SCUBA-2: the 10 000 pixel bolometer camera on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope

W.S. Holland, D. Bintley, E.L. Chapin, A. Chrysostomou, G.R. Davis, J. T. Dempsey, W.D. Duncan, M. Fich, P. Friberg, M. Halpern, K.D. Irwin, T. Jenness, B.D. Kelly, M.J. MacIntosh, E.I. Robson, Douglas Scott, P.A.R. Ade, E. Atad-Ettedgui, D.S. Berry, S.C. CraigX. Gao, Andy G. Gibb, G.C. Hilton, M.I. Hollister, J.B. Kycia, David Lunney, H. McGregor, David Montgomery, W. Parkes, R.P.J. Tilanus, J.N. Ullum, C.A. Walther, A.J. Walton, A.L. Woodcraft, M. Amiri, D. Atkinson, B. Burger, T. Chuter, I.M. Coulson, W.B. Doriese, C. Dunare, F. Economou, M.D. Niemack, H.A.L. Parsons, C.D. Reintsema, B. Sibthorpe, I. Smail, R. Sudiwala, H.S. Thomas

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Submillimetre Common-User Bolometer Array 2 (SCUBA-2) is an innovative 10 000 pixel bolometer camera operating at submillimetre wavelengths on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). The camera has the capability to carry out wide-field surveys to unprecedented depths, addressing key questions relating to the origins of galaxies, stars and planets. With two imaging arrays working simultaneously in the atmospheric windows at 450 and 850 μm, the vast increase in pixel count means that SCUBA-2 maps the sky 100–150 times faster than the previous SCUBA instrument. In this paper, we present an overview of the instrument, discuss the physical characteristics of the superconducting detector arrays, outline the observing modes and data acquisition, and present the early performance figures on the telescope. We also showcase the capabilities of the instrument via some early examples of the science SCUBA-2 that have already been undertaken. In 2012 February, SCUBA-2 began a series of unique legacy surveys for the JCMT community. These surveys will take 2.5 yr and the results are already providing complementary data to the shorter wavelength, shallower, larger area surveys from Herschel. The SCUBA-2 surveys will also provide a wealth of information for further study with new facilities such as ALMA, and future telescopes such as CCAT and SPICA
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2513-33
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


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