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 Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

nachricht Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication
16.07.2018 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>