March 2013 eNews
The ALMA Inauguration will take place at the Operations Support Facility (OSF) near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile on 13 March, just over ten years after the partnership was formed at the signing of the bilateral agreement between ESO and NSF on 2003 February 23.
- DV25 arrives at the Array Operations Site: Credit: B. Johnson, NRAO/AUI/NSF and General Dynamics SATCOM
The final North American antenna, number 25, was delivered to the ALMA array on 21 February. On the way, the antenna made a victory lap around the array for a filming event. The first of the 25 antennas passed its acceptance review 2009 Feb 6 with a design featuring major advances over that of the prototype, which had been accepted in May 2002. This is the 56th antenna outfitted and tested by the ALMA team. It is located on pad A106 near the AOS building, just over 1.5km from the most distant antenna on pad A138 and will be employed in commissioning of phase correction strategies for long baselines.
After completing Cycle 0 data collection at the beginning of January, software enabling Cycle 1 observations was tested and accepted. Several Cycle 1 projects were then run; assessment of the data is ongoing. February was dedicated to commissioning tasks on the array. The altiplanic winter did not reach the epic proportions that it had during 2012 but nonetheless produced considerable downpours, at one point washing out the main highway between Calama and San Pedro de Atacama.
ALMA Director's Discretionary Time and a new release of the Science Portal
A new version of the ALMA Science Portal will debut on March 1st, among its
new features is a description of how to apply for ALMA Director's
Discretionary Time (DDT). DDT applications must contain a strong
justification for why they should be considered (for example, to observe a
sudden or unexpected astronomical event, or for immediate follow-up of a
new discovery in a highly competitive field), and explain why a proposal
was not submitted as part of the regular Cycle 1 process. A maximum of 40hr
(5% of the available time for science) will be dedicated to the execution
of DDT programs in Cycle 1.
Also included in the new portal are instructions on preparing and
triggering target of opportunity observations, a brief guide to ALMA data
processing, and a revised menu layout.
Meet the NAASC