A new 10 meter diameter telescope is being constructed for deployment
at the NSF South Pole research station. The telescope is designed for
conducting large-area millimeter and sub-millimeter wave surveys
of faint, low contrast emission, as required to map primary and secondary anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background. To achieve the required sensitivity and resolution, the telescope design employs an off-axis primary with a 10 meter diameter clear aperture. The full aperture and the associated optics will have a combined surface accuracy of better than 20 microns rms to allow precision operation in the submillimeter atmospheric windows. The telescope will be surrounded with a large reflecting ground screen to reduce sensitivity to thermal emission from the ground and local interference. The optics of the telescope will support a degree field of view at 2mm wavelength and will feed a new 1000-element micro-lithographed planar bolometric array with superconducting transition-edge sensors and frequency-multiplexed readouts. The first key project will be to conduct a survey over 4000 degrees for galaxy clusters using the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect. This survey should find many thousands of clusters with a mass selection criteria that is remarkably uniform with redshift. Armed with redshifts obtained from optical and infrared follow-up observations, it is expected that the survey will enable significant constraints to be placed on the equation of state of the dark energy.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.