Submillimeter APEX Bolometer Camera
Bolometer Development Group
Millimeter & Submillimeter Astronomy Group
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR)
Welcome to the official SABOCA website
SABOCA ( Submillimeter APEX Bolometer Camera)
is a multi-beam bolometric receiver developed by
the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR) of Bonn
SABOCA is a superconducting (TES) bolometer camera
installed on the APEX telescope
for operation in the 350 micron atmospheric window
SABOCA has been commissioned in 2009 as facility instrument on APEX.
See article on the ESO Messenger 139, G. Siringo et al. "A New Facility Receiver on APEX: The Submillimetre APEX Bolometer Camera, SABOCA"
March 10, 2009: SABOCA on sky!
Finally a weather improvement: yesterday night the pwv went down to 1 mm and
we could do observations with SABOCA, for the first time during this telescope run.
We started the full system, SQUIDs and MUX electronics, frontend, backend and
bridge computers; we loaded in APECS some default settings from last run in
November 2008 and we did a first pointing scan on Saturn.
In spite of Murphy's law, everything worked smoothly since the first moment:
after 1 minute we had our map of Saturn on the screen and we could apply the
first pointing corrections. Although the new installation of the receiver and the new
optical alignment, we were only 5" off in azimuth and 17" off in elevation.
We went on observing non-stop until the morning, the weather constantly
improving and not even one single technical problem.
Unfortunately Saturn is the only planet available these days, with its irregular
shape and an apparent diameter of 20" (that is quite large compared to the
SABOCA beam of ~8") is not the best calibration source.
Now reducing the new data, some technical (point and focus
settings, calibration factor, array parameters) but also several maps,
among others the minor planet Ceres, the satellite of Saturn Titan,
the galaxy Centaurus A.
March 3, 2009
SABOCA is now installed inside the Cassegrain cabin of APEX.
The optical alignment is in progress, it should not require more
than one day.
If the Bolivian Winter allows us, we could have the first data
on sky already tomorrow (check the weather at APEX).
March 2, 2009
SABOCA is cold again and ready to be installed.
The first tests in a lab container at APEX show that we have 38/39 bolometers!
The one-and-only broken one is one of the two "blind" bolometers, therefore
we will have 37/37 bolometers on sky (100% yield)!
February - March 2009: Commissioning
The bolometer array of SABOCA is going to be replaced with a more performing one. After that and some other minor technical work, the receiver will go through a technical verification phase.
We are planning to have SABOCA commissioned as facility instrument at APEX already at the beginning of March 2009.
More to come soon, stay tuned!
October 6, 2008: SABOCA had first light
We went on sky with SABOCA and we observed continuously for more than 10 hours under excellent atmospheric conditions: the water vapour content was between 0.2 and 0.3 mm !
SABOCA has exceeded our expectations:
we measured an instrumental sensitivity of 170--250 mJy sqrt(s).
Calibration is excellent. We have 5% rms on Uranus down to 3 airmasses.
The bolometers have clean, flat noise spectra without any notable features.
We will continue commissioning and begin science verification during the next nights.
More results to come, in the meantime enjoy our quick map of the Orion OMC-1 region, which we obtained in about 1.5 hours of integration time.
Orion OMC-1 at 350 micron, observed with SABOCA in 1.5 hours
(contours are 0.5, 3, 10, 30, 100, and 300 Jy levels)
|web: gsiringo (at) mpifr-bonn.mpg.de||last edit: G. Siringo, MPIfR - February 2009|