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Session 62 - Workshop on the Future of Antarctic Astrophysics - II.
Topical, Oral session, Wednesday, June 10
A 10 meter diameter submillimeter-wave telescope has been proposed for installation and scientific use at NSF Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The telescope will be built and operated by an international consortium. It will be open to observing proposals from all astronomers. A 1.7 meter diameter instrument, the Antarctic Submillimeter Telescope and Remote Observatory (AST/RO), has successfully operated at the Pole for three Antarctic winters and has demonstrated that the South Pole has the best submillimeter-wave transparency and stability among all existing or proposed observatory sites. Possible scientific programs for the SP 10m include searches for sub-mm bright protogalaxies, studies of protostars, and measurement of small-scale Cosmic Microwave Background anisotropies. These observational programs place stringent requirements on the optical quality of the telescope design. In particular, reduction of the thermal background requires an off-axis, unblocked aperture, and the large field of view needed for survey observations requires shaped optics. This mix of design elements is well-suited for large-scale (square degree) mapping of line and continuum radiation from submillimeter-wave and CMBR sources at moderate spatial resolutions (4'' to 60'' beam size) and high sensitivity (mJy flux density levels). Detector packages will include 1000-pixel arrays of submillimeter-wave bolometers. The wide-field capabilities of the SP 10m will be a valuable complement to the NRAO Millimeter Array. The SP 10m is capable of sensitive observations which are not possible at other ground-based sites because of sky noise and are not possible from orbit or airborne platforms because a large aperture is needed.
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