CCAT-p (speak "see-cat-prime") is a 6-m aperture submillimeter (submm) to millimeter (mm) wave telescope under construction at 5600 m elevation near the summit of Cerro Chajnantor in northern Chile.  CCAT-p is being built by Vertex Antennentechnik GmbH in Duisburg and is expected to be operational by mid 2021.

Together with the Cologne group of Prof. Jürgen Stutzki and the group of Prof. Eiichiro Komatsu from the MPA in Garcing, we are ~25% partner in  CCAT-p. Other partners are Cornell University (~70% share), and a consortium of Canadian universities.  For more information, please the CCAT-p webpage

Telescope and Science

The telescope optics are based on the off-axis crossed-Dragone design, which yields an extraordinarily wide field of view (FoV) for astrophysical applications. CCAT-p will have a very high surface accuracy and a telescope emissivity less than one percent, which provides excellent surface brightness sensitivity in the 0.2 to 2 mm wavelength atmospheric windows. With its wide FoV, CCAT-p will have unrivaled mapping speed, enabling novel science: 

  • Through intensity mapping over tens of square degrees in spectral lines such as the redshifted 158 micron [CII] line, CCAT-p will reveal the formation, growth, and 3-D large-scale clustering properties of the first star forming galaxies from redshift 9.3 (in the epoch of reionization) to 3.3 (near the epoch of peak star formation), and those at lower redshifts in CO rotational lines. 
  • Through multi-frequency measurements in the 100 to 860 GHz band of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect for more than 1000 galaxy clusters, CCAT-p will measure the physical properties and spatial distribution of such clusters, placing constraints on fundamental physics, including the nature of dark energy and the sum of the neutrino masses, and revealing the effects of active galactic nuclei-star formation feedback in clusters.
  • Through the multi-frequency characterization of the foreground dust polarization, CCAT-p will greatly improve constraints on primordial gravitational waves and inflationary models obtained through CMB polarization measurements.
  • Through multi-frequency photometric measurements of dusty sources of emission, CCAT-p will trace the history of dusty star formation deep into the early epoch of galaxy formation. 
  • Through high frequency, spectrally resolved [CI] and CO line mapping, CCAT-p will reveal the physical processes associated with star formation in various environments in the Milky Way, the Magellanic Clouds, and other nearby galaxies. We will also detect the flickering light of accretion disks enveloping protostellar envelopes through changes in their submm continuum brightness.