The “Gas Cell for Laboratory Astrophysics (GACELA)” is one of the experimental setups of the Nanocosmos project. It consists of a stainless-steel chamber 1 meter long and a diameter of 60 cm. It is equipped with two windows in Teflon to allow the study of gases inside the chamber through rotational spectroscopy. It uses the same radio receivers built for the 40 meter telescope of the IGN within the NANOCOSMOS project. A series of ports allow gas injection (4 gases and 2 liquids), plasma generation, UV photochemistry and optical spectroscopy. GACELA was built at the Segainvex Laboratories located at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
GACELA addresses an innovative potential to perform novel experiments on plasma physics, photochemistry and ices. We also address the spectroscopical characterization of a gas injected in the cell. A first set of experiments were done in February 2018. A significant number of problems related to the stability of the receivers+backends were found and solved along March and April. Nevertheless, in these experiments we were able to detect the lines of CH3CN in a few seconds with a very high signal to noise ratio (S/N). However, long integrations could not be performed. The lessons learned from these experiments have been crucial to improve the system and to allow the second commissioning run in May 2018 and the subsequent full-experimental phase (six runs until October 2018).
1) Using radio astronomical receivers for molecular spectroscopic characterization in astrochemical laboratory simulations: A proof of concept (I. Tanarro, B. Alemán, P. de Vicente, J. D. Gallego, J. R. Pardo, G. Santoro, K. Lauwaet, F. Tercero, A. Díaz-Pulido, E. Moreno, M. Agúndez, J. R. Goicoechea, J. M. Sobrado, J. A. López, L. Martínez, J. L. Doménech, V. J. Herrero, J. M. Hernández, R. J. Peláez, J. A. López-Pérez, J. Gómez-González, J. L. Alonso, E. Jiménez, D. Teyssier, K. Makasheva, M. Castellanos, C. Joblin, J. A. Martín-Gago, and J. Cernicharo). Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2018 Jan; 609: A15.
Published online 2017 Dec 22.