Testing and integration of supercam, a 64-pixel array receive for the 350 GHz atmospheric window

Christopher Groppi, Christopher Walker, Craig Kulesa, Dathon Golish, Jenna Kloosterman, Sander Weinreb, Glenn Jones, Joseph Barden, Hamdi Mani, Tom Kuiper, Jacob Kooi, Art Lichtenberger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report on laboratory testing and telescope integration of SuperCam, a 64 pixel imaging spectrometer designed for operation in the astrophysically important 870 micron atmospheric window. SuperCam will be used to answer fundamental questions about the physics and chemistry of molecular clouds in the Galaxy and their direct relation to star and planet formation. The Supercam key project is a fully sampled Galactic plane survey covering over 500 square degrees of the Galaxy in 12CO(3-2) and 13CO(3-2) with 0.3 km/s velocity resolution. SuperCam will have several times more pixels than any existing spectroscopic imaging array at submillimeter wavelengths. The exceptional mapping speed that will result, combined with the efficiency and angular resolution provided by the HHT will make SuperCam a powerful instrument for probing the history of star formation in our Galaxy and nearby galaxies. SuperCam will be used to answer fundamental questions about the physics and chemistry of molecular clouds in the Galaxy and their direct relation to star and planet formation. Through Galactic surveys, particularly in CO and its isotopomers, the impact of Galactic environment on these phenomena will be realized. These studies will serve as "finder charts" for future focused research (e.g. with ALMA) and markedly improve the interpretation, and enhance the value of numerous contemporary surveys. In the past, all heterodyne focal plane arrays have been constructed using discrete mixers, arrayed in the focal plane. SuperCam reduces cryogenic and mechanical complexity by integrating multiple mixers and amplifiers into a single array module with a single set of DC and IF connectors. These modules are housed in a closed-cycle cryostat with a 1.5W capacity 4K cooler. The Supercam instrument is currently undergoing laboratory testing with four of the eight mixer array modules installed in the cryostat (32 pixels). Work is now underway to perform the necessary modifications at the 10m Heinrich Hertz Telescope to accept the Supercam system. Supercam will be installed in the cassegrain cabin of the HHT, including the optical system, IF processing, spectrometers and control electronics. Supercam will be integrated with the HHT during the 2009-2010 observing season with 32 pixels installed. The system will be upgraded to 64 pixels during the summer of 2010 after assembly of the four additional mixer modules is completed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication21st International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology 2010, ISSTT 2010
Pages319-324
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Event21st International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology 2010, ISSTT 2010 - Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: Mar 23 2010Mar 25 2010

Publication series

Name21st International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology 2010, ISSTT 2010

Other

Other21st International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology 2010, ISSTT 2010
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityOxford
Period3/23/103/25/10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiation

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    Groppi, C., Walker, C., Kulesa, C., Golish, D., Kloosterman, J., Weinreb, S., Jones, G., Barden, J., Mani, H., Kuiper, T., Kooi, J., & Lichtenberger, A. (2010). Testing and integration of supercam, a 64-pixel array receive for the 350 GHz atmospheric window. In 21st International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology 2010, ISSTT 2010 (pp. 319-324). (21st International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology 2010, ISSTT 2010).