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Abstract Detail

13 January, 2006 - 4:25 PM

Zpectrometer: An Ultra-wideband Spectrometer for the Green Bank Telescope

A. I. Harris(1), A. J. Baker(2,1), P. R. Jewell(2), and K. P. Rauch(1), S. G. Zonak(1), K. O'Neil(2), A. L. Shelton(2), R. D. Norrod(2), J. Ray(2), G. Watts(2) [(1) University of Maryland (2) National Radio Astronomy Observatory]

We discuss astronomical and technical aspects of the Zpectrometer, an ultra-wideband radio spectrometer now under construction for the 100 meter diameter Green Bank Telescope. The Zpectrometer covers the entire Ka-band (26 to 40 GHz) with a set of analog lag cross-correlation spectrometers in a multi-channel correlation radiometer architecture. The instrument is optimized for observations of low to moderately excited carbon monoxide molecules in the lowest energy rotational transitions. With a 14 GHz bandwidth at a center frequency of 33 GHz the Zpectrometer has an unprecedented 42 percent fractional bandwidth, corresponding to redshifts of 1.88 < z < 3.43 in the carbon monoxide J=1-0 transition and 4.76 < z < 7.87 in the J=2-1 line. Probing cool as well as warm molecular material at redshifts near z = 2.5 is essential for constraining the physical conditions in young galaxies in the era when most of the stars in the Universe formed and galaxies assembled. The Zpectrometer's bandwidth, coupled with the Green Bank Telescope's sensitive receiver and enormous area, makes the Zpectrometer ideal for blind line searches in targets at positions identified at submillimeter, infrared, and other wavelengths. Its spectral resolution of approximately 150 km/s is sufficient for velocity-resolved spectroscopy to find dynamical masses and test for interactions in the target galaxies.


Conference Photo by Jim Condon - Click to enlarge