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Forecast for HEAT on Dome A, Antarctica: the High Elevation Antarctic Terahertz Telescope

Walker, C. K. and Kulesa, C. A. and Golish, D. and Hedden, A. and Jacobs, K. and Stutzki, J. and Gao, J. R. and Kooi, J. and Glaister, D. and Gully, W. and Mehdi, I. and Swain, M. and Siegel, P. (2004) Forecast for HEAT on Dome A, Antarctica: the High Elevation Antarctic Terahertz Telescope. In: Ground-based Telescopes. Proceedings of SPIE. No.5489. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, pp. 470-480. ISBN 9780819454218.

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We have proposed to develop a prototype 0.5-meter far-infrared telescope and heterodyne receiver/spectrometer system for fully-automated remote operation at the summit of Dome A, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau. The unparalleled stability, exceptional dryness, low wind and extreme cold make Dome A a ground-based site without equal for astronomy at infrared and submillimeter wavelengths. HEAT, the High Elevation Antarctic Terahertz Telescope, will operate in the atmospheric windows between 150 and 400 microns, in which the most crucial astrophysical spectral diagnostics of the formation of galaxies, stars, planets, and life are found. At these wavelengths, HEAT will have high aperture efficiency and excellent atmospheric transmission most of the year. The proposed superheterodyne receiver system will be comprised of 0.8, 1.4 and 1.9 THz channels which will observe the pivotal J=7-6 line of CO, the J=2-1 line of atomic carbon, and the far-infrared fine structure lines of N+ and C+, the brightest emission lines in the entire Milky Way Galaxy. When combined with the HEAT telescope, the receiver system represents a uniquely powerful instrument for reconstructing the history of star formation in our Galaxy, with application to the distant Universe. The receiver system itself serves as a valuable testbed for heterodyne Terahertz components, using leading-edge mixer, local oscillator, low-noise amplifier, cryogenic, and digital signal processing technologies that will play essential roles in future Terahertz observatories. The proposed study will pave the way for future astronomical investigations from Dome A.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kooi, J.0000-0002-6610-0384
Swain, M.0000-0002-0919-4468
Siegel, P.0000-0002-2539-4646
Additional Information:© 2004 Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Subject Keywords:Interstellar medium, heterodyne instrumentation, terahertz, star formation, molecular spectroscopy
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:5489
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190116-110445580
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Christopher K. Walker, Craig A. Kulesa, Dathon R. Golish, Abigail S. Hedden, K. Jacobs, Juergen Stutzki, J. R. Gao, Jacob W. Kooi, Dave Glaister, Willy Gully, Imran Mehdi, Mark R. Swain, Peter Siegel, "Forecast for HEAT on Dome A, Antarctica: the High Elevation Antarctic Terahertz Telescope," Proc. SPIE 5489, Ground-based Telescopes, (28 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.551424
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:92318
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Jan 2019 04:39
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:49

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