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M. A. Gordon
Astrophysics and Space Science Library
Recollectors of 'Tucson Operations' - The Millimeter-Wave Observatory of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

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.

Table of contents
  • Foreword.
  • 1: The Early Years.
    1.1 The National Radio Astronomy Observatory. 1.2 A Millimeter-Wave Telescope 1.3 The 36-ft Telescope. 1.4 The Kitt Peak Site.
  • 2: Construction of the Telescope.
    2.1 The Rohr Corporation Design. 2.2 Actual Construction. 2.3 Initial Performance. 2.4 Initial Support for Operations.
  • 3: Radio Lines from Molecules.
    3.1 The Gold Rush. 3.2 Lingering Technical Problems.
  • 4: Dispatched to Tucson.
    4.1 Learning How the NRAO Functioned. 4.2 My Research Interests Moving Toward Tucson. 4.3 The Meeting.
  • 5: Expanding the Tucson Facilities.
    5.1 Physical Environment. 5.2 Relationship to KPNO. 5.3 Finding New Space. 5.4 New Mountain Laboratory. 5.5 New Operators' Dormitory. 5.6 The Sewage Crisis. 5.7 The Fate of Our KPNO Office Space. 5.8 Moving to the University of Arizona. 5.9 New Astronomer Dormitories on Kitt Peak.
  • 6: Providing Adequate Electricity.
    6.1 External Power. 6.2 Papago Tribal Utility. 6.3 Ground Currents.
  • 7: Lightning and Kitt Peak.
  • 8: Software.
    8.1 The First Version. 8.2 Implementation of Green Bank Software. 8.3 FORTH. 8.4 The VAX Years. 8.5 Moving to Unix. 8.6 Off-Line Data Reduction. 8.6.1 Spectroscopy. 8.6.2 Continuum Mapping.
  • 9: Millimeter-Wave Electronics.
    9.1 Local Oscillators. 9.2 Quasi-Optical Techniques. 9.3 Receivers. 9.4 Failures. 9.4.1 Millimeter-Wave Parametric Amplifier. 9.4.2 Millimeter-Wave Bolometer. 9.4.3 The Hybrid spectrometer.
  • 10: Quantifying mm-Wave Astronomy.
  • 11: Scheduling.
    11.1 The Initial Schedulers. 11.2 Local Control. 11.3 Paranoia and the Law of the Jungle.
  • 12: Improving Telescope Performance.
    12.1 "Foiling" the 36-ft Telescope. 12.2 The Teepee.
  • 13: The 25-m Telescope.
    13.1 What Should We Build? 13.2 Where Should We Build It? 13.3 Preparing the Formal Proposal. 13.4 Negotiating for a Mauna Kea Site. 13.5 The Funding Process. 13.6 A New 12-m Surface for the 36-ft Telescope.
  • 14: Odds and Ends.
    14.1 NSF Reorganization. 14.2 Barry Goldwater's Visit. 14.3 The Chinese Visit. 14.4 AUI Board Meetings in Tucson. 14.5 Changing NRAO Directors.
  • 15: The MMA and ALMA.
    15.1 The Millimeter-Wave Array. 15.2 ALMA.
  • 16: The Twilight Years.
    16.1 Closing the 12-m Telescope - Part 1. 16.2 Closing the 12-m Telescope - Part 2. 16.3 Closing of the NRAO's "Tucson Operations".
  • A: Time Line.
  • B: List of Tucson Employees.
  • C: Glossary.

Kluwer Academic Publishing, 2005, 214 S.
123,05 Euro
ISBN: 978-1-4020-3235-6

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