My students and I have developed a new type of instrument, the lunar scintillometer, that uses moonlight to probe the distribution of turbulence in the atmosphere. This is the single most important factor determining the performance of ground-based telescopes. Yet, it is one of the most difficult things to measure.
Our lunar scintillometer is presently deployed at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) and operated remotely from UBC. This allows us both to study the turbulence, and to refine our data analysis algorithms, while at the same time acquiring data that will help us design the ALPACA telescope. Data from the instrument, and records of the seeing derived from the data can be found here.
We are presently beginning the design of a new, more rugged, instrument for Canada's Arctic Site Testing program.