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Proceedings Paper

Overview of engineering activities at the SMA
Author(s): R. D. Christensen; D. Y. Kubo; Ramprasad Rao
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Paper Abstract

The Submillmeter Array (SMA) consists of 8 6-meter telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea. The array has been designed to operate from the summit of Mauna Kea and from 3 remote facilities: Hilo, Hawaii, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Taipei, Taiwan. The SMA provides high-resolution scientific observations in most of the major atmospheric windows from 180 to 700 GHz. Each telescope can house up to 8 receivers in a single cryostat and can operate with one or two receiver bands simultaneously. The array being a fully operational observatory, the demand for science time is extremely high. As a result specific time frames have been set-aside during both the day and night for engineering activities. This ensures that the proper amount of time can be spent on maintaining existing equipment or upgrading the system to provide high quality scientific output during nighttime observations. This paper describes the methods employed at the SMA to optimize engineering development of the telescopes and systems such that the time available for scientific observations is not compromised. It will also examine some of the tools used to monitor the SMA during engineering and science observations both at the site and remote facilities.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7016, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II, 701608 (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.787673
Show Author Affiliations
R. D. Christensen, Smithsonian Submillimeter Array (United States)
D. Y. Kubo, Academia Sinica, Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics (United States)
Ramprasad Rao, Academia Sinica, Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7016:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II
Roger J. Brissenden; David R. Silva, Editor(s)

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