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Coherent Arrays for Astronomy and Remote Sensing - Final Report

Readhead, A. C. S. and Cleary, Kieran and Lawrence, Charles (2016) Coherent Arrays for Astronomy and Remote Sensing - Final Report. . (Unpublished)

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The Coherent Arrays for Astronomy and Remote Sensing Program sponsored by the Keck Institute for Space Studies has had a profound impact on astronomy at Caltech – both at JPL and on campus – and worldwide. It provided funds for the establishment of a world-class coherent detector laboratory – the Cahill Radio Astronomy Laboratory (CRAL) that, in collaboration with JPL and Northrop Grumman, now sets the global standard in coherent detectors in the centimeter-millimeter wavelength range – as shown by three key highlights: (i) NRAO’s recent selection of CRAL MMIC detectors over its own in house MIC detectors for the upgrade of the ALMA Band 2 receivers; (ii) NSF’s funding of a 16-element 85 GHz – 115 GHz focal plane array (ARGUS) for the Green Bank Telescope ($1M); and (iii) NSF’s funding of the 26 GHz – 34 GHz CO Mapping Array Pathfinder (COMAP $2.5M). The funding of COMAP was particularly important since it demonstrated in the wake of the NSF decline of the CARMA proposal (2014) that the US astronomy community and the NSF were prepared to fund large new projects at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO), enabling the OVRO to re-establish itself as a world-class radio observatory and convincing Caltech to continue its funding of the OVRO. It is no exaggeration that the KISS coherent detector program played THE major role in saving the OVRO. The position of the CRAL and of the OVRO is now very strong and the staff, decimated by the CARMA decline, is being rebuilt and is once more at a robust strength. Two new multi-national partnerships – the Radio Astronomy Partnership (RAP) and the MMIC Partnership (MMICP) have been established at Caltech as a direct result of the KISS investment in creating the CRAL, and these are providing independent funding to OVRO and the CRAL. There are now eight agency-funded programs at the OVRO and we are optimistic about the prospects of having two more programs funded in the next year, in view of important science breakthroughs at OVRO over the last 6 months.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Readhead, A. C. S.0000-0001-9152-961X
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190211-064420192
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:92811
Deposited By: Iryna Chatila
Deposited On:15 Feb 2019 22:26
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:48

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