The Greenland Telescope (GLT), currently located at Thule Air Base, is a 12-m single dish telescope operating at frequencies of 86, 230 and 345 GHz. Since April 2018, the GLT has regularly participated in (sub-)mm VLBI observations of supermassive black holes as part of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and the Global mm VLBI Array (GMVA). We present the status of scientific commissioning activities at the GLT, including most recently the 345 GHz first light and test observations. The antenna surface accuracy has been improved to ~25 microns through panel adjustments aided by photogrammetry, significantly increasing the antenna efficiency. Through all-sky spectral line pointing observations (SiO masers at 86 GHz and CO at 230 and 345 GHz), we have improved the radio pointing accuracy down to <~ 3" at all 3 frequencies. Due to the pandemic, we are in the process of transitioning GLT commissioning and observing activities to remote operations.
We describe the latest development of the control and monitoring system of the Greenland Telescope (GLT). The GLT is a 12-m radio telescope aiming to carry out the sub-millimeter Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations through the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and the Global Millimeter VLBI Array (GMVA), to image the shadows of super massive black holes. The telescope is currently located at the Thule Air Base for commissioning before deployed to the Summit Station. The GLT participated in the VLBI observing campaigns in 2018 and 2019 and fringes were successfully detected at 86 and 230 GHz. Our antenna control software was adapted from the Submillimeter Array (SMA), and as a result for single-dish observations we added new routines to coordinate it with other instruments. We are exploring new communication interfaces; we utilized both in-memory and on-disk databases to be part of the interfaces not only for hardware monitoring but also for engineering event logging. We plan to incorporate the system of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope for the full Linux-based receiver control. The current progress of integrating our receivers, spectrometers, sub-reflector, and continuum detector into control is presented, together with the implementation of the commissioning software for spectral line pointing. We also describe how we built the anti-collision protection and the recovery mechanism for the sub-reflector hexapod.
The Greenland Telescope project has recently participated in an experiment to image the supermassive black hole shadow at the center of M87 using Very Long Baseline Interferometry technique in April of 2018. The antenna consists of the 12-m ALMA North American prototype antenna that was modified to support two auxiliary side containers and to withstand an extremely cold environment. The telescope is currently at Thule Air Base in Greenland with the long-term goal to move the telescope over the Greenland ice sheet to Summit Station. The GLT currently has a single cryostat which houses three dual polarization receivers that cover 84-96 GHz, 213-243 GHz and 271-377 GHz bands. A hydrogen maser frequency source in conjunction with high frequency synthesizers are used to generate the local oscillator references for the receivers. The intermediate frequency outputs of each receiver cover 4-8 GHz and are heterodyned to baseband for digitization within a set of ROACH-2 units then formatted for recording onto Mark-6 data recorders. A separate set of ROACH-2 units operating in parallel provides the function of auto-correlation for real-time spectral analysis. Due to the stringent instrumental stability requirements for interferometry a diagnostic test system was incorporated into the design. Tying all of the above equipment together is the fiber optic system designed to operate in a low temperature environment and scalable to accommodate a larger distance between the control module and telescope for Summit Station. A report on the progress of the above electronics instrumentation system will be provided.
A three-cartridge cryogenic receiver system is constructed for the Greenland Telescope Project. The system is equipped with a set of sub-millimeter receivers operating at 86, 230, and 345 GHz, as well as a complete set of instruments for calibration, control and monitoring. It is single pixel instrument built for VLBI observations. With the receiver system, the GLT has completed commissioning of its 12-m sub-millimeter antenna and participated in global very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations at Thule Air Base (TAB). This paper describes the receiver specification, construction, and verification.
The Greenland Telescope Project (GLT) has successfully commissioned its 12-m sub-millimeter. In January 2018, the fringes were detected between the GLT and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) during a very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) exercise. In April 2018, the telescope participated in global VLBI science observations at Thule Air Base (TAB). The telescope has been completely rebuilt, with many new components, from the ALMA NA (North America) Prototype antenna and equipped with a new set of sub-millimeter receivers operating at 86, 230, and 345 GHz, as well as a complete set of instruments and VLBI backends. This paper describes our progress and status of the project and its plan for the coming decade.
The Greenland Telescope completed its construction, so the commissioning phase has been started since December 2017. Single-dish commissioning has started from the optical pointing which produced the first pointing model, followed by the radio pointing and focusing using the Moon for both the 86 GHz and the 230 GHz receivers. After Venus started to rise from the horizon, the focus positions has been improved for both receivers. Once we started the line pointing using the SiO(2-1) maser line and the CO(2-1) line for the 86 GHz and the 230 GHz receivers, respectively, the pointing accuracy also improved, and the final pointing accuracy turned to be around 3" - 5" for both receivers. In parallel, VLBI commissioning has been performed, with checking the frequency accuracy and the phase stability for all the components that would be used for the VLBI observations. After all the checks, we successfully joined the dress rehearsals and actual observations of the 86 GHz and 230 GHz VLBI observations, The first dress rehearsal data between GLT and ALMA were correlated, and successfully detected the first fringe, which confirmed that the GLT commissioning was successfully performed.
Since the ALMA North America Prototype Antenna was awarded to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), SAO and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) are working jointly to relocate the antenna to Greenland. This paper shows the status of the antenna retrofit and the work carried out after the recommissioning and subsequent disassembly of the antenna at the VLA has taken place. The next coming months will see the start of the antenna reassembly at Thule Air Base. These activities are expected to last until the fall of 2017 when commissioning should take place. In parallel, design, fabrication and testing of the last components are taking place in Taiwan.
The Greenland Telescope project will deploy and operate a 12m sub-millimeter telescope at the highest point of the Greenland i e sheet. The Greenland Telescope project is a joint venture between the Smithsonian As- trophysical Observatory (SAO) and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA). In this paper we discuss the concepts, specifications, and science goals of the instruments being developed for single-dish observations with the Greenland Telescope, and the coupling optics required to couple both them and the mm-VLBI receivers to antenna. The project will outfit the ALMA North America prototype antenna for Arctic operations and deploy it to Summit Station,1 a NSF operated Arctic station at 3,100m above MSL on the Greenland I e Sheet. This site is exceptionally dry, and promises to be an excellent site for sub-millimeter astronomical observations. The main science goal of the Greenland Telescope is to carry out millimeter VLBI observations alongside other telescopes in Europe and the Americas, with the aim of resolving the event horizon of the super-massive black hole at the enter of M87. The Greenland Telescope will also be outfitted for single-dish observations from the millimeter-wave to Tera-hertz bands. In this paper we will discuss the proposed instruments that are currently in development for the Greenland Telescope - 350 GHz and 650 GHz heterodyne array receivers; 1.4 THz HEB array receivers and a W-band bolometric spectrometer. SAO is leading the development of two heterodyne array instruments for the Greenland Telescope, a 48- pixel, 325-375 GHz SIS array receiver, and a 4 pixel, 1.4 THz HEB array receiver. A key science goal for these instruments is the mapping of ortho and para H2D+ in old protostellar ores, as well as general mapping of CO and other transitions in molecular louds. An 8-pixel prototype module for the 350 GHz array is currently being built for laboratory and operational testing on the Greenland Telescope. Arizona State University are developing a 650 GHz 256 pixel SIS array receiver based on the KAPPa SIS mixer array technology and ASIAA are developing 1.4 THz HEB single pixel and array receivers. The University of Cambridge and SAO are collaborating on the development of the CAMbridge Emission Line Surveyor (CAMELS), a W-band `on- hip' spectrometer instrument with a spectral resolution of R ~ 3000. CAMELS will consist of two pairs of horn antennas, feeding super conducting niobium nitride filter banks read by tantalum based Kinetic Inductance Detectors.
The ALMA North America Prototype Antenna was awarded to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in 2011. SAO and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA), SAO’s main partner for this project, are working jointly to relocate the antenna to Greenland to carry out millimeter and submillimeter VLBI observations. This paper presents the work carried out on upgrading the antenna to enable operation in the Arctic climate by the GLT Team to make this challenging project possible, with an emphasis on the unexpected telescope components that had to be either redesigned or changed. Five-years of inactivity, with the antenna laying idle in the desert of New Mexico, coupled with the extreme weather conditions of the selected site in Greenland have it necessary to significantly refurbish the antenna. We found that many components did need to be replaced, such as the antenna support cone, the azimuth bearing, the carbon fiber quadrupod, the hexapod, the HVAC, the tiltmeters, the antenna electronic enclosures housing servo and other drive components, and the cables. We selected Vertex, the original antenna manufacturer, for the main design work, which is in progress. The next coming months will see the major antenna components and subsystems shipped to a site of the US East Coast for test-fitting the major antenna components, which have been retrofitted. The following step will be to ship the components to Greenland to carry out VLBI
We report the past two years of collaboration between the different actors on the ALMA nutator. Building on previous developments, the nutator has seen changes in much of the design. A high-modulus carbon fiber structure has been added on the back of the mirror in order to transfer the voice coils forces with less deformation, thus reducing delay problems due to flexing. The controller is now an off-the-shelf National Instrument NI-cRIO, and the amplifier a class D servo drive from Advanced Motion Controls, with high peak power able to drive the coils at 300 Volts DC. The stow mechanism has been totally redesigned to improve on the repeatability and precision of the stow position, which is also the reference for the 26 bits Heidenhain encoders. This also improves on the accuracy of the stow position with wind loading. Finally, the software, written largely with National Instrument's LabView, has been developed. We will discuss these changes and the preliminary performance achieved to date.
The Array for Microwave Background Anisotropy (AMiBA) is a radio interferometer for research in cosmology,
currently operating 7 0.6m diameter antennas co-mounted on a 6m diameter platform driven by a hexapod
mount. AMiBA is currently the largest hexapod telescope. We briefly summarize the hexapod operation with
the current pointing error model. We then focus on the upcoming
13-element expansion with its potential
difficulties and solutions. Photogrammetry measurements of the platform reveal deformations at a level which
can affect the optical pointing and the receiver radio phase. In order to prepare for the 13-element upgrade, two
optical telescopes are installed on the platform to correlate optical pointing tests. Being mounted on different
locations, the residuals of the two sets of pointing errors show a characteristic phase and amplitude difference
as a function of the platform deformation pattern. These results depend on the telescope's azimuth, elevation
and polarization position. An analytical model for the deformation is derived in order to separate the local
deformation induced error from the real hexapod pointing error. Similarly, we demonstrate that the deformation
induced radio phase error can be reliably modeled and calibrated, which allows us to recover the ideal synthesized
beam in amplitude and shape of up to 90% or more. The resulting array efficiency and its limits are discussed
based on the derived errors.
This paper describes the photogrammetry method as a mean to measure the deformation of the 6-meter carbon fiber reinforced
plastic (CFRP) Platform of the AMiBA interferometric array telescope installed at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. The
Platform was surveyed at a series of elevation, azimuth and polarization angles. Photogrammetry demonstrates that the
deformation of the Platform is not only gravity-induced but also due to the Hexapod mount actuator. The measurement results
verify the predictions of the Finite Element Analysis (FEA).
Using the array of seven 0.6m antennas in Hawaii, we have conducted short observations on several galaxy clusters through
the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect at 3mm wavelength in 2007. The observations were done with a resolution of 6', and we
have chosen the low redshift (z=0.09-0.32) massive clusters to optimize detection. Major contamination to the data comes
from instrumental offset and ground pickup. We will demonstrate the results based on a simple on source - off source
switching observing scheme. In addition, the performance of a wideband analog 4-lag correlator was also investigated.
The Academia Sinica, Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) is installing the AMiBA interferometric array telescope at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. The 6-meter carbon fiber fully steerable platform is mounted on the Hexapod Mount. After integration and equipment with dummy weights, the platform has been measured by photogrammetry to verify its behavior predicted by Finite Element Analysis. The Hexapod servo control is now operational and equipment of the platform with the initial 7 60-cm dishes, the correlator and electronics is underway. Pointing has started with the aid of the optical telescope. We present the status of the telescope after the servo and initial pointing tests have been carried out. We also present the results of platform measurements by photogrammetry.
AMiBA consists of a 90 GHz interferometric array telescope with dishes ranging in size from 0.3 to 2.4 meter in diameter, mounted on a 6-meter fully steerable platform. The dishes are attached to the receivers, which are mounted on a platform controlled by a six degree of freedom hexapod mount. The hexapod mount is a parallel connection manipulator also called Stewart Platform. The basic reference for this mechanism is a paper by Stewart. The Stewart Platform is a unique kinematically constrained work platform. It can be manipulated through the six degrees of freedom. The hexapod also provides better accuracy, rigidity, load to weight ratio and load distribution than a serial manipulator or traditional manipulator. The advantages of the hexapod shows that it is a great choice for the AMiBA project. Vertex Antennentechnik GmbH fabricates the hexapod. Testing has started in Germany. The telescope will be delivered in the summer of 2004. The 6m in diameter hexagonal platform is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) and consists of seven pieces of three different unique types. The platform can be disassembled and fits in a container for transportation. The mounting plane flatness is an important issue for the platform assembly. The deflection angle of the mounting plane relative to any other mounting position must be less than 20 arcsec. Meanwhile, the platform must endure a loading of 3 tons. The platform has been built by Composite Mirror Applications, Inc. (CMA) in Tucson, and mounted on the Hexapod in Germany. This report describes the design and testing of platform and mount for the AMiBA telescope.
The Academia Sinica, Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) is building two antennas to be added to the six antennas of the Sub-Millimeter Array (SMA) of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO). The antennas have been designed at SAO and are currently under construction at Mauna Kea. ASIAA's two antennas are made in Taiwan from parts manufactured locally and imported from Europe and from the USA. This report will focus on the manufacturing and testing of 2 major components: the alidade and the reflector. We will emphasize the work done on the composite parts used in the 6- meter reflectors, namely the carbon fiber tubes for the backup structure, the carbon fiber legs of the quadrupod and the composite central hub. We will discuss the modal testing and pointing tests of the antennas. Finally this report will show how the Taiwanese industry was able to respond to the high manufacturing standards required to build sub-millimeter antennas. The design and manufacturing capabilities of the Aeronautical Research Laboratories and China Shipbuilding Corporation have made possible the construction of the telescopes in Taiwan.