Line intensity mapping is a novel technique that traces the evolution of cosmological structure sourcing a particular emission line through measurements of the aggregate emission of all galaxies along a line of sight. The Tomographic Ionized-carbon Mapping Experiment (TIME) is a far infrared waveguide imaging spectrometer that operates from 183-323 GHz, allowing it to trace the emission of the singly ionized carbon fine structure line ([CII], 157.7 µm) from redshift 5 to 9 to probe the infrared emission from star formation during the Epoch of Reionization. Further, TIME will also perform line intensity mapping observations of several carbon monoxide rotational lines during cosmic noon, constraining the column density of molecular hydrogen that is the raw fuel for star formation. As a secondary goal, TIME will be able to measure the line of sight peculiar velocity of galaxies using the kinetic Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect. The instrument design is similar to the now decommissioned Z-spec, a millimeter wave spectrometer that was deployed at the Caltech Sub-millimeter Observatory. TIME is comprised of 32 individual curved grating spectrometers that are coupled to an array of 1920 transition edge sensor bolometers and placed in the optical path of the Arizona Radio Observatory 12M Telescope, located in Kitt Peak, Arizona. In this work I will describe the scientific motivation for this project, its mechanical and optical design, and results from its commissioning in the winter of 2021.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Spectrometer--Calibration; Imaging systems in astronomy; Cosmology

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Astrophysical Sciences and Technology (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


Michael Zemcov

Advisor/Committee Member

Andrew Robinson

Advisor/Committee Member

Joel Kastner


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes