Recollections of Tucson Operations The Millimeter-Wave Observatory of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

ISBN-10: 1402032358

ISBN-13: 9781402032356

Edition: 2005

Authors: M. A. Gordon

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Description:

This book is a personal account of the evolution of millimeter-wave astronomy at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. It begins with the construction of the hugely successful, but flawed, 36 ft radio telescope on Kitt Peak, Arizona, and continues through the funding of its ultimate successor, the Atacama Large Millimeter-wave Array (ALMA), being constructed on a 5.000 m (16.500 ft) site in northern Chile. The book describes the behind-the-scenes activities of the NRAO Tucson staff. These include the identification and solution of technical problems, the scheduling and support of visiting astronomers, and the preparations and the politics of the proposal to replace the 36 ft telescope with a 25 m telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The book also describes the installation of a new 12 m surface and the involvement of the Tucson staff in the ALMA project. Finally, it recounts events leading to the closing of the 36 ft telescope and, eventually, of the NRAO offices in Tucson.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Springer
Publication date: 1/14/2005
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 221
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Foreword
The Early Years
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory
A Millimeter-Wave Telescope
The 36-ft Telescope
The Kitt Peak Site
Construction of the Telescope
The Rohr Corporation Design
Actual Construction
Initial Performance
Initial Support for Operations
Radio Lines from Molecules
The Gold Rush
Lingering Technical Problems
Dispatched to Tucson
Learning How the NRAO Functioned
My Research Interests Moving Toward Tucson
The Meeting
Expanding the Tucson Facilities
Physical Environment
Relationship to KPNO
Finding New Space
New Mountain Laboratory
New Operators' Dormitory
The Sewage Crisis
The Fate of Our KPNO Office Space
Moving to the University of Arizona
New Astronomer Dormitories on Kitt Peak
Providing Adequate Electricity
External Power
Papago Tribal Utility
Ground Currents
Lightning and Kitt Peak
Software
The First Version
Implementation of Green Bank Software
FORTH
The VAX Years
Moving to Unix
Off-Line Data Reduction
Spectroscopy
Continuum Mapping
Millimeter-Wave Electronics
Local Oscillators
Quasi-Optical Techniques
Receivers
Failures
Millimeter-Wave Parametric Amplifier
Millimeter-Wave Bolometer
The Hybrid spectrometer
Quantifying mm-Wave Astronomy
Scheduling
The Initial Schedulers
Local Control
Paranoia and the Law of the Jungle
Improving Telescope Performance
"Foiling" the 36-ft Telescope
The Teepee
The 25-m Telescope
What Should We Build?
Where Should We Build It?
Preparing the Formal Proposal
Negotiating for a Mauna Kea Site
The Funding Process
A New 12-m Surface for the 36-ft Telescope
Odds and Ends
NSF Reorganization
Barry Goldwater's Visit
The Chinese Visit
AUI Board Meetings in Tucson
Changing NRAO Directors
The MMA and ALMA
The Millimeter-Wave Array
ALMA
The Twilight Years
Closing the 12-m Telescope---Part 1
Closing the 12-m Telescope---Part 2
Closing of the NRAO's "Tucson Operations"
Time Line
List of Tucson Employees
Glossary
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