Overview of the Atacama Cosmology telescope: Receiver, instrumentation, and telescope systems

D. S. Swetz, P. A.R. Ade, M. Amiri, J. W. Appel, E. S. Battistelli, B. Burger, J. Chervenak, M. J. Devlin, S. R. Dicker, W. B. Doriese, R. Dünner, T. Essinger-Hileman, R. P. Fisher, J. W. Fowler, M. Halpern, M. Hasselfield, G. C. Hilton, A. D. Hincks, K. D. Irwin, N. JarosikM. Kaul, J. Klein, J. M. Lau, M. Limon, T. A. Marriage, D. Marsden, K. Martocci, P. Mauskopf, H. Moseley, C. B. Netterfield, M. D. Niemack, M. R. Nolta, L. A. Page, L. Parker, S. T. Staggs, O. Stryzak, E. R. Switzer, R. Thornton, C. Tucker, E. Wollack, Y. Zhao

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176 Scopus citations


The Atacama Cosmology Telescope was designed to measure small-scale anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background and detect galaxy clusters through the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect. The instrument is located on Cerro Toco in the Atacama Desert, at an altitude of 5190 m. A 6 m off-axis Gregorian telescope feeds a new type of cryogenic receiver, the Millimeter Bolometer Array Camera. The receiver features three 1000-element arrays of transition-edge sensor bolometers for observations at 148GHz, 218GHz, and 277GHz. Each detector array is fed by free space millimeter-wave optics. Each frequency band has a field of view of approximately 22′ × 26′. The telescope was commissioned in 2007 and has completed its third year of operations. We discuss the major components of the telescope, camera, and related systems, and summarize the instrument performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number41
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • cosmic background radiation
  • cosmology: observations
  • instrumentation: detectors
  • instrumentation: miscellaneous
  • telescopes


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