United Nations/Keldysh Institute Telescope Provision Programme

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics (Russian Academy of Sciences) (KIAM RAS) have joined forces to provide telescope to developing countries and associated capacity-building on astronomy. Deadline for application is May 1, 2021, 23:59 CET.

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unoosa and keldysh institute
Credit: UNOOSA

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics (Russian Academy of Sciences) (KIAM RAS) have joined forces to provide telescope to developing countries and associated capacity-building on astronomy.

Fully completed application forms must be submitted to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs by 1 May at 23:59 CET. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 1 July 2021.

The opportunity is part of the “Access to Space for All Initiative”. The initiative was created out of the need to support the growth of small research groups in universities and research
establishments in the field of space technology, space data and space science. Astronomy and basic space science have advanced rapidly in recent years. At the same time, the
needs for additional efforts became obvious as countries strived to benefit from rapid progress in space science and technology. Although new development models have been applied with different levels of success, a large number of countries around the world continue to lack the human, technical, and financial resources to conduct activities in this field, such as operating a small astronomical telescope facility in a university environment and making use of such facilities for research and education.

By providing this opportunity open to educational or research institutions from developing
countries which are United Nations Member States, UNOOSA and KIAM RAS will both raise
awareness of the role that space science and astronomy play in promoting sustainable
development while contributing to creating indigenous capability.

The Scope of the Opportunity
KIAM RAS coordinates the ISON project that includes tens of optical facilities worldwide, often through cooperation between KIAM RAS and scientific and academic organisations. ISON mainly focuses on collection observational data on space debris and near-Earth objects.

Through this Announcement of Opportunity, OOSA and KIAM RAS undertake to provide a
small wide field-of-view telescope, including an optical tube having an aperture of about 20 cm, telescope mount, CCD/CMOS camera (if necessary), focuser (if necessary), and training of experts to operate it.

KIAM RAS undertakes to provide its workers to assist in installation and commissioning the
telescope in-situ, and for appropriate training for its operation (presumably, in the course of two visits). KIAM RAS undertakes to provide all possible assistance related to the telescope operation and primary data processing related to KIAM RAS (ISON) observation campaigns.

Eligibility
This Opportunity is open to entities located in developing countries that are Member-States of the United Nations. Heads of eligible institutions, namely, research organizations, higher education institutions and universities, regional or international organizations in developing
countries are eligible to apply.

Entities applying for this opportunity are responsible for the preparation of the site where the telescope will be hosted, as well as its operations once installed.

To be eligible for this Opportunity, in addition to the above, the following criteria will be
checked:

  • Completeness of the application form (all mandatory fields filled in)
  • Implementation feasibility
  • Section 1.3 completed (signed and stamped)
  • Description of all the costs to implement activities described in the application form shall be included in the budget section of the application form
  • Conditions set in Paragraph 10 (Section B, Section C) are fulfilled.

Application Submission
The fully completed application documents of the letter of endorsement from the head of the entity (Document 1) and KIAM RAS Telescope Application (Document 2) must be submitted to OOSA by 1 June 2020, 23:59 CET by email to the following address: unoosa@un.org

The application form (.doc and .pdf)

In the email, applying entities are requested to attach the application forms as a pdf-file (.pdf). Text in the submitted file shall be selectable except for Section 1.3 of the application form, Section 1.3 should be submitted as a scan of the original. Please note that the OOSA email account only accepts emails with a size limit of up to 10 Mbytes (please split your documentation if necessary). Submission of the complete application form is mandatory.

For more information, visit the UNOOSA website.