The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) 2017 campaign successfully imaged the black hole shadow for the first time. To achieve this image, we used the very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) technique at the wavelength of 1.3 mm (frequency of 230 GHz) with utilizing eight millimeter- and submillimeter-wavelength telscopes all over the world. For the interferometry, the distance between two telescopes (i.e., baseline length) decides the angular resolution. The EHT telescopes extends near the diameter of the Earth, so together with the short wavelength, it is possible to reach the angular resolution of about 25 micro-arcsec. This resolution is sufficient to image the shadows of nearby supermassive black holes (SMBHs), and indeed, we have succeessfully imaged the shadow of the SMBH at the center of the nearby giant elliptical galaxy M87. In this talk, I will give an overview of the technologies we have used in the EHT 2017 campaign, and also present the plans of the future development.
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.
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 (GLT) project and the East Asian Observatory (EAO) successfully commissioned the first light GLT instrument at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) in Hawaii, prior to transferring the instrument to Greenland. The GLT instrument which comprises of a cryostat with three cartridge-type receivers (at 86GHz, 230GHz and 345GHz) was installed into the receiver cabin of JCMT and operated in three modes: - (a) Regular JCMT observing with the GLT instrument, using ACSIS, (JCMT’s autocorrelation spectrometer) as the backend and JCMT software for telescope control, data reduction, pointing and antenna focus adjustment. (b) Single dish observations of astronomical spectral line sources, recording data onto mark 6 recorders for offline data reduction. (c) eSMA interferometer array observations at 230GHz in conjunction with the SMA. In this paper, we report on the installation and integration of the GLT instrument at JCMT, present results from commissioning and show how the success of the GLT instrument commissioning fits with our plans for future instrumentation at JCMT.
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.
We describe the control and monitoring system for 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 and image the shadow of the super massive black hole in M87. In November 2017 construction has been finished and commissioning activity has been started. In April 2018 we participated in the VLBI observing campaign for the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration. In this paper we present the entire GLT control/monitoring system in terms of computers, network and software.
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.
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 Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is the world's largest millimeter/submillimeter telescope and provides unprecedented sensitivities and spatial resolutions. To achieve the highest imaging capabilities, interferometric phase calibration for the long baselines is one of the most important subjects: The longer the baselines, the worse the phase stability becomes because of turbulent motions of the Earth's atmosphere, especially, the water vapor in the troposphere. To overcome this subject, ALMA adopts a phase correction scheme using a Water Vapor Radiometer (WVR) to estimate the amount of water vapor content along the antenna line of sight. An additional technique is phase referencing, in which a science target and a nearby calibrator are observed by turn by quickly changing the antenna pointing. We conducted feasibility studies of the hybrid technique with the WVR phase correction and the antenna Fast Switching (FS) phase referencing (WVR+FS phase correction) for the ALMA 16 km longest baselines in cases that (1) the same observing frequency both for a target and calibrator is used, and (2) higher and lower frequencies for a target and calibrator, respectively, with a typical switching cycle time of 20 s. It was found that the phase correction performance of the hybrid technique is promising where a nearby calibrator is located within roughly 3◦ from a science target, and that the phase correction with 20 s switching cycle time significantly improves the performance with the above separation angle criterion comparing to the 120 s switching cycle time. The currently trial phase calibration method shows the same performance independent of the observing frequencies. This result is especially important for the higher frequency observations because it becomes difficult to find a bright calibrator close to an arbitrary sky position. In the series of our experiments, it is also found that phase errors affecting the image quality come from not only the water vapor content in the lower troposphere but also a large structure of the atmosphere with a typical cell scale of a few tens of kilometers.
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.
Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is the world’s largest millimeter/ submillimeter (mm / Submm) interferometer. Along with science observations, ALMA has performed several long baseline campaigns in the last 6 years to characterize and optimize its long baseline capabilities. To achieve full long baseline capability of ALMA, it is important to understand the characteristics of atmospheric phase fluctuation at long baselines, since it is believed to be the main cause of mm/submm image degradation. For the first time, we present detailed properties of atmospheric phase fluctuation at mm/submm wavelength from baselines up to 15 km in length. Atmospheric phase fluctuation increases as a function of baseline length with a power-law slope close to 0.6, and many of the data display a shallower slope (02.-03) at baseline length greater than about 15 km. Some of the data, on the other hand, show a single slope up to the maximum baseline length of around 15 km. The phase correction method based on water vapor radiometers (WVRs) works well, especially for cases with precipitable water vapor (PWV) greater than 1 mm, typically yielding a 50% decrease or more in the degree of phase fluctuation. However, signicant amount of atmospheric phase fluctuation still remains after the WVR phase correction: about 200 micron in rms excess path length (rms phase fluctuation in unit of length) even at PWV less than 1 mm. This result suggests the existence of other non-water-vapor sources of phase fluctuation. and emphasizes the need for additional phase correction methods, such as band-to-band and/or fast switching.
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.
We present results of feasibility studies of Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) interferom-
eter phase calibration scheme combined with the Fast Switching (FS) phase referencing and the Water Vapor
Radiometer (WVR) phase correction (FS+WVR phase correction). With FS scheme, ALMA antennas observe
a scientific target source and a nearby calibrator by turn very quickly. Because interferometer phase errors of the
target due to the water vapor contents commonly exist in those of the calibrator, the target phase is corrected
with the calibrator phase. We have demonstrated the FS+WVR phase correction for ALMA with baselines up to
2.7 km for various switching cycle times and separations between sources. For instance, in the case of sources with
the 1° separation, root-mean-square phases of the target were reduced from 300 to 40 microns in path length for
1 km baselines, and the target interferometer phases could be stabilized to an ALMA specification requirement
level for the interferometer phase stability. We also analytically evaluated the root-mean-square phase corrected
with the FS+WVR phase correction to predict the performance as a function of the separation and switching
We present the phase characteristics study of the Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA) long (up to 3 km) baseline, which is the longest baseline tested so far using ALMA. The data consist of long time-scale (10 20 minutes) measurements on a strong point source (i.e., bright quasar) at various frequency bands (bands 3, 6, and 7, which correspond to the frequencies of about 88 GHz, 232 GHz, and 336 GHz) Water vapor radiometer (WVR) phase correction works well even at long baselines, and the efficiency is better at higher PWV (< 1mm) condition, consistent with the past studies. We calculate the spatial structure function of phase fluctuation, and display that the phase fluctuation (i.e., rms phase) increases as a function of baseline length, and some data sets show turn-over around several hundred meters to km and being almost constant at longer baselines. This is the first millimeter / submillimeter structure function at this long baseline length, and to show the turn-over of the structure function. Furthermore, the observation of the turn-over indicates that even if the ALMA baseline length extends to the planned longest baseline of 15 km, fringes will be detected at a similar rms phase fluctuation as that at a few km baseline lengths. We also calculate the coherence time using the 3 km baseline data, and the results indicate that the coherence time for band 3 is longer than 400 seconds in most of the data (both in the raw and WVR-corrected data) For bands 6 and 7, WVR-corrected data have about twice longer coherence time, but it is better to use fast switching method to avoid the coherence loss.
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 three winter seasons and two full summer from August 2011 to April 2014 of atmospheric opacity measurements with a 225GHz tipping radiometer at Summit camp in Greenland (Latitude 72°.57 N, Longitude 38°.46 W, Elevation 3250 masl). The summit of the ice cap in Greenland is expected to be the location for the GreenLand Telescope (GLT), a 12 meters aperture millimeter / sub-millimeter telescope with VLBI and single- dish capability. The winter regime (November to April) is of particular interest for sub-millimeter observations since the opacities lower quartile in these months can get as low as 0.042, with occasional opacities as low as 0.025. We then compare Summit zenith opacities to other submillimeter sites.
We present the temporal phase stability of the entire ALMA system. We first verified the temporal phase stability: We observed a strong quasar for a long time (a few tens of minutes), derived the temporal structure function after the atmospheric phase correction using the water vapor radiometers (WVRs), and confirmed that the phase stability of all the baselines reached the ALMA specification. We then verified frequency transfer between bands: We observed a bright quasar and switched between the two frequency bands, and confirmed that the phase returned to the original values within the phase fluctuation. In addition to these results, we also studied the effectiveness of the WVR phase correction at various frequencies, baseline lengths, and weather conditions.
In Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) commissioning and science verification we have
conducted a series of experiments of a novel phase calibration scheme for Atacama Compact Array (ACA). In
this scheme water vapor radiometers (WVRs) devoted to measurements of tropospheric water vapor content
are attached to ACA’s four total-power array (TP Array) antennas surrounding the 7 m dish interferometer
array (7 m Array). The excess path length (EPL) due to the water vapor variations aloft is fitted to a simple
two-dimensional slope using WVR measurements. Interferometric phase fluctuations for each baseline of the
7 m Array are obtained from differences of EPL inferred from the two-dimensional slope and subtracted from
the interferometric phases. In the experiments we used nine ALMA 12-m antennas. Eight of them were closely
located in a 70-m square region, forming a compact array like ACA. We supposed the most four outsiders to be
the TP Array while the inner 4 antennas were supposed to be the 7 m Array, so that this phase correction scheme
(planar-fit) was tested and compared with the WVR phase correction. We estimated residual root-mean-square
(RMS) phases for 17- to 41-m baselines after the planar-fit phase correction, and found that this scheme reduces
the RMS phase to a 70 – 90 % level. The planar-fit phase correction was proved to be promising for ACA, and
how high or low PWV this scheme effectively works in ACA is an important item to be clarified.
The ALMA aperture synthesis radio telescope is under construction in northern Chile. This paper presents the
organization and process of ALMA System Verification. The purpose of System Verification is to measure the
performance of the integrated instrument with respect to the ALMA System Technical Requirements. The System
Technical Requirements flow down from the Science Requirements of the telescope and are intended to guide the design
of the array and set the standards for technical performance. The process of System Verification will help determine
how well the ALMA telescope meets its science goals. Some verification results are discussed.
We report the first measurements of 225 GHz atmospheric opacity at Summit Camp (Latitude 72°.57 N; Longitude
38°.46 W; Altitude 3250 m) in Greenland and the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory
(PEARL: Latitude 80°.05 N; Longitude 86°.42 W; Altitude 600 m) in Northern Canada with a tipping radiometer.
Summit Camp and PEARL are research stations mostly interested in meteorology and geophysics, and
they are potentially excellent sites for astronomical observations at sub-millimeter wavelength. We purchased
a tipping radiometer from Radiometer Physics GmbH. After a test run at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii,
the radiometer was deployed to PEARL in February 2011, and relocated to Summit Camp in August 2011. The
atmospheric opacity has been monitored from February 14th to May 10th, 2011 at PEARL and since August
2011 at Summit Camp. The median values of the measured opacity at PEARL ranged from 0.11 in February to 0.19 in May; Summit Camp varied in the range from 0.04 to 0.18 between August 2011 and May 2012. Summit
Camp in Greenland is expected to be an excellent site for sub-millimeter and Terahertz astronomy, and we plan
to set up there a 12-m telescope for VLBI and single-dish observations.
We report the measurement results and compensation of the antenna elevation angle dependences of the Submillimeter
Array (SMA) antenna characteristics. Without optimizing the subreflector (focus) positions as a
function of the antenna elevation angle, antenna beam patterns show lopsided sidelobes, and antenna efficiencies
show degradations. The sidelobe level increases and the antenna efficiencies decrease about 1% and a few %,
respectively, for every 10° change in the elevation angle at the measured frequency of 237 GHz. We therefore
obtained the optimized subreflector positions for X (azimuth), Y (elevation), and Z (radio optics) focus axes at
various elevation angles for all the eight SMA antennas. The X axis position does not depend on the elevation
angle. The Y and Z axes positions depend on the elevation angles, and are well fitted with a simple function for
each axis with including a gravity term (cosine and sine of elevation, respectively). In the optimized subreflector
positions, the antenna beam patterns show low level symmetric sidelobe of at most a few%, and the antenna
efficiencies stay constant at any antenna elevation angles. Using one set of fitted functions for all antennas,
the SMA is now operating with real-time focusing, and showing constant antenna characteristics at any given
We have carried out Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) measurements of the millimeter and submillimeter-wave (150 - 1500 GHz or 2 mm - 200 micrometer) atmospheric opacity at Pampa la Bola, 4800 m above sea level in northern Chile on September 1997 and June 1998. One of the best transmission spectra show up to approximately 67% transmission at well- known submillimeter-wave windows. Supra-terahertz windows (located around 1035 GHz, 1350 GHz, and 1500 GHz) were identified in the same spectrum. The observed spectra can be well modeled by newly developed radiative-transfer calculations. Correlations between 220 GHz opacities and those of the center of submillimeter-wave windows or even those of the supra-terahertz windows are obtained using the entire data set. Good correlations were obtained except for the periods affected by the liquid water opacity component. We succeeded to separate the total opacity in two parts: the water vapor opacity and the liquid water opacity, using two frequencies, one in the millimeter domain and another one in the submillimeter. The separated water vapor opacity component shows good correlation with the 183 GHz pure water vapor line opacity which is also covered in the measured spectra, but the liquid water opacity component shows no correlation. The liquid water opacity component also shows no correlation with the phase fluctuation measured with the 11 GHz radio seeing monitor. Modeling of this component is currently under way. Combined with a statistical study of the 225 GHz opacity data of the Chajnantor site (approximately 7 km apart from Pampa la Bola), it is estimated that submillimeter-wave observations can be done with zenith opacity less than 1.0 (at the most transparent frequency in those windows) for about 50% of the winter season, assuming no presence of liquid water absorption.
The first measurement of submillimeter-wave atmospheric opacity spectra at the Pampa la Bola site (Northern Chile, Atacama 4800 m altitude) has been performed during the winter season using a Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS). Atmospheric emission spectra, as a function of airmass, were measured under various weather conditions. Atmospheric opacity was evaluated from sky temperature at zenith as well as from tipping measurements, which are independent measure but give consistent results. The FTS opacity measurements also show good match with 220 GHz radiometer measurements. Correlations between millimeter-wave and submillimeter-wave opacities get worse when 220 GHz opacity is larger than 0.1. Deviations from the opacity correlation at each frequency show good correlations themselves but have different relative variations at each frequency. This indicates that atmospheric transparency cannot be characterized only by millimeter-wave opacity buy requires simultaneous opacity measurements at millimeter and submillimeter-wavelengths.