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News from the 30-m telescope

Experience with the new receivers and the refurbished receiver cabin

After the big refurbishment of the 30m receiver cabin in September/October 1998 (see Newsletter No. 37), first operational experience has been gained during the past months. The new receivers (now called A100, A230, B100, and B230 according to the dewar and band center frequency) are a clear improvement of the observational possibilities. For parameters like receiver temperature, sideband rejection etc. we refer to the call for porposals in this issue of the Newsletter.

The relative alignment of the different receivers (which has sometimes been a problem in the past) is stable and within 2''. A major improvement is also the fully remote tuning (from the control room) and the reduced tuning time. It is well possible to tune 4 receivers within 10 minutes.

At present, four new receivers (plus the ''old'' 2mm receiver) are installed. Four more receivers, two for the 2 mm band (named C150 and D150) and two for the high 1.3 mm band (called (C270 and D270) are under construction and will be installed probably in summer or autumn 1999. News updates will be published in this Newsletter and/or in the IRAM web pages.

Remote observing from IRAM Grenoble and Granada

Further technical tests and some shorter projects have been carried out using remote observing from IRAM Grenoble. This mode of observing works well, in particular for shorter and uncomplicated projects, and is now open for use both from the Granada and Grenoble offices by experienced 30m observers. If interested, please contact either W. Wild ( or C. Thum ( in order to discuss the suitability of a specific program and arrange for an introduction.

Winter transport to the telescope

The old ratrack has been replaced by a newer model with a modern cabin (and good heating !). Because of the rather limited amount of snow and space for both skiiers and the ratrack (basically sharing some slopes) and the associated risk of accidents, IRAM has been urged by the skiing company CETURSA to limit the transports to the absolutely necessary minimum. This means that special transports (e.g. on weekends or at a special hour) will not be possible for the time being. Visitors to the 30m telescope will be informed should some of the previous flexibility be regained. For the moment observers are requested to arrange their travel to Granada and the telescope in a way that allows to take one of the scheduled transports (see table). Please note that on Thursdays the transport may already leave at 7:00 instead of 10:00 (inquire beforehand).


Departure from Departure from
Granada Office the Telescope
Monday 08:15 10:45
Tueday 08:15 10:45 and 16:15
Wednesady No transport No transport
Thursday 7:00 or 10:00 tex2html_wrap_inline2177 16:15
Friday 08:15 10:45 and 16:15
Table: Transport to the 30m Telescope: Winter 1999 schedule (subject to modification on short notice due to operational reasons)

tex2html_wrap_inline2177 depending on operational constraints by the skiing company, consult IRAM Granada (Javier Lobato).

Wolfgang Wild

Airline tickets for travels from Paris to the 30-m telescope

We would like to remind those of you living in the Paris area that IRAM has an account in a Parisian travel agency. Those entitled to reimbursement by IRAM of their travels to the 30-m telescope are asked to buy their tickets at this agency. This would minimize our paperwork. Please contact Mrs. G. Marcoux for details (

Thanks for your comprehension.

G. Marcoux

Future control system for the 30-m Telescope

We are working on plans for a new control system for the 30-m telescope.

In the near future many hardware components of the control system for the 30-m telescope will be replaced by more modern equipment. We take this as an occasion to consider very broadly the desired features of a new system including:

1) observing modes and telescope control, as well as
2) data acquisition, processing, and archiving;
while maintaining the many successful features of the current system.

Our goals are to:

a) improve current observing modes in terms of flexibility, convenience, and data quality;
b) design and implement new observing modes,
c) optimize observing modes for mm-wavelength observations with a large single-dish telescope;
d) improve the efficiency of the telescope;
e) prepare the system for foreseeable new hardware.

We expect that there will be a "core" of high priority features which will form essential parts of the new system. At this time it appears likely that this core will include:

1) observations with focal-plane arrays, including bolometers and heterodyne receiver arrays;
2) observing modes using the full parameter space of the "wobbler", e.g., scanning with the wobbler;
3) continuous data taking, e.g., fast on-the-fly observations, which can be combined with other observing modes and options, like frequency switching and wobbler switching;
4) remote observing, service observing, and flexibility of observing and scheduling.

Linked to these core features is a need to:

a) foresee very large data rates;
b) optimize the standard observing modes and make them easy to use;
3) automate where possible.

All users of the 30-m telescope are invited to critically follow our discussions and plans as they evolve, and to let us have their comments and suggestions.

More information and regular updates can be found on new WWW pages for this project; the main page is:

Hans Ungerechts,

next up previous
Next: News from the interferometer Up: IRAM Newsletter 38 (January Previous: Introductory review: Receivers