Antarctic Astronomy


A movie on the project done with images filmed during the summer campaign 2009/2010

    In Antarctica one site is of great interest for submm astronomy: the French-Italian station Concordia which is at 3300 meters altitude inside the White Continent. A large single-dish telescope or an equivalent interferometer there will have a better angular resolution than Herschel and wider-field mapping capabilities than ALMA.

©pouzenc                                                                                                                              Concordia Station: ©tremblin

In this context, a proper study of the site is needed to caracterise the quality of the possible observations. 

    Site testing for submillimeter observations at Concordia station consists in three phases : studying polar constraints for instruments, determining sky transparency and studying the stability of this transmission. The first part is studied by a series of experiments installed on the station in 2006. Sky transmission is measured by SUMMIT, a submillimeter tipper working at 200 um. Data analysis requires to implement a model for the atmosphere and for the instrument based on diverse assumptions which have to be tested. Because of that, a good calibration of the instrument is needed and was done during the summer campaign at Concordia. The study of the stability of the transmission requires a bollometer camera CAMISTIC soon under construction at CEA. This camera will be assembled on IRAIT telescope, an infrared telescope at Concordia whose construction was started during summer campaign 2008/2009.