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 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.
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.
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 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.
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
The Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) monitors carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) globally from space. The Thermal and Near infrared Sensor for Carbon Observation Fourier-Transform Spectrometer (TANSO-FTS) installed on GOSAT measures spectra absorbed by atmospheric minor components including greenhouse gases in infrared wavelength regions. This paper describes the characterization and validation of the CO2 and CH4 profiles retrieved from the thermal infrared (TIR) spectra observed by GOSAT. The retrieved CO2 and CH4 profiles were compared with the corresponding aircraft data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL)/Global Monitoring Division (GMD)/Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases(CCGG) group. This group has conducted an aircraft program since 1992 to collect air samples mainly in North America. Each insitu aircraft profile was compared with those retrieved from TIR spectra without considering the effect of its averaging kernel. The root mean square (RMS) and bias errors of the retrieved CO2 and CH4 profiles were evaluated seasonally and with respect to atmospheric pressure. This comparison with aircraft data provides significant information for further improvement of the TIR retrieval algorithm.
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.
Continuous validation of data observed by satellites, such as Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT), is
important to qualify the long-term trends of greenhouse gases. High-precision data over the restricted region measured
by ground-based high-resolution Fourier transform spectrometers (g-b FTS), airborne in-situ instruments, and flask
sampling devices have been used for the validation of satellite data. As part of CAL/VAL (Calibration/Validation)
activities of the GOSAT, airborne flight campaigns were performed over Tsukuba and Moshiri using the ground-based
FTS, airborne in-situ and flask devices, and 1.57-μm Laser Absorption Sensor (LAS). Airborne flask sampling and insitu
carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors were carried out to obtain vertical profiles of the CO2 mixing ratio while ground-based
FTS and LAS measured solar direct spectra and weighted column-averaged CO2, respectively. Those results were used
to decide a calibration factor of the ground-based FTS and compared with GOSAT products over Tsukuba. We will
report the comparison results of the aircraft campaign measurements and the retrieval value from the FTS.
The first Space-VLBI mission, VSOP, started successfully with the launch of the dedicated space-VLBI satellite HALCA in 1997. The
mission has been in scientific operation in the 1.6 GHz and 5 GHz bands, and studies have been done mainly of the jet phenomena related to active galactic nuclei. Observing at higher frequencies has the advantage of less absorption through the ambient plasma and less
contribution from scattering, and also has the merit of resulting in higher angular resolution observations. A second generation space-VLBI mission, VSOP-2, has been planned by the working group formed at ISAS/JAXA with many collaborators. The spacecraft is planned to observe in the 8, 22 and 43 GHz bands with cooled receivers for the two higher bands, and with a maximum angular resolution at 43 GHz
(7 mm) of about 40 micro-arcseconds. The system design, including the spacecraft and ground facilities, will be introduced, and the impact for sub-mm space-VLBI further into the future will be discussed.
The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) launched the first space VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) satellite, HALCA, in February 1997. After completing a series of engineering experiments to verify space-VLBI observations, the first VLBI fringes and images were obtained in May and in June, respectively. HALCA has now been operated for science observations at 1.6 and 5 GHz for the VSOP (VLBI Space Observatory Programme) project in cooperation with many organizations and radio telescopes around the world. In this paper the current science activities of the mission are reviewed and results presented.