PWV, temperature and wind statistics at sites suitable for mm and sub-mm wavelengths astronomy
De Breuck, Carlos;
Pérez-Beaupuits, Juan P.
Atmospheric water vapor is the main limiting factor of atmospheric transparency in the mm and sub-mm wavelength spectral windows. Thus, dry sites are needed for the installation and successful operation of radio astronomy observatories exploiting those spectral windows. Other parameters that play an important role in the mechanical response of radio telescopes exposed to the environmental conditions are: temperature, and in particular temperature gradients that induce thermal deformation of mechanical structures, as well as wind magnitude that induce pointing jitter affecting this way the required accuracy in the ability to point to a cosmic source during the observations. Temperature and wind are variables of special consideration when planning the installation and operations of large aperture radio telescopes. This work summarizes the statistics of precipitable water vapor (PWV), temperature and wind monitored at sites by the costal mountain range, as well as on t he west slope of the Andes mountain range in the region of Antofagasta, Chile. This information could prove useful for the planning of the Atacama Large-Aperture Submm/mm Telescope (AtLast).