Virtual Tour - Submillimeter Experiments

The main submillimeter experiment in CARA is AST/RO, the Antarctic Submillimeter Telescope and Remote Observatory. It is used to survey the Galactic plane, the Galactic center, and the Magellanic Clouds. There are two other submillimeter experiments, both currently being built: the Submillimeter Polarimeter for Antarctic Remote Observing (SPARO), and the South Pole Imaging Fabry-Perot Interferometer (SPIFI). For more technical information about AST/RO and the other submillimeter experiments, as well as pointers to group web pages, please visit our page on the sub-millimeter experiments.

Most of the pictures on this page date from when this tour was originally written in 1995. The first few pictures are more recent than that. We are working on getting more recent images soon.

The AST/RO canopy is being lifted on to the top of the AST/RO building. In the background is the dome.

Xji Le and Tony Stark waving from AST/RO.

SPARO, Giles Novak and student Jen Marshall -- SPARO is a new instrument, commissioned in 1999.

This is the building that houses AST/RO. The South Pole is behind you in this picture.

The telescope was installed at the Pole in the 1994-5 summer season. Richard Chamberlin, the first winter-over for the AST/RO team, poses by the telescope.

This is the AST/RO telescope itself -- the large circular thing is the primary mirror. Behind the telescope, you can see the tent that covers the instrument in bad weather.

In this side view, you can see the truss structure that supports the primary mirror. You can also see that the primary mirror is very thin! In fact, the primary is made of a carbon fiber epoxy, and, with a diameter of 1.7 meters, it weighs only about 40 pounds. (Compare with the rest of the telescope at about 10,000 pounds!)

Like the rest of the telescopes at the Pole, the controls for the instruments are inside where it's warm. Here, Antony Stark, the Principal Investigator for the AST/RO project, sits inside at the controls of the telescope.

The white AST/RO building can be seen in the background here. Far in the distance, you can see the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The cone-shaped object in the foreground is Viper, a microwave telescope that was at the Pole in 1995.

Go back to the map of the Dark Sector.