The Greenland Telescope (GLT): Antenna status and future plans

Philippe Raffin*, Juan Carlos Algaba-Marcosa, Keiichi Asada, Raymond Blundell, Roberto Burgos, Chih Cheng Chang, Ming Tang Chen, Robert Christensen, Paul K. Grimes, C. C. Han, Paul T.P. Ho, Yau De Huang, Makoto Inoue, Patrick M. Koch, Derek Kubo, Steve Leiker, Ching Tang Liu, Pierre Martin-Cocher, Satoki Matsushita, Masanori NakamuraHiroaki Nishioka, George Nystrom, Scott N. Paine, Nimesh A. Patel, Nicolas Pradel, Hung Yi Pu, H. Y. Shen, William Snow, Tirupati K. Sridharan, Ranjani Srinivasan, Edward Tong, Jackie Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Citations (Scopus)


The ALMA North America Prototype Antenna was awarded to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in 2011. SAO and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA), SAO's main partner for this project, are working jointly to relocate the antenna to Greenland to carry out millimeter and submillimeter VLBI observations. This paper presents the work carried out on upgrading the antenna to enable operation in the Arctic climate by the GLT Team to make this challenging project possible, with an emphasis on the unexpected telescope components that had to be either redesigned or changed. Five-years of inactivity, with the antenna laying idle in the desert of New Mexico, coupled with the extreme weather conditions of the selected site in Greenland have it necessary to significantly refurbish the antenna. We found that many components did need to be replaced, such as the antenna support cone, the azimuth bearing, the carbon fiber quadrupod, the hexapod, the HVAC, the tiltmeters, the antenna electronic enclosures housing servo and other drive components, and the cables. We selected Vertex, the original antenna manufacturer, for the main design work, which is in progress. The next coming months will see the major antenna components and subsystems shipped to a site of the US East Coast for test-fitting the major antenna components, which have been retrofitted. The following step will be to ship the components to Greenland to carry out VLBI and single dish observations. Antenna reassembly at Summit Station should take place during the summer of 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes V
EditorsHelen J. Hall, Larry M. Stepp, Roberto Gilmozzi
ISBN (Electronic)9780819496133
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes V - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 2014 Jun 222014 Jun 27

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes V


  • Greenland
  • VLBI
  • antenna retrofit
  • carbon fiber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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