AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 5. Ground Based Instruments and Surveys
Display, Monday, June 4, 2001, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[5.08] SuperCam: A 10 x 10 Superheterodyne Camera for the Prime Focus of the Large Binocular Telescope

C.E. Groppi, C.Y. Drouet d'Aubigny, C.K. Walker, C.A. Kulesa, J.M. Hill (Steward Observatory), G. Chin (NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center), C. Timoc (Spaceborne Inc.)

The advent of large format (~100 pixel) spectroscopic imaging cameras at submillimeter wavelengths would fundamentally change the way in which astronomy is performed in this important wavelength regime. While the possibility of such instruments has been discussed for more than two decades, only recently have advances in mixer technology, device fabrication, micromachining, digital signal processing, and telescope design made the construction of such an instrument possible and economical. In our poster we will present the design concept for a 10x10 heterodyne camera designed to operate at the prime focus of one of the 8.4 m mirrors of the Large Binocular Telescope, now under construction on Mt. Graham, Arizona. The array will be optimized for spectroscoptic studies of galactic star formation regions in the 350 micron atmospheric window. Each pixel of the array will produce an 11" diffraction limited beam. The array field of view will be ~ 3.7x3.7 arc minutes. The unique optical and mechanical design of the LBT allows the instrument to be `swung' into place in a matter of minutes. The instrument will be fully automated with all 100 spectra available on line after each integration. SuperCam could be ready for observations on the LBT as early as fall 2003.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: cgroppi@as.arizona.edu

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