New Directions for Millimeter Astronomy in the 21st Century
To advance beyond the impressive achievements of the current generation of mm and sub-mm elescopes, an obvious step for astrophysics in the 21st century is construction of an array with ten times the collecting area of existing mm telescopes. This means ~ 10000 m2, equivalent to the collecting area of the Effelsberg 100 m telescope or the VLA, but available at mm wavelengths. Such an array could reach an angular resolution of 0.1″ at a wavelength of 2.6 mm and would revolutionize many areas of astronomy. It would make a major contribution to studies of the early universe and the epoch of galaxy formation. The array would consist of forty to ninety 15 m dishes, or their equivalent, and requires 10 × 10 km of flat terrain above 2000 m in a dry climate. Investment and running costs would be about those of the ESO VLT and we expect the user community to be as large. The array should be run by an independent, dedicated institute with its own budget and personnel.
Key wordsMillimeter astronomy
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