NAASC eNews Submissions for October, 2012 Edition

ALMA Status

  • The 24th North American antenna leaves the antenna erection compound to be outfitted with ALMA electronics.:
    2012-09-25 DV24 Out the Exit Gate.jpg

The final North American antenna, number 25, is scheduled for its acceptance review at the end of October. The first of the series of twenty-five antennas was accepted 2009 February 6. Congratulations to the Antenna Integrated Product Team for the (projected) successful delivery of their NA antennas. The antennas were designed and built by the Vertex division of General Dynamics Corp. under contract with the Associated Universities, Inc.

At the beginning of October, 42 antennas are stationed at the 16000 foot elevation ALMA Array Operations Site (AOS). Thirty-one of these antennas are available for the 12m array and 11 antennas are available for the Atacama Compact Array (ACA). There are elements of all 66 ALMA antennas at the ALMA site. Forty-seven antennas have been accepted from the contractors by ALMA and have been outfitted with ALMA electronics at the Operations Support Facility (OSF). Three North American antennas (22, 23 and 24) continue their hardware integration at the OSF, as do four European antennas and one Japanese antenna.

The 32 station correlator was shut down on 3 September for reconfiguration to its final four quadrant 64 station configuration. Commissioning of the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) with nine 7m and two 12m antennas continued through the month. Commissioning and verification of the 64 station correlator began and by October had checked out for 32 stations. Connection of the multifuel Permanent Power Supply (PPS) at the AOS has begun--this will enable use of antenna stations previously unoccupied, many on the longer baselines which will be a feature of Cycle 1 Early Science. It is expected however that Cycle 1 will commence with the array in a compact configuration.

The final, 22nd, Front End component completed its preliminary acceptance in-house at the Front End Integration Center at the NRAO Technology Center (NTC). With the conclusion of Front End, Correlator and Local Oscillator components, the NTC team transitions its focus from production of construction deliverables to maintenance tasks. The first focus of the remaining team will be provisioning spare components that will allow the prompt repair of Line Replaceable Units (LRUs).

The first of the ALMA receiver bands built under the post-construction Development phase of ALMA operations will be Band 5 (covering 163-211 GHz). European partners are supplying the receiver cartridges for this band, and NRAO will supply the Local Oscillator components. A production coordination meeting between the LO group and the ESO partners was held on 13-September-2012.

The ALMA Pipeline software is being tested at the Santiago Central Office (SCO) before being deployed to the regional centers. This version has improved archive access and image production.

Early Science Cycle 0 Block 23 (of 29) was cancelled owing to installation of the Permanent Power Supply, which requires shutting down of power to sections of the array. Session 24 is scheduled to begin on 17 October. 70% of the available time has been used and 70% of the scheduling blocks (observing units of about an hour) for the Cycle 0 highest priority projects have had execution completed. Most of these projects should be complete by the end of Cycle 0, which ends with the close of the year. Not all ALMA Band 9 executions can be completed and there will be some right ascensions where all projects cannot be completed.

The ALMA Review Panels met in Santiago during the first week of October to rank the Proposals for ALMA Cycle 1. The highest ranked proposals will undergo Technical Review. The final ranked list of proposals will be available in mid-November. Cycle 1 observations commence after Cycle 1 acceptance testing in January 2013. Up to 800 hours of observing time was announced in the Call for Proposals. ALMA's intention is to assign the time to the highest priority projects according to rank; 235 projects may be observed. For six weeks beginning in February 2013, the project focus will be on completion of construction and science observations will be curtailed.

Several additional ALMA science papers have appeared.

Atlanta Workshop

Repeat info from September edition:

First Year of ALMA Science

First Year of ALMA Science Workshop will take place in Puerto Varas, Chile, December 12-15, 2012.

ALMA Early Science operations began at the end of September 2011. Over one hundred high science profile projects have been identified as high priority for execution. The first exciting scientific results from Science Verification datasets and Cycle 0 observations are coming out in refereed journals since the beginning of 2012. At the end of the year, the ALMA users community will be in a position to review the first science results produced by this new and unique facility. The conference will cover all the ALMA Science topics covered by Early Science observations, from observations of the Solar System bodies to objects in our own Galaxy, the local to high redshift Universe. While the conference will be focused on ALMA observational results, we plan to include presentations and discussions on related theoretical implications and predictions as well as relevant complementary data from other major facilities. The conference will also be an ideal venue to discuss the scientific priorities for the ALMA development plan upgrades in the context of the first results from Early Science.

The Interstellar Medium in High Redshift Galaxies Comes of Age Workshop

The Interstellar Medium in High Redshift Galaxies Comes of Age workshop examined the current status and future directions of research using spectral lines to probe the high redshift Universe, and also focused on the contributions of recently retired former NRAO Director Paul Vanden Bout. Abstracts from the workshop are available at:

Meet the NAASC

Student Observing Suppport

Lifted from

The NAASC anticipates being able to provide funds to support a limited number of students enrolled at U.S. universities and colleges who undertake research programs based on the Highest Priority ALMA Proposals for each proposal cycle. This is patterned after the successful NRAO Student Observing Support Program. The awards will be made on a competitive basis, and will be limited to $35,000 total per student. The typical activities that may be covered include stipend, computing hardware, and expenses associated with attending a conference to present ALMA results.

Interested investigators of ALMA projects should submit an application for student funding support by the ALMA SOS proposal deadline for the appropriate proposal cycle (October 15, 2012 for Cycle 1). Results of the review process will be announced by the start of the associated ALMA observing period.

Last year, the NAASC funded 12 U.S. students (of xx applications) from among the highly ranked NA proposals.

2013 Rocks Abstract Submission Announcement

Banner from September issue

Transformational Science with ALMA: From Dust to Rocks to Planets - Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems

The North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC), in cooperation with the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) in Taiwan, is pleased to announce the 7th NAASC workshop entitled: “Transformational Science with ALMA: From Dust to Rocks to Planets – the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems." This NAASC-ASIAA "2013 Rocks!" workshop will be held 8-12 April 2013 on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Pre-registration is now open.

2013 Rocks! is accepting abstract at The deadline for submitting abstracts is November 15th.

Make sure you visit the meeting website at for all relevant meeting information including links to the preregistration and abstract submission.

Also, remember to like us on Facebook in order to get the most recent updates and announcements posted by the meeting organizers and your colleagues.

2013 Rocks! is committed to broadening participation by women and under-represented minorities.

-- LyndeleVonSchill - 2012-07-27

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
2012-09-25_DV24_Out_the_Exit_Gate.jpgjpg 2012-09-25_DV24_Out_the_Exit_Gate.jpg manage 772 K 2012-10-03 - 15:09 AlWootten The 24th North American antenna leaves the antenna erection compound to be outfitted with ALMA electronics.
AOS_(4).jpgjpg AOS_(4).jpg manage 4 MB 2012-09-04 - 13:17 AlWootten Photo: C. Padilla
Topic revision: r8 - 2012-10-09, LyndeleVonSchill
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