ALMA Early Science Data Delivered
- In mid-November ALMA had placed 24 telescopes at the 16500 ft elevation Array Operation Site (AOS) but by the end of the month there were 26 in place. Photo J. Stoke c NRAO.:
In early December the first packages of ALMA Early Science data were delivered to principal investigators in the ALMA partner regions. Observations from five blocks of Early Science observing time were complete by early December. By the end of December it is expected that electrical and fiber connections to the complement of inner array antenna stations will be complete, setting the stage for redeployment of the antennas to the extended array during the February shutdown period, when external power will be supplied to the AOS antennas, which are currently powered by inefficient local power generation.
With stationing of the 16th Vertex antenna at the AOS in late November, the array at the AOS grew to 26 antennas. Six antennas are going through their Integration and Verification tests at the Operations Support Facility, being readied for transport to the AOS. During the month, construction began on the 22nd Vertex antenna.
Important milestones for the project were reached with the final deliveries of assembled cartridges for two of the ALMA receiver bands. The ALMA Band 3 Receiver (3mm) team at the National Research Council's Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria, BC, Canada assembled the seventy-third, and final, receiver. After in-house testing it will be shipped to an ALMA Front End Facility. The Band 3 project has been a ten year effort and is reaching completion on-time and on-budget. Meanwhile, in Europe, the final Band 9 (450μm) production cartridge was delivered, it completed verification on 24 November. This delivery completed the 73 item production run for Band 9.
ALMA Data Reduction Workshop
Ed Fomalont explains the mysteries of self-calibration at the Data Reduction Workshop:
invited investigators from the highest rated North American Community ALMA Cycle 0 programs to a Data Reduction Workshop in Charlottesville 2011 December 1-2 (organized by Adam Leroy and Carol Lonsdale of the User Services Group). NRAO staff outfitted the Edgemont
Road auditorium with terminals and 29 visiting investigators used the new NAASC
data reduction cluster to work through training material built around ALMA science verification data. NAASC
staff presented background material on ALMA and CASA to the local attendees and several remote
participants. Then the local attendees worked hands-on with actual ALMA data sets, learning how to use CASA for calibration, imaging, and self-calibration. During the hands on sessions, NAASC
staff provided one on one assistance. The first ALMA datasets were delivered the following week. One of the PIs who attended the workshop received his ALMA data in this distribution.
The workshop Program
with presentations is available.
Brief statement asking the community to let NAASC
know if they'd like to host a CDE
December 15 Maryland CDE - https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/evla/early-science/community-days/university-of-maryland-15-december-2011
January 13 Berkeley CDE - https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/evla/early-science/community-days/UC-Berkeley-13-january-2012
Special Session: "ALMA Early Science and Capabilities for Cycle 1 Science", January 11, 2012
Splinter Session: "Proposing to Use the NRAO Telescopes: ALMA" January 11, 2012 5:30pm Room 8
Would anyone like to volunteer to write a brief (two paragraphs or less) description of their personal research - or a description of their NAASC
work - along with a photo?