The Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) is a 23-antenna heterogeneous millimeter array under construction in the White/Inyo Mountains of eastern California. CARMA will merge the existing Owens Valley and Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association arrays into a single instrument focusing on pure research, technology development and student training. A new high-altitude site will enable routine 205-265 GHz observing, and may allow observations in the 345 GHz window. Eight additional 3.5-m antennas from the University of Chicago will also be integrated into CARMA when not imaging the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect towards clusters of galaxies.
At first light, the array will observe at 12, 3 and 1.3 mm using a mix of SIS and MMIC-based receivers. A new, highly flexible correlator incorporating reprogrammable FPGA technology will process configurable subsets of the antennas specified according to the science objectives. Leading-edge water vapor radiometers will be used to correct for atmospheric opacity and signal phase fluctuations. CARMA will be capable of both high resolution and wide-field imaging, covering a range of angular scales unmatched by any current or planned millimeter-wave instrument. The high sensitivity, sub-arcsecond angular resolution and excellent uv-coverage of CARMA will ensure major advances in studies of the universe. The array will provide high-fidelity resolved images of solar-system objects, protostars, protoplanetary disks, and galaxies both nearby and at high redshift - directly addressing many key research areas in astronomy and astrophysics.