China has officially joined SONG in June 2009. The community reached an agreement to commit the collaboration by promoting SONG-China project. The project went smoothly and quickly. SONG-China now includes the following components:
- Building a standard SONG node: almost a identical copy of the prototype of SONG.
- Running a SONG node in west China (site is to be selected among the existing sites): site surveys at Delingha and Nanshan are going on.
- Building a customized SONG node: without high resolution spectrograph, keeping Lucky Imaging capability for microlensing, and adding up wide field imaging. (very likely to be hosted in Argentina station of NAOC).
- 50BN: a low cost photometry systems for time domain research, mainly on variable objects of all kinds in a sample of well selected open clusters that best fit our hardware parameter. A number of other science goals can also be accomodated. The idea is to have such a photometry capable sub-network of SONG fly with the main network, in Northern hemisphere as a initial step.
The current status of SONG-China is the following:
- The standard SONG node is now in fabrication stage at NIAOT. Installation on the selected site is scheduled in the year of 2013.
- 50BN telescopes has been designed by APM (Germany). Order for the first node to be hosted at SONG-China site will be made with 2011.
- Site surveys at the two candidate sites have collected enough data, evaluation and decision of SONG-China site will be done in the summer (planning). Two other sites in Tibet and Yunnan both have site quality data for evaluation. Final site selection will be taken by SSC around the end of 2011.