All main projects of next generation ground‐based facilities (ELTs) plan to perform observing operations in Service Mode. This will permit us to select, in a dynamic queue (called flexible‐scheduling), the most suitable observing program and instrumentation for a particular temporal window as a function of the status of the optical turbulence (OT) that mainly affects the wavefront perturbations. It follows that, to optimize the flexible‐scheduling of scientific observations, the optical turbulence forecast is mandatory, particularly when observations concern adaptive optics systems. If we will fail this objective all the potential advantages provided by AO facilities might be neutralized.
In this seminar I will present the principle of the technique of the optical turbulence prediction performed with non‐hydrostatic atmospheric meso‐scale models as well as its most important challenges and the status of art of this research fields. I will also present the most relevant results obtained in a deep investigation done on the OT measurements performed at Cerro Paranal during the site testing campaign of November-December 2007. This study is an integral part of the MOSE project, a feasibility study for the turbulence prediction at Cerro Paranal and Cerro Armazones.