AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 103. Instrumentation for Radio Wavelengths
Display, Wednesday, January 9, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[103.10] The Submillimeter Array: Current Status and Testing Results

M. Saito (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory), SMA Team

The Submillimeter Array (SMA) is a new radio interferometer currently being deployed at the summit of Mauna Kea, consisting of 8 telescopes of 6 meters diameter each, operating in the frequency range of 180 to 900 GHz. This project is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics in Taiwan, which has built two of the antennas. In this paper, we present the current status of the SMA and summarize various testing results. As of mid-October 2001, five of the antennas are fully operational, with the correlation capabilities of up to 6 baselines. The antennas are currently equipped with 230 and 345 GHz receivers and the correlator provides a bandwidth of 328 MHz, with a resolution of about 1 MHz per channel. The surface accuracy of the antennas is about 13 to 20 microns (see poster by Sridharan et al.) and the blind pointing rms error is about 5". Efforts at improving the pointing performance are underway, with implementation of real-time corrections using electronic inclinometers. While the control software for the array is still in its preliminary stages, the array is operable remotely over internet. The interferometric data is archived in FITS-IDI format (for AIPS++) and in the Caltech MIR format (for IDL).

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: msaito@cfa.harvard.edu

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