Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ALMA on the move

23.12.2005


ESO Awards Important Contract for the ALMA Project


Each of the ALMA transporters will be 10 m wide, 4.5 m high and 16 m long.



Only two weeks after awarding its largest-ever contract for the procurement of antennas for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array project (ALMA), ESO has signed a contract with Scheuerle Fahrzeugfabrik GmbH, a world-leader in the design and production of custom-built heavy-duty transporters, for the provision of two antenna transporting vehicles. These vehicles are of crucial importance for ALMA.

‘The timely awarding of this contract is most important to ensure that science operations can commence as planned,’ said ESO Director General Catherine Cesarsky, ‘This contract thus marks a further step towards the realization of the ALMA project.’


‘These vehicles will operate in a most unusual environment and must live up to very strict demands regarding performance, reliability and safety. Meeting these requirements is a challenge for us, and we are proud to have been selected by ESO for this task,’ commented Hans-Jörg Habernegg, President of Scheuerle GmbH.

When completed on the high-altitude Chajnantor site in Chile, ALMA is expected to comprise more than 60 antennas, which can be placed in different locations on the plateau but which work together as one giant telescope. Changing the relative positions of the antennas and thus also the configuration of the array allows for different observing modes, comparable to using a zoom lens, offering different degrees of resolution and sky coverage as needed by the astronomers.

The ALMA Antenna Transporters allow for moving the antennas between the different pre-defined antenna positions. They will also be used for transporting antennas between the maintenance area at 2 900 m elevation and the ‘high site’ at 5 000 m above sea level, where the observations are carried out.

Given their important functions, both for the scientific work and in transporting high-tech antennas with the required care, the vehicles must live up to very demanding operational requirements. Each transporter has a mass of 150 tonnes and is able to lift and transport antennas of 110 tonnes. They must be able to place the antennas on the docking pads with millimetric precision. At the same time, they must be powerful enough to climb 2 000 m reliably and safely with their heavy and valuable load, putting extraordinary demands on the 500 kW diesel engines. This means negotiating a 28 km long high-altitude road with an average slope of 7 %. Finally, as they will be operated at an altitude with significantly reduced oxygen levels, a range of redundant safety devices protect both personnel and equipment from possible mishaps or accidents.

The first transporter is scheduled to be delivered in the summer of 2007 to match the delivery of the first antennas to Chajnantor.

The ESO contract has a value of approx. 5.5 m Euros.

Henri Boffin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eso.org
http://www.eso.org/outreach/press-rel/pr-2005/pr-34-05.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>