Astro Seminar: "The Large Millimeter Telescope: Current Status and Early Science Observations"

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 14:00 - 16:00
David Hughes (Large Millimeter Telescope)

The Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) Alfonso Serrano is a bi-national

(Mexico & USA) telescope facility operated by the Instituto Nacional
de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE) and the University of
Massachusetts. The LMT is designed as a 50-m diameter single-dish
millimeter-wavelength telescope that is optimized to conduct
scientific observations at frequencies between 70 and 345 GHz.
The LMT is constructed on the summit of Sierra Negra at an altitude
of 4600m in the Mexican state of Puebla. Following first-light
observations in mid-2011, the LMT project began regular scientific
operations (including VLBI) with shared-risk Early Science observing
program in 2014, using the inner 32-m diameter of the primary
reflector with an active surface control system. The complete 50-m
diameter reflector surface is constructed from 180 individual surface
segments, each of which contains 8 high-precision electro-formed
nickel panels with a rhodium coating fabricated by Media Lario
Technologies. The remaining surface panels, to increase the current
primary reflector diameter from 32-m to the full 50-m, are scheduled
for delivery to the LMT before the end of 2015. I will briefly
describe the current status of the telescope project, the
instrumentation program and the development plan to improve the
performance of the telescope systems, as well as the on-going
transition towards the formation of the LMT Observatory to support
the scientific community. The recently commissioned LMT has unique
capabilities, compared to existing smaller single-dish
(sub-)millimeter-wavelength telescopes, that will enable the study of
the formation and evolution of structure at all cosmic epochs. In
this context I will summarize the scientific synergies of
the LMT derived from observations conducted with a large single-dish
millimeter-wavelength telescope, and those from the current and
future generations of major new multi-wavelength facilities that will
begin scientific operations in the coming decades, including ALMA,
JWST, SPICA, large optical telescopes (e.g. TMT, GMT, E-ELT) and SKA
amongst others. 

David Rittenhouse Laboratory A6