Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A Roof for ALMA

15.03.2007
Roof-Topping Ceremony Held for the ALMA OSF

On 10 March, an official ceremony took place on the 2,900m high site of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Operations Support Facility, from where the ALMA antennas will be remotely controlled. The ceremony marked the completion of the structural works, while the building itself will be finished by the end of the year. This will become the operational centre of one of the most important ground-based astronomical facilities on Earth.

The ceremony, known as 'Tijerales' in Chile, is the equivalent to the 'roof-topping ceremony' that takes place worldwide, in one form or another, to celebrate reaching the highest level of a construction. It this case, the construction is the unique ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF), located near the town of San Pedro de Atacama.

"The end of this first stage represents an historic moment for ALMA," said Hans Rykaczewski, the European ALMA Project Manager. "Once completed in December 2007, this monumental building of 7,000 square metres will be one of the largest and most important astronomical operation centres in the world."

ALMA, located at an elevation of 5,000m in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, will provide astronomers with the world's most advanced tool for exploring the Universe at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths. ALMA will detect fainter objects and be able to produce much higher-quality images at these wavelengths than any previous telescope system.

The OSF buildings are designed to suit the requirements of this exceptional observatory in a remote, desert location. The facility, which will host about 100 people during operations, consists of three main buildings: the technical building, hosting the control centre of the observatory, the antenna assembly building, including four antenna foundations for testing and maintenance purposes, and the warehouse building, including mechanical workshops. Further secondary buildings are the transporter shelters and the vehicle maintenance facilities as well as the ALMA gate house. The construction started in August 2006 and will be completed in December 2007.

The ceremony took place in the presence of representatives of the regional authorities, members of the Chilean Parliament, and representatives of the local community, including the mayor of San Pedro, Ms. Sandra Berna, who joined more than 40 representatives of ESO, NRAO and NAOJ - the organisations that are, together, building ALMA.

"This is certainly a big step in the realisation of the ALMA Project. The completion of this facility will be essential for assembly, testing and adjustment as well as operation and maintenance of all ALMA antennas from Europe, North America and from Japan," said Ryusuke Ogasawara, the representative of NAOJ in Chile.

"This is a tremendous achievement and represents a major milestone for the ALMA project," said Adrian Russell, North American Project Manager for ALMA.

The first ALMA antennas, the prototypes of which successfully achieved their first combined astronomical observation last week, are expected to arrive at the ALMA site in a few months. These huge antennas will travel in pieces from Europe, USA and Japan and will be assembled next to the OSF building.

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership among Europe, Japan and North America, in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, in Japan by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) in cooperation with the Academia Sinica in Taiwan and in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of Japan by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI).

Henri Boffin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eso.org/outreach/press-rel/pr-2007/pr-13-07.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Tracing aromatic molecules in the early universe
23.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht New study maps space dust in 3-D
23.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>