First Astronomical Fringe of a Test Correlator for the ALMA: Simultaneous Achievement of Wideband and High Resolution
The first astronomical fringe of a test correlator for the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) is obtained. The newly-developed test correlator system consists of two 4096-Msps Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs) and an FX-type correlator that can divide a 2-GHz correlation signal from one baseline into 131072 frequency channels. A fringe spectrum that contains 20 line features as well as continuum emission at ~86.2 GHz was obtained by an interferometric observation of the Orion-KL regions using this test system connected to the Nobeyama Millimeter Array (NMA), demonstrating that the realization of high frequency resolution over a wide bandwidth is technically feasible. The installation of such a correlator system in the ALMA will greatly enhance its capability of multi-line imaging.