CCAT-prime (or CCAT-p, for Cerro Chajnantor Atacama Telescope, prime) is a 6-meter telescope under construction on the 5600 meter (~18400 ft) Cerro Chajnantor peak in the Atacama Desert, Chile, aiming for first light in late 2021 or early 2022. The project is the outgrowth of the larger (25-meter) CCAT proposal.
It is designed for efficient surveys, with a large field of view in the far-infrared/microwave range (a general range of 200μm to 3.1 mm) aiming to survey the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, intensity mapping of the redshifted [CII], and to take advantage of its capabilities for other science. The high, desert site is ideal for millimeter astronomy, offering many clear days/nights for observation and minimal moisture, thus minimizing absorption from water lines. Frequent night-time temperature inversions below the level of the telescope result in even drier air for observation. The telescope housing and mirrors operate as a unit, the housing turning and tilting (elevating) with the mirrors, and the elevation range spans 180°, i.e., the aim can flip across the zenith. The intended scanning is horizontal, so each entire sweep experiences analogous atmospheric effects. It has a large, flat focal plane. Initial instruments:
Prime-Cam allows seven instruments to survey simultaneously and an additional instrument location (using an alternate optical path with an additional optional reflector) will house CHAI, and has space for additional instruments. Plans have included: