grant administered by The Australian National University) (2018–2019)
We propose upgrading the TAIPAN fibre positioner on the UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST) from 150 to 300 fibres at a cost of $799k ($399k ARC, $400k non-ARC). This will double the number of stars or galaxies that can be observed simultaneously and hence double the scientific power of the facility. The existing TAIPAN system represents a total investment of $4.8M in the UKST, fibre positioner, and spectrograph. Doubling the power of this system for an additional ARC investment of 8% of the total cost is outstanding value for money. TAIPAN will be used for two major projects: the Taipan galaxy survey probing cosmology and galaxy evolution, and the Funnelweb stellar survey seeking habitable exoplanets and clues to the Milky Way's formation.