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 Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions
27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>