15 September 2004 Pointing calibration of the SMA antennas
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Abstract
The Submillimeter Array (SMA) is a new radio interferometer consisting of 8 antennas of 6 meters diameter each, recently deployed in operation at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The antennas currently operate at 230, 345 and 690 GHz bands and have high enough surface accuracy to allow operations at 890 GHz. At the highest frequencies, the FWHM primary beam size of each antenna will be about 12" which imposes a stringent requirement for single-dish pointing accuracy of 1". We summarize the current status of pointing of the SMA antennas and the methods we have implemented to derive the pointing model parameters. We discuss the stability of the pointing models over time scales of several weeks. The difference between the radio and optical pointing offsets is a function of elevation only, and can be calibrated by observing a common source or a pair of neighboring sources. We present results of such a calibration and its application to improve the radio pointing performance during submillimeter observations.
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Nimesh A. Patel, Nimesh A. Patel, Tirupati K. Sridharan, Tirupati K. Sridharan, } "Pointing calibration of the SMA antennas", Proc. SPIE 5496, Advanced Software, Control, and Communication Systems for Astronomy, (15 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.549655; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.549655
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