The Terahertz and sub-millimetre-wave regions of the spectrum are vitally important to our understanding of the molecular interstellar medium, and hence the processes that govern the evolution of galaxies in the universe, particularly star formation. Ground-based astronomy in these wavebands is hampered by the opacity of the atmosphere, leading us to search for high, dry, cold sites for telescopes. The top of the Antarctic Plateau is the best site in the world for sub-millimetre and Terahertz astronomy, and European nations possess significant infrastructure there, in the form of the Concordia Station run jointly by France and Italy.
This proposal outlines a research programme designed to enhance European capabilities in Antarctic sub-millimetre and Terahertz astronomy. This will be achieved by collaboration with existing programmes to assess the astronomical opportunities of the Antarctic and by involvement in the construction and operation of Antarctic telescopes such as HEAT, an autonomous Terahertz telescope. I have a strong background in Antarctic astronomy, having spent a year at the South Pole, operating and maintaining a sub-millimetre-wave telescope (AST/RO). My expertise will enhance the effectiveness of current European efforts to explore the astronomical potential of Antarctica, leading in turn to a strong European presence in Antarctic astronomy.
Fields of science
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