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  1. Zmuidzinas, Jonas ; Gao, Jian-Rong (Ed.)
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 31, 2023
  2. We present near-field radio holography measurements of the Simons Observatory Large Aperture Telescope Receiver optics. These measurements demonstrate that radio holography of complex millimeter-wave optical systems comprising cryogenic lenses, filters, and feed horns can provide detailed characterization of wave propagation before deployment. We used the measured amplitude and phase, at 4 K, of the receiver near-field beam pattern to predict two key performance parameters: 1) the amount of scattered light that will spill past the telescope to 300 K and 2) the beam pattern expected from the receiver when fielded on the telescope. These cryogenic measurements informed the removal of a filter, which led to improved optical efficiency and reduced sidelobes at the exit of the receiver. Holography measurements of this system suggest that the spilled power past the telescope mirrors will be less than 1%, and the main beam with its near sidelobes are consistent with the nominal telescope design. This is the first time such parameters have been confirmed in the lab prior to deployment of a new receiver. This approach is broadly applicable to millimeter and submillimeter instruments.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  3. Near-field radio holography is a common method for measuring and aligning mirror surfaces for millimeter and sub-millimeter telescopes. In instruments with more than a single mirror, degeneracies arise in the holography measurement, requiring multiple measurements and new fitting methods. We present HoloSim-ML, a Python code for beam simulation and analysis of radio holography data from complex optical systems. This code uses machine learning to efficiently determine the position of hundreds of mirror adjusters on multiple mirrors with few micrometer accuracy. We apply this approach to the example of the Simons Observatory 6 m telescope.

  4. We present geometrical and physical optics simulation results for the Simons Observatory Large Aperture Telescope. This work was developed as part of the general design process for the telescope, allowing us to evaluate the impact of various design choices on performance metrics and potential systematic effects. The primary goal of the simulations was to evaluate the final design of the reflectors and the cold optics that are now being built. We describe nonsequential ray tracing used to inform the design of the cold optics, including absorbers internal to each optics tube. We discuss ray tracing simulations of the telescope structure that allow us to determine geometries that minimize detector loading and mitigate spurious near-field effects that have not been resolved by the internal baffling. We also describe physical optics simulations, performed over a range of frequencies and field locations, that produce estimates of monochromatic far-field beam patterns, which in turn are used to gauge general optical performance. Finally, we describe simulations that shed light on beam sidelobes from panel gap diffraction.

  5. TolTEC is a new camera being built for the 50-meter Large Millimeter-wave Telescope (LMT) in Puebla, Mexico to survey distant galaxies and star-forming regions in the Milky Way. The optical design simultaneously couples the field of view onto focal planes at 150, 220, and 280 GHz. The optical design and detector properties, as well as a data-driven model of the atmospheric emission of the LMT site, inform the sensitivity model of the integrated instrument. This model is used to optimize the instrument design, and to calculate the mapping speed as an early forecast of the science reach of the instrument.