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Submillimeter Atmospheric Transparency at Maunakea, at the South Pole, and at Chajnantor

Radford, Simon J. E. and Peterson, Jeffery B. (2016) Submillimeter Atmospheric Transparency at Maunakea, at the South Pole, and at Chajnantor. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 128 (965). Art. No. 075001. ISSN 0004-6280.

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For a systematic assessment of submillimeter observing conditions at different sites, we constructed tipping radiometers to measure the broad band atmospheric transparency in the window around 350 μm wavelength. The tippers were deployed on Maunakea, Hawaii, at the South Pole, and in the vicinity of Cerro Chajnantor in northern Chile. Identical instruments permit direct comparison of these sites. Observing conditions at the South Pole and in the Chajnantor area are better than on Maunakea. Simultaneous measurements with two tippers demonstrate conditions at the summit of Cerro Chajnantor are significantly better than on the Chajnantor plateau.

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Additional Information:© 2016 Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2015 November 20; accepted 2016 February 17; published 2016 June 10. Many thanks to the people who contributed to this project over the years. E. Schartman constructed the instruments and initially deployed them; R. Freund designed the electronics; the South Pole winterover scientists kept the instrument running; S. Baca, E. Bufil, R. Chamberlin, A. Guyer, P. Nelson, K. Aird, E. Leitch, D. Marrone, R. Bustos, J. Cortes, C. Jara, F. Muñoz, G. Gull, C. Henderson, A. Otárola, R. Reeves, R. Rivera, and G. Valladares, provided invaluable help with deployments; S. Paine kindly measured the window transparencies; P. Ade provided some of the filters; M. Holdaway provided advice on interpretation; E. Young allowed us to use his FTS; K. Xiao did the added window experiments at the South Pole; and the referee offered several constructive comments. APEX, AST/RO, CSO, CBI, QUIET, JCMT, NRAO/ALMA, SMA, and SPT provided space, power, and network connections. APEX provides open access to their meteorological data. Access to Cerro Chajnantor was possible because the University of Tokyo constructed a road. Development of the instruments was supported by Carnegie Mellon University and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Deployment to the South Pole was supported by the Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica, a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center operated under cooperative agreement. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) was operated by the California Institute of Technology with support from the National Science Foundation (AST-0838261). CCAT site evaluation was carried out in the Parque Astronómico Atacama in northern Chile under the auspices of the Programa de Astronomía, a program of the Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica de Chile (CONICYT). CCAT site evaluation received partial support from the National Science Foundation (AST-0431503).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Carnegie Mellon UniversityUNSPECIFIED
National Radio Astronomy ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
Center for Astrophysical Research in AntarcticaUNSPECIFIED
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:atmospheric effects, instrumentation: miscellaneous, site testing, submillimeter: general
Issue or Number:965
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161018-131051225
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Official Citation:Simon J. E. Radford and Jeffery B. Peterson 2016 PASP 128 075001
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:71226
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:18 Oct 2016 20:40
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 16:05

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