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Published July 31, 1998 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Bolocam: a millimeter-wave bolometric camera


We describe the design of Bolocam, a bolometric camera for millimeter-wave observations at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. Bolocam will have 144 diffraction-limited detectors operating at 300 mK, an 8 arcminute field of view, and a sky noise limited NEFD of approximately 35 mJy Hz^(-1/2) per pixel at λ = 1.4 mm. Observations will be possible at one of (lambda) equals 1.1., 1.4, or 2.1 mm per observing run. The detector array consists of sensitive NTD Ge thermistors bonded to silicon nitride micromesh absorbers patterned on a single wafer of silicon. This is a new technology in millimeter-wave detector array construction. To increase detector packing density, the feed horns will be spaced by 1.26 fλ (at λ = 1.4 mm), rather than the conventional 2fλ . DC stable read out electronics will enable on-the-fly mapping and drift scanning. We will use Bolocam to map Galactic dust emission, to search for protogalaxies, and to observe the Sunyaev- Zel'dovich effect toward galaxy clusters.

Additional Information

© 1998 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We thank Tom Phillips, Gene Serabyn, and Luca Olmi for useful discussions regarding the design of the Bolocam optics. We thank Matt Griffin and Walter Gear for discussions regarding mapping speed as a function of feed horn spacing. The construction of Bolocam is funded by a JPL President's Fund grant to P. Mauskopf and J. J. Bock, by the Large Millimeter Telescope project, and by NASA through the Advanced Technology Program. The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory is operated by Caltech under a grant from the National Science Foundation.

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