The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) is currently the world’s most sensitive telescope operating at 0.3 to 3 mm (and will soon be extended to 10 mm). However, as an interferometer, its mapping speed for large areas is limited, while the largest angular scales it can access are limited to roughly an arcminute at 3 mm. This limit is even more stringent at shorter wavelengths. Further, existing submm/mm single dish facilities are not expected to remain competitive beyond 2030.1
We have therefore begun a two-year effort concerning the scientific merit for – and technical implementation of – an Atacama Large Aperture Submm/mm Telescope (AtLAST). We now invite to community to join in establishing working groups on science and technology aspects of AtLAST, and are holding a 3-day workshop at ESO Headquarters in Garching on January 17-19, 2018. The science and technology working groups will conclude the study in early 2019 with a public report including scientific and technical considerations for a large submm/mm telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. The workshop will be a crucial forum to collect insights and feedback, and commit to a single vision for producing a single dish facility.
The science case, role and prospects for a large single dish submm/mm telescope will also be discussed in the context of existing and planned major single dish (sub)mm observatories. As an outcome of the workshop, our study will collect and critically review the existing science cases, identify possible technical designs and their instrument / development options, assess operational and technological ties with ALMA and explore science synergies with both ALMA and future survey missions at other wavelengths, such as Athena, the ELT, Subaru, eROSITA, the ngVLA, the Origins Space Telescope (OST), SPICA, and the SKA to name a few. One possible synergy for ALMA, in particular, is to use this facility in long baseline campaigns. Roughly half of the workshop will be dedicated for discussion and planning of study reports.
If you are interested helping build the AtLAST science and technical cases, please contact AtLAST@eso.org and the head of the respective working group (WG) to which you would like to contribute. The WG directors are Pamela Klaassen / Jim Geach (science), Tony Mroczkowski / Omid Noroozian (instrumentation), Carlos De Breuck (site), Remo Tilanus (operations), and Peter Hargrave (telescope design).
The workshop will take place at the ESO Headquarters in Garching (Germany) January 17-19, 2018, and is supported and coordinated by ESO, the University of Bonn, and RadioNet. This event has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730562 [RadioNet].