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 Significantly more productivity in USP lasers
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

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: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>