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5 August 2010 The Large Millimeter Telescope
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This paper describes the current status of the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT), the near-term plans for the telescope and the initial suite of instrumentation. The LMT is a bi-national collaboration between Mexico and the USA, led by the Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE) and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, to construct, commission and operate a 50m-diameter millimeter-wave radio telescope. Construction activities are nearly complete at the 4600m LMT site on the summit of Volcán Sierra Negra, an extinct volcano in the Mexican state of Puebla. Full movement of the telescope, under computer control in both azimuth and elevation, has been achieved. The commissioning and scientific operation of the LMT is divided into two major phases. As part of phase 1, the installation of precision surface segments for millimeter-wave operation within the inner 32m-diameter of the LMT surface is now complete. The alignment of these surface segments is underway. The telescope (in its 32-m diameter format) will be commissioned later this year with first-light scientific observations at 1mm and 3mm expected in early 2011. In phase 2, we will continue the installation and alignment of the remainder of the reflector surface, following which the final commissioning of the full 50-m LMT will take place. The LMT antenna, outfitted with its initial complement of scientific instruments, will be a world-leading scientific research facility for millimeter-wave astronomy.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.


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