CCAT-prime will be a 6-meter cosmology and astrophysics telescope operating at submillimeter to millimeter wavelengths, located at an elevation of 5600 meters (18,400 ft) on Cerro Chajnantor in the Atacama Desert in Chile. CCAT-prime’s optical design is optimized for a wide field of view in order to accommodate next-generation, large-format cameras, and enable large-scale galaxy and molecular cloud surveys. The telescope will build on novel crossed-Dragone optical design proposed by Mike Niemack, and a new azimuth-elevation mount proposed by Project Engineer Steve Parshley. CCAT-prime will be capable of accommodating > 105 detectors and will be able to map the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) roughly 10 times faster than current CMB telescopes. Once built, CCAT-prime will support multiple instruments and observations will be fully remote controlled. A consortium of U.S., German and Canadian academic institutions, led by Cornell University, are overseeing the project.

My work for CCAT-prime is focused on mechanical and cryogenic design for the CCAT-prime first-light instrument, Prime-Cam (E. M. Vavagiakis et al. 2018. “Prime-Cam: A first-light instrument for the CCAT-prime telescope,” Proc. SPIE, arXiv:1807.00058). Our work with the cryogenics group for Simons Observatory will help to inform design decisions for Prime-Cam.

Learn more about CCAT-prime:

CCAT-prime’s Public Webpage

CCAT-prime Press Release

Crossed-Dragone Optical Design


Cornell University CCAT-prime group in Mike Niemack’s lab


Header Image Credit: S. Radford