Title: "ATLASGAL - The APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy"
"We propose to use APEX/LABOCA to map the inner Galactic Plane at 870 μm to achieve the first Galaxywide
continuum survey at submillimeter wavelength. Dust continuum emission in the (sub)millimeter range
is the best tracer of the earliest phases of (high-mass) star formation since it is directly probing the material
from which the stars form. Only a large unbiased survey can provide the statistical base to study the scarce
and short-living protostars or protoclusters at the origin of the massive stars and the richest clusters in the
Galaxy. LABOCA can image more than 500 deg2 down to 50 mJy rms with only 400 hrs of observing time.
Cross-correlation with already available galactic surveys such as GLIMPSE, MIPSGAL, VLA-NVSS, and with
similar surveys planned with Herschel will considerably help to answer a wide range of questions including: (1)
What are the properties of the cold phase of massive star-formation? (2) What is the evolutionary sequence for
high-mass stars? (3) How important is triggering to form new generations of high-mass stars? (4) What are the
earliest phases of the richest clusters of the Galaxy? ATLASGAL will have a high legacy value by revealing, in
an unbiased way, hundreds of star-forming regions throughout the Galaxy. It will act as a true pathfinder for
ALMA by providing large, statistically well founded samples of high-mass protostars and protoclusters"