Towards Large Submillimetre Dishes: Science Drivers and Technical Challenges

20-22 October 2004

Royal Observatory Edinburgh


The submillimetre passband has featured prominently in many of the most important astronomical advances of recent years, from the resolution of the far-infrared/submm background into obscured starbursts at high redshift to the mapping of dusty debris disks which are the precursors of planetary systems like our own. It is time now to consider the science drivers for the next generation of submillimetre instrumentation, and the technical challenges which will be faced in building them, so that the UK and European communities remain at the forefront of this exciting area of astronomy.

The UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) and the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Astronomy (IfA), which share the Blackford Hill site of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh (ROE), have chosen this as the topic for the 2004 ROE Autumn Workshop. This three-day workshop will bring together scientists and engineers prominent in submm astronomy to define the scientific and technical requirements for new submm facilities, capable of answering the next generation of questions about the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars and planets, and, in particular, to debate the case for a Large Submillimetre Dish (as outlined in the SPIE paper by Holland et al.)

Workshop Details

Registration for this workshop has now closed. The list of registered attendees is available here

The Workshop will start at 11.30am on Wednesday 20th October and end at around midday on Friday 22nd October.

A Public Lecture by Prof. Malcolm Longair FRS will be held on the evening of October 20th at Edinburgh City Chambers, entitled: "The Astrophysics and Cosmology of the 21st Century - the Scottish Perspective".

A drinks reception, hosted by Edinburgh City Council, will be held in the City Chambers before the lecture, from 6.15pm. It is open to all conference speakers and those who have already indicated in registration their intention to go to the Public Lecture.

The Workshop Dinner, heavily subsidised, will take place at 7.30pm on the evening of October 21st at Howie's Restaurant in Waterloo Place, which is a short walk from the Apex International hotel.

Instructions for Attendees

The Royal Observatory Edinburgh, is located on Blackford Hill to the south of the city centre, a UKP 10-15 taxi ride from Edinburgh airport or Waverley train station. Directions for getting to ROE by car or bus can be found on our website at

Anyone still without accommodation should e-mail Laura Miller( yesterday!

Those speakers employing Powerpoint should aim to provide their ppt files at the registration desk, or a day prior to their slot. Memory sticks will be on hand to facilitate this. A PC and Mac loaded with the latest version of Powerpoint will be available, and a big stick to point with.

A small number of terminals will be available for internet connections.

Coaches will be provided for transportation from ROE to the Public Lecture at the Edinburgh City Chambers at 5:55pm on Wed 20th Oct; to the ROE from the Apex International Hotel (8:30am) and back again (6pm) on Thurs 21st Oct; from the Apex International Hotel to ROE at 8:30am on Fri 22nd Oct.

Local hostelries abound in the Grassmarket near the Apex hotel. Old Men's Pubs are an Edinburgh speciality, but there are some pretty cool bars if you look hard enough.

Workshop Programme

Most speakers will have 20 mins, which should make for no end of fun, and there will be time set aside for discussion every hour or so.

Day 1 (11.30am): Technology Requirements for an LSD
[Chaired by Adrian Russell]

9.00+ REGISTRATION and coffee available in the ROE Rooftop Gallery
11.30 TES detectors (Phil Mauskopf, Cardiff)
11.50 SQUID multiplexers (Bill Duncan, NIST, USA)
12.10 SCUBA-2 detector fabrication (Anthony Walton, Edinburgh)
13.10 LUNCH
14.10 Kinetic Inductance Detectors (KIDs) (Stafford Withington, Cambridge)
14.30 Heterodyne instrumentation (Wolfgang Wild, SRON, Netherlands)
14.50 Read-out electronics (Mark Halpern, UBC, Canada)
15.10 DISCUSSION and coffee
16.10 Software and computing challenges (TBD)
16.30 Antenna design (Richard Hills, Cambridge)
16.50 Atmospheric effects in the submm: recent developments (Juan Pardo, IEM, Spain)
17.55 Coach leaves for Edinburgh Council Chambers
19.00 Public Lecture by Prof. Malcolm Longair FRS
20.00 Retire to local hostelry

Day 2 (am): Symbiosis with Planned Submm Facilities
[Chaired by Matt Griffin]

08.30 Coach leaves Apex hotel bound for ROE
09.00 Anticipated capabilities of ALMA (John Richer, Cambridge)
09.20 Far-IR and submm science from Dome C, Antarctica (Luca Olmi, Arcetri, Italy)
09.40 Science with BLAST and ACT (Mark Halpern, UBC, Canada)
10.00 DISCUSSION and coffee
10.40 Science with the Large Millimeter Telescope Observatory (David Hughes, INOAE, Mexico)
11.00 Planck as an all-sky submillimetre survey (Dave Clements, ICSTM)
11.20 The scientific future of IRAM (Pierre Cox, IAS, Paris)
11.40 The scientific future of APEX (Frank Bertoldi, Bonn, Germany)
12.30 Lunch
13.30 The Cornell/Caltech Atacama 25m dish (Gordon Stacey, Cornell, USA)
14.00 Science with Herschel and priorities for post-Herschel missions (Matt Griffin, Cardiff)

Day 2 (pm): Parallel Session 1: Extragalactic Astronomy with an LSD
[Chaired by Ian Smail]

15.00 The Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect and clusters of galaxies (Kathy Romer, Sussex)
15.20 Galaxy evolution to high redshift: theory (Eelco van Kampen, Innsbruck, Austria)
15.40 Deep extragalactic surveys: practice (Seb Oliver, Sussex)
16.00 DISCUSSION and coffee
16.40 Short wavelength sub-mm observations of high-redshift ULIRGS: the SHARC-II experience (Colin Borys, Caltech)
17.00 The cosmic microwave background and an LSD (Andy Taylor, Edinburgh)
18.00 Coach leaves ROE bound for Apex hotel

Day 2 (pm): Parallel Session 2: Star and Planet Formation with an LSD
[Chaired by Wayne Holland]

15.00 Dusty debris disks (Bill Dent, Edinburgh)
15.20 Star formation (Gary Fuller, Manchester)
15.40 The Initial Mass Function (Ian Bonnell, St Andrews)
16.00 DISCUSSION and coffee
16.40 Testing chemical models (Serena Viti, UCL)
17.00 LSD and high mass star formation (Mark Thompson, Hertfordshire)
18.00 Coach leaves ROE bound for Apex Hotel

Day 3 (am): Workshop Summary
[Chaired by Malcolm Longair]

08.30 Coach leaves Apex hotel bound for ROE
09.00 Summary of PPARC road map (Adrian Russell, Edinburgh)
09.25 Galaxy formation and evolution (Ian Smail, Durham)
09.50 DISCUSSION and coffee
10.30 Star formation (Derek Ward-Thompson, Cardiff)
10.55 Debris disks (Jane Greaves, St Andrews)
11.20 Technology (Wayne Holland, Edinburgh)
13.00 WORKSHOP CLOSE: lunch will be available for those wishing it
14.00 Tour of the ROE site, including the new UKATC labs and the Crawford Collection of historical astronomy books (lasting about 1 hour).