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Optical Engineering

KOSMA 3-m submillimeter-wave telescope on Gornergrat: interstellar spectroscopy and astrophysics
Author(s): Cuno G. Degiacomi; Rudolf T. Schieder; Juergen Stutzki; Gisbert F. Winnewisser
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Paper Abstract

The 3-m KOSMA telescope at Gornergrat (Switzerland) is dedicated to millimeter- and submillimeter-wave astrophysics with observations mainly of interstellar atomic and molecular lines. This includes measurement of the large-scale structure and dynamics of molecular clouds in our galaxy for a better understanding of the processes connected with star formation. The present research activity of the observatory is described with a special scope on the description of the techniques and instrumentation used. The site at Gornergrat has superb atmospheric transparency, thus allowing operation up into the highest-frequency atmospheric window at around 850 GHz. We discuss the rapid development of sensitive superconductor-insulator-superconductor mixer elements, now covering frequencies well up into the submillimterwave range with close to quantum-limit detection. As frequency-analyzing devices we exclusively use acousto-optical spectrometers at KOSMA. Progress into the submillimeter spectral range is complemented by the now mature technique of building radiotelescopes with sufficient surface accuracy to guarantee operation into the terahertz region (λ = 200 μm). A new 3-m reflector for the KOSMA telescope with an expected surface accuracy of 10 μm is under construction.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 1995
PDF: 11 pages
Opt. Eng. 34(9) doi: 10.1117/12.205672
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 34, Issue 9
Show Author Affiliations
Cuno G. Degiacomi, Univ. of Koln (Germany)
Rudolf T. Schieder, Univ. zu Koeln (Germany)
Juergen Stutzki, Univ. of Koln (Germany)
Gisbert F. Winnewisser, Univ. zu Koeln (Germany)


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