36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 14 Future Missions
Poster I, Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 4:00-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[14.04] The Large Millimeter Telescope- Gran Telescopio Milimetrico

W. M. Irvine, F. P. Schloerb (UMass), A. Carramiñana, L. Carrasco (INAOE)

The Large Millimeter Telescope/Gran Telescopio Milimetrico (LMT) project is a collaboration between the University of Massachusetts and the Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica, Óptica y Electrónica to build a 50 m diameter telescope that will have good efficiency at wavelengths as short as 1 mm. The LMT will have an overall effective surface accuracy of ~70 micrometers and an ultimate pointing accuracy of better than 1 arcsec, and will thus be the largest millimeter-wavelength telescope in the world. The LMT site is Sierra Negra in the state of Puebla, at 4,640 meters above sea level in Central Mexico. At 18° 59' N latitude, it offers good sky coverage of both hemispheres. The normally low humidity will allow operation of the radio telescope at frequencies as high as 345 GHz.

The LMT will make use of recent advances in structural design and active control of surface elements to achieve the required surface and pointing accuracy. At the site the alidade has been erected and the back structure for the main reflector has been assembled, while the monitor and control system has been successfully tested on another telescope. The schedule calls for acceptance tests in 2006.

The initial complement of instruments will include a 32 element, heterodyne focal plane array at 3mm; a large format, focal plane bolometer array; a unique wide band receiver and spectrometer to determine the redshifts of primordial galaxies, and a 4 element receiver for the 1mm band. With its excellent sensitivity and mapping speed, the LMT/GTM will be a powerful facility for planetary science. In particular, it will enable key observations of comets, planetary atmospheres, asteroids and KBOs.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.