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Proceedings Paper

Cornell Caltech Atacama Telescope (CCAT): a 25-m aperture telescope above 5000-m altitude
Author(s): Thomas A. Sebring; Riccardo Giovanelli; Simon Radford; Jonas Zmuidzinas
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Paper Abstract

Cornell, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) have joined together to study development of a 25 meter sub-millimeter telescope (CCAT) on a high peak in the Atacama region of northern Chile, where the atmosphere is so dry as to permit observation at wavelengths as short as 200 μm. The telescope is designed to deliver high efficiency images at that wavelength with a total one-half wavefront error of about 10 μm. With a 20 arc min field of view, CCAT will be able to accommodate large format bolometer arrays and will excel at carrying out surveys as well as resolving structures to the 2 arc sec resolution level. The telescope will be an ideal complement to ALMA. Initial instrumentation will include both a wide field bolometer camera and a medium resolution spectrograph. Studies of the major telescope subsystems have been performed as part of an initial Feasibility Concept Study. Novel aspects of the telescope design include kinematic mounting and active positioning of primary mirror segments, high bandwidth secondary mirror segment motion control for chopping, a Calotte style dome of 50 meter diameter, a mount capable of efficient scanning modes of operation, and some new approaches to panel manufacture. Analysis of telescope performance and of key subsystems will be presented to illustrate the technical feasibility and pragmatic cost of CCAT. Project plans include an Engineering Concept Design phase followed by detailed design and development. First Light is planned for early 2012.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6267, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes, 62672C (27 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.668735
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas A. Sebring, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Riccardo Giovanelli, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Simon Radford, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Jonas Zmuidzinas, California Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6267:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes
Larry M. Stepp, Editor(s)

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