Observatory MKID CCAT
Public Site: http://www.cso.caltech.edu/bolocam Private Site: http://bolocam.caltech.edu
camera constructed for
cosmology for the Leighton Telescope at the Caltech Submillimeter
Observatory. It is a large-format bolometric camera for
observations between 1.1 and 2.1 millimeter wavelengths, utilizing
a total of 144 Bolometers. Bolocam is a collaboration between the
California Institute of Technology (Observational
Cosmology ), the University of Colorado in
Boulder, the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), the
Large Millimeter Telescope project, and Cardiff University.
Observations at 1.1 mm are
sensitive to thermal emission from dust grains in regions of star
formation, both in the Milky Way and in distant galaxies. In
collaboration with the Spitzer Legacy Cores-to-Disks team we are
surveying the Perseus, Serpens, and Rho Ophiuchus molecular clouds to
measure the dust emission in the vicinities of protostars and young
stars. When combined with the Spitzer far-infrared data, the
Bolocam observations will enable the temperatures of the dust to be
measured and the total gas mass heated by the stars to be estimated.
We are also using 1.1 mm Bolocam observations to detect
submillimeter galaxies, which are high redshift (z>1) galaxies with
extreme luminosities (>10^13 solar luminosities) and star formation
rates (~10^3 solar masses per year).
2.1 mm observations are sensitive
to secondary anisotropies in the 2.73 K cosmic microwave background
Bolocam is fully commissioned and observing proposals are being accepted by the CSO (see http://www.cso.caltech.edu/bolocam for procedures and policies).
This is the Bolocam instrument mounted with the cryogenic housing. Here it is seen with the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. Click to enlarge.
Click to Enlarge
Here is the array of the 144 silicon nitride micromesh bolometers that make up Bolocam. Each of these are spider web bolometers 5mm in diameter. The silicon wafer is 300 microns thick. These are described in Infrared Bolometers with Silicon Nitride Micromesh Absorbers (Bock et al., 1996, ESLAB Symp. Proc., and references therein).
The Feedhorn is used to concentrate radiation to each of the bolometers.
Pictured is the 2.1 mm hornplate.