The Atacama Large Millimeter Array by NRC

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3) Precise Imaging. , the time/frequency domain plane in which the data are sampled) is required. Detailed studies of the imaging performance of aperture synthesis arrays have shown that the requisite imaging performance implies a minimum number of antennas, 40 or above, and accurate measurements of the shortest baselines, as well as of the large scale emission measured by total power from the antennas. Such accurate measurements can only be obtained with high quality antennas, with superior pointing precision.

All rights reserved. html 30 The Atacama Large Millimeter Array 1) High-redshift Galaxy Detection: The sensitivity of an array is primarily controlled by three major factors: total collecting area, the noise performance of the receivers, and atmospheric transparency and phase stability. The detection requirement for high-redshift galaxies therefore has a direct impact on ALMA’s collecting area, polarization and frequency requirements, and site. Contemporary millimeter arrays have collecting areas between 500 and 1000 m2 and can detect CO emission from the brightest high-redshift galaxies (which are amplified by gravitational lensing) in one to two days of observations; signals from normal, unlensed objects will be typically 20-30 times fainter.

The detection requirement for high-redshift galaxies therefore has a direct impact on ALMA’s collecting area, polarization and frequency requirements, and site. Contemporary millimeter arrays have collecting areas between 500 and 1000 m2 and can detect CO emission from the brightest high-redshift galaxies (which are amplified by gravitational lensing) in one to two days of observations; signals from normal, unlensed objects will be typically 20-30 times fainter. Current millimeter-wave receiver technology has approached fundamental quantum limits, and the noise level of ALMA’s detectors cannot be reduced beyond this point by much more than a factor of 2; an important additional factor of √2 in sensitivity is gained by requiring that ALMA support front-end instrumentation capable of measuring both states of polarization.

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