Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment APEX
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Wobbling secondary

In 2007 the static subreflector was successfully replaced with a chopping subreflector. The new wobbler will, in the cases where it can be used, improve the quality of the observations. By chopping quickly between two positions on sky (the "throw"), the observations will be less sensitive to time dependent instabilities in the receivers and the atmosphere. Currently, the wobbler can only be used together with the heterodyne receivers.

The wobbling secondary has the following specifications: When doing spectroscopic measurements with the heteorodyne receivers it is recommended not to use R=1.0 Hz as switching rate since it will be in resonance with the cryogenics pump cycle of 1 Hz. However, in the case of total power scans with the heterodyne receivers it is an advantage to use R=1.0 Hz. The wobbling secondary is improving the quality of the observations when observing sources with extent less than 5 arcmin. Typical sources where its use would be beneficial are circumstellar envelopes, planets, molecular hot cores, and most galaxies.