AuthorGroppi, Christopher Emil
KeywordsPhysics, Astronomy and Astrophysics.
AdvisorWalker, Christopher K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe sub-mm wave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is on the frontier of both scientific and technical research in astrophysics. Being a relatively young field, scientific advancement is driven by advancements in detector technology. In this thesis, I discuss the design, construction, testing and deployment of two sub-mm wave heterodyne array receivers. Polestar is a 4 pixel (2 x 2) heterodyne array built for operation in the 810 GHz atmospheric window. It is in operation at the AST/RO telescope at the South Pole. This receiver has increased imaging speed in this band at AST/RO by a factor of ∼20 compared to previous receiver systems. DesertStar is a 7 pixel, hexagonally close packed heterodyne array receiver built to operate in the 345 GHz atmospheric window at the Heinrich Hertz Telescope in Arizona. This system will be a facility instrument at the telescope, and will increase mapping speed over the existing dual polarization single beam receiver at the telescope now by a factor of ∼16. Both these receiver systems enable scientific projects requiring large area imaging that were previously impossible. I also discuss two scientific applications of sub-mm wave receiver systems. We have used multiple telescopes to observe several mm, sub-mm transitions and continuum emission towards the R CrA molecular cloud core. Originally thought to be associated with high mass star formation, we find that the driving source behind the mm-wave emission is a low mass protostar. The close proximity of R CrA allows us to achieve high spatial resolution even with single dish mm-wave and sub-mm wave telescopes. With this resolution, we are able to disentangle the effects of infall, rotation and outflow motions. We also use vibrationally excited HCN emission to probe the protostellar accretion disk in a sample of nearby high and low mass protostars of varying ages. While these observations are difficult with single dish telescopes, we show the promise of the technique, and report results on 4 sources.
Degree ProgramGraduate College