Plateau de Bure Interferometer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Plateau de Bure Interferometer
Radiotélescopes du Plateau de Bure.JPG
Several of the interferometer's antennas, with one of the rails for antenna displacement in the foreground.
Alternative namesPdBI Edit this at Wikidata
Part ofInstitut de radioastronomie millimétrique Edit this on Wikidata
Location(s)Grenoble, canton of Grenoble-5, arrondissement of Grenoble, Isère, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France
Coordinates44°38′02″N 5°54′29″E / 44.63389°N 5.90792°E / 44.63389; 5.90792Coordinates: 44°38′02″N 5°54′29″E / 44.63389°N 5.90792°E / 44.63389; 5.90792 Edit this at Wikidata
OrganizationInstitut de radioastronomie millimétrique Edit this on Wikidata
Altitude2,550 m (8,370 ft) Edit this at Wikidata
Built1988 Edit this on Wikidata (1988 Edit this on Wikidata) Edit this at Wikidata
Telescope styleradio interferometer Edit this on Wikidata
Replaced byNorthern Extended Millimeter Array Edit this on Wikidata Edit this at Wikidata
Plateau de Bure Interferometer is located in France
Plateau de Bure Interferometer
Location of Plateau de Bure Interferometer

The Plateau de Bure Interferometer (PdBI) is a ten-antenna interferometer on the Pic de Bure (2550 m) in the French Alps, operated by the Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique. It is specifically designed for millimetre-wave observations and specialises in studies of line emission from molecular gas and radio continuum of cold dust.[1]

The interferometer consists of currently ten antennas with a diameter of 15m each. These antennas can be placed in a T-shaped pattern, with North - South track of 368m and an East - West track of 768m. There are 32 stations along these tracks where the antennas can be positioned. Observing bands are at 3,2,1.8 and 0.8 mm.[2] At an observing wavelength of 3 mm (100 GHz frequency) each of these telescopes can resolve two objects 45 arcseconds apart from each other on the sky. In an interferometer, these 45″ are actually the size of the field of view. So an interferometer like this one images, at very high resolution (better than 1″), structures smaller than 45″.[3]

Aerial tramway[edit]

The observatory is serviced by an aerial tramway.

1999 accident[edit]

On 1 July 1999 an aerial tramway car fell 80 metres (260 ft) to the valley floor. All 20 occupants were killed, in one of the worst cable car accidents in recorded history. The majority were employees and contractors of an international astronomical observatory run by the Institut de Radioastronomie Millémétrique.[4][5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About the IRAM interferometer".
  2. ^ "Description of the Plateau de Bure Interferometer". 10 March 2013. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008.
  3. ^ "Spatial Resolution of the Plateau de Bure Interferometer". 10 March 2013. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ John Lichfield (2 July 1999). "Alpine cable car disaster kills 20". The Independent.