The atmosphere above Mauna Kea at mid-infrared wavelengths

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Chapman, Ian Myles
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2002
The performance of astronomical interferometer arrays operating at (sub) millimeter wave-lengths is seriously compromised by rapid variations of atmospheric water vapour content that distort the phase coherence of incoming celestial signals. Unless corrected, these phase distortions, which vary rapidly with time and from antenna to antenna, seriously compromise the sensitivity and image quality of these arrays. Building on the success of a prototype infrared radiometer for millimeter astronomy (IRMA I), which was ued to measure atmospheric water vapour column abundance, this thesis presents results from a second generation radiometer (IRMA II) operating at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii from December, 2000 to March, 2001. These results include comparisons with other measures of water vapour abundance available on the summit of Mauna Kea and a comparison with a theorteical curve-of-growth calculated from a new radiative transfer model, ULTRAM, developed specifically for the purpose. Plans for a third generation radiometer (IRMA III) are also be discussed.
xii, 143 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Radio interferometers , Antenna arrays , Water vapor, Atmospheric -- Hawaii -- Mauna Kea , Radio wave propagation , Dissertations, Academic