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Proceedings Paper

FTS measurements of submillimeter opacity and other site testing at Pampa la Bola
Author(s): Satoki Matsushita; Hiroshi Matsuo; Akihiro Sakamoto; Juan R. Pardo
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Paper Abstract

We have carried out Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) measurements of the millimeter and submillimeter-wave (150 - 1500 GHz or 2 mm - 200 micrometer) atmospheric opacity at Pampa la Bola, 4800 m above sea level in northern Chile on September 1997 and June 1998. One of the best transmission spectra show up to approximately 67% transmission at well- known submillimeter-wave windows. Supra-terahertz windows (located around 1035 GHz, 1350 GHz, and 1500 GHz) were identified in the same spectrum. The observed spectra can be well modeled by newly developed radiative-transfer calculations. Correlations between 220 GHz opacities and those of the center of submillimeter-wave windows or even those of the supra-terahertz windows are obtained using the entire data set. Good correlations were obtained except for the periods affected by the liquid water opacity component. We succeeded to separate the total opacity in two parts: the water vapor opacity and the liquid water opacity, using two frequencies, one in the millimeter domain and another one in the submillimeter. The separated water vapor opacity component shows good correlation with the 183 GHz pure water vapor line opacity which is also covered in the measured spectra, but the liquid water opacity component shows no correlation. The liquid water opacity component also shows no correlation with the phase fluctuation measured with the 11 GHz radio seeing monitor. Modeling of this component is currently under way. Combined with a statistical study of the 225 GHz opacity data of the Chajnantor site (approximately 7 km apart from Pampa la Bola), it is estimated that submillimeter-wave observations can be done with zenith opacity less than 1.0 (at the most transparent frequency in those windows) for about 50% of the winter season, assuming no presence of liquid water absorption.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 July 2000
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4015, Radio Telescopes, (3 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.390432
Show Author Affiliations
Satoki Matsushita, Nobeyama Radio Observatory and Graduate University for Advanced Studies/Nobeyama (United States)
Hiroshi Matsuo, Nobeyama Radio Observatory (Japan)
Akihiro Sakamoto, Nobeyama Radio Observatory (Japan)
Juan R. Pardo, California Insitute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4015:
Radio Telescopes
Harvey R. Butcher, Editor(s)

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