Combined Array for Research in Millimeterwave Astronomy CARMA

CARMA is the merger of two university-based millimeter arrays: the Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) millimeter array and the Berkeley Illinois Maryland Association (BIMA) millimeter array.

OVRO was run by the California Institute of Technology and consisted of six 10.4 m radio telescopes, where the individual telescopes could be moved to various observing stations along a "T''-shaped rail track, which was 440 m long in the north-south direction and 400 m long in the east-west direction. BIMA was run by a consortium consisting of the University of California Berkeley, the University of Illinois Urbana, and the University of Maryland and had an array often 6.1 m dishes, which could be moved to one of three configurations along a "T''-shaped concrete track 305 m long in the east-west direction, and 183 m long in the north-south direction.

The OVRO and BIMA telescopes were combined and moved to their new home at Cedar Flat, California (altitude: 2,195 m) in 2004 and the new combined array began operating in 2006. The total collecting area of CARMA is 772m2 and operates at 115 GHz, 230 GHz, and 345 GHz. CARMA has a number of configurations (A-E), with baselines ranging from 30 m to 2 km, giving it a maximum angular resolution of 0.1 arcsec at 230 GHz. CARMA is able to observe millimetric radio emission from a number of objects including nearby starburst galaxies, blue dwarf galaxies, nearby molecular clouds forming clusters of stars, newly born stars emerging from their present clouds, comets, and the cosmic radiation left over from the Big Bang.

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