This is the OLD Travel to Chile FAQ page and is now deprecated. The NEW version of the Travel to Chile information is located at: https://staff.nrao.edu/wiki/bin/view/NAASC/TravelToChile

Travel to Chile FAQ

Please be sure to review the other pages and links in this Travel Wiki. It is important to review this documentation well in advance of your trip. This FAQ attempts to compile the lessons learned from recent trips, a "use case" example of a short term deployment to Chile, and answers to the most frequently asked questions.

For more in-depth procedures, or if you are relocating to Chile for an extended period, you need to also consult NRAO Relocation Information.

IMPORTANT: Pre-trip Checklist: ChilePreTripChecklist



help NOTE: Clicking "Expand All" will allow you to select an item in the Table of Contents and go directly to the Question/Answer.

Before You Go

Who do I need to know (who does what)?

For general questions about travel to Chile, you should first consult your supervisor.*Lyndele von Schill can help by working with the Chilean Admins to coordinate your in-Chile travel.*

ALL Travelers:

  • IMPORTANT: Use this International Travel to Chile Document to alert the Office of Chilean Affairs (OCA) about your travel plans. Part I need only be sent once; Part II should be sent for each trip that you make to Chile.

If your travel is related to service as Astronomer on Duty:

Canadian AoD Travel?

  • The CNRC should pay air travel to/from Chile, as well as lodging for stays in Santiago, when not at the OSF. (NOTE: An invoice for hotel expenses can be prepared by Carolina Colombo <ccolombo@nrao.cl> and sent to the traveler to give to the NRC for payment). Canadian travelers should only be billed for hotel stays in Santiago, when not at the OSF.
  • All other travel to/from the OSF (including the stay at the OSF and taxis) should be charged to the NAASC (721000)

If you are Administrative or IPT staff:

Location Name email Phone Physical Address Function
Santiago ALMA Travel Desk almatravel @ alma.cl 56 9 7 9885004   'after hours' travel assistance - call if you need immediate travel assistance (including taxi)
Santiago ALMA Travel Desk almatravel @ alma.cl +56 2 2-467 6240 Maddy Agurto +56 2 2-467 6328 Marianela Moreno   working hours (08:30 to 18:30) travel assistance
OSF ALMA OSF Travel Desk almatravel @ alma.cl +56 2 2-467 6571 Nadia Salas   working hours (08:00 to 20:00) shift changes on Tuesdays
OSF Emergency   555   emergency assistance
OSF Paramedics   6400   emergency assistance
Santiago Mauricio Pilleux mpilleux @ nrao.edu   AIU/NRAO offices, Av. Nueva Costanera 4091 Suite 502 Vitacura, Santiago, Chile Office of Chilean Affairs
Santiago Carola Lara clara @ nrao.cl +56(2) 2-210 9600 Av. Nueva Costanera 4091 Suite 502 Vitacura, Santiago, Chile Office of Chilean Affairs
Santiago Alina Prus aprus @ nrao.cl +56(2) 2-210 9600 Av. Nueva Costanera 4091 Suite 502 Vitacura, Santiago, Chile Office of Chilean Affairs
Santiago Andreas Lundgren alundgre @ alma.cl   Alonso de Córdova 3107 Vitacura - Santiago "ALMA Observatory" CSV Deputy Project Scientist, OSF Shifts
Santiago Masao Saito msaito @ alma.cl   Alonso de Córdova 3107 Vitacura - Santiago "ALMA Observatory" CSV Deputy Project Scientist, OSF Shifts
Santiago Ann Edmunds, Science Assistant, Santiago aedmunds @ alma.cl     Santiago Logisitcal Support
Charlottesville Lyndele von Schill lvonschi @ nrao.edu +1-434-296-0308 520 Edgemont Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22903 Administrative Asst NAASC
Green Bank Andrea Taggart ataggart @ nrao.edu (304) 456-2262 P.O. Box 2 Green Bank, WV 24944 High-altitude physical information
OSF Suitay Chang, Science Assistant, OSF & w/Ann Edmunds in SCL schang @ alma.cl +56 2 2-4676600 Kilómetro 121, CH23, San Pedro de Atacama OSF Logistical assistance
OSF Marcela Miranda, Computing Asst. OSF mirandam @ alma.cl +56 2 24676300; cel: 56-9-66280739 Kilómetro 121, CH23, San Pedro de Atacama ALMA Dept of Computing
OSF OSF Contact List Contact List     Members of AIV/CSV/DSO/JAO Software Group

Contact Andreas Lundgren and Maseo Saitofor your functional assignments while you are in Chile. They are responsible for organizing your shift schedule at the OSF. Schedules are organized a month or more ahead of time so if you have specific travel constraints or preferences (day shift / night shift), make sure and let them know this ahead of time.

For local contacts in Chile, there is an established Office of Chilean Affairs (OCA). The OCA is lead by Mauricio Pilleux.

The main offices for NRAO in Chile and the OCA are located in Santiago, Chile:
AUI/NRAO Offices
Av. Nueva Costanera 4091
Suite 502
Vitacura, Santiago, Chile

MAP showing locations of ALMA offices

AIV, CSV and Operations Groups (known as the "Santiago Central Offices") are now located adjacent to the ESO headquarters at:
ALMA Observatory
Alonso de Córdova 3107
Vitacura - Santiago, Chile

If your deployment is in support of CSV, your main contacts during your travel are:

Send your travel information to Suitay Chang (+56 2 2-4676600). They will use this information to make all your arrangements both in Santiago and the OSF, including:
  • your lodging in Santiago and at the OSF
  • taxis to and from the airport in Santiago
  • bus transportation from the Calama airport
  • airline reservations from Santiago to Calama
  • help in creating a username and passport so that you can check the status of your flight, taxi and room reservation in the Actual Trip system.

Doing these things will simplify your life greatly while you are in Chile!

What do I need to know about health & safety in Chile?

Earthquakes - Chile is relatively prone to earthquakes; please take the time to read this Earthquake Preparedness document.

High-Altitude - Information about high-altitude, the physical, and required forms and certification can be found at the NRAO Environmental Safety and Security Division website. You may also contact Andrea Taggart with questions about the physical and required documentation

Safety Policies - The ALMA Safety Manual is another important document that should be carefully reviewed.

Alcohol - It is very important to be aware of the alcohol, drug and tobacco policies related to the ALMA Site. Possession and use of alcohol is forbidden at the OSF and associated facilities near San Pedro. Further, if you leave the facility and consume alcohol you can expect to be tested on your return. See page 98 of the Safety Manual for detailed information.

Traveler's Advisories

Do I need a High Altitude Physical in order to visit "the high site"?

You must have a high altitude physical if your assignment in Chile will require you to visit the Array Operations Center (aka the high site) located at 5,000m. There is no waiver of the high altitude physical requirement for AUI/NRAO employees. If you do not pass the physical, you will not be permitted to visit the Array Operations (aka, "the high site"). The physical must be satisfactorily completed before travel to Chile is authorized; allow 6 weeks for approvals and appointment times.

Information about high-altitude, the physical, and required forms and certification can be found at the NRAO Environmental Safety and Security Division website. You may also contact Andrea Taggart with questions about the physical and required documentation

Where can I learn what all the acronyms mean?

A wiki has been created to keep track of the ALMA acronyms.

What paper work needs to be filed before my short-term deployment to Chile?

If you are eligible for Temporary Field Service to Chile, you will need to review and complete the Mid-term Service in Chile form and give it to your supervisor for approval. NOTE: You must save the template PDF form to your workstation before attempting to enter information in the fields.

* IMPORTANT: Use this https://safe.nrao.edu/wiki/pub/ALMA/NAASCTravelChileFAQ/2013-Chile-TravelInfo.pdf to alert the Office of Chilean Affairs (OCA) about your travel plans.Part I need only be sent once; Part II should be sent for each trip that you make to Chile. Send Part I to the OCA (as instructed at the top of the document), with a copy to Lyndele.

What do I need to travel to Chile?

Visa and Passport Information

All persons entering Chile must hold a valid passport. If you do not have a passport, NRAO or ALMA will reimburse the cost of obtaining a passport. The fee is about $60 depending upon how short the time frame is for processing the request. You should review the information at the U.S. State Department's website for current application information. Note that the processing times can vary greatly depending on the time of year, special processing restrictions and world events. Allow a minimum of 10 weeks to process the passport application, though the actual processing time may be much quicker.

In general, you will not need to let the State Department (or the US Embassy in Chile) know that you will be in Chile for an extended period. However, if you will be gone for a longer period that may affect the taxes you pay in the US, check the IRS website for information. However, it may be good to register your trip to Chile at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. You will receive updates from the US Embassy in Chile regarding events/occurrences/riots, etc...that may be going on in Santiago which may affect you. The US Embassy sent out emails to those who registered about what to expect in Santiago that evening and what actions/precautions to take during that time. It may be very helpful. It is also good to keep a copy of your passport with someone in the US in case something happens. Check out the above website for more information.

What should I bring with me to Chile?

!NAASC Cell Phone - Travelers to Chile should pick up the cell phone from Lyndele, and return it to Lyndele as soon as possible upon returning to Charlottesville.

Power Plug Adapter - You will need an adapter suitable for European plugs (see image).

At the OSF, there are many power strips with “universal” plugs but they may only be available in conference rooms or in the telescope control room. In the offices in Santiago, at the OSF and in your hotel/apartment, you will need an adapter. Also, the voltage is 220V. Some electrical devices may also need converters. Check out the requirements for your electronics before coming down.

Clothing - If it is summer or winter, the evenings at the OSF will be chilly or downright cold. So make sure that you bring warm clothing for the evening shifts. During the day in the winter, you will still need a jacket. In the summer, depending on the person, you can get away with shorts and t-shirts. So in general bring something warm for the evening.

It is ALWAYS cold and windy up at the AOS. If you are going to the high site, make sure you dress accordingly.

Personal items - Shampoo, shaving cream, toothpaste, and other toiletries that you might like to have with you. You may also want to bring a good pair of safety sunglasses (the type that contractors wear and that you can get at Lowe's or Home Depot), a good hat and sunscreen. When the wind blows and there is not a cloud in the sky, getting sun/windburned and dust in the eyes is very likely. Plan accordingly.

Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medicine - It is a good rule of thumb to bring all your prescription and OTC medications with you. It is also very important to leave the medications in their original containers, with prescription medicines clearly marked with your name. While it is not difficult to get things like aspirin or cold medicine, they are sold in very small quantities and are quite expensive.

How will I be paid?

Your pay will continue to be processed by your home pay department (Fiscal Green Bank for Charlottesville and Green Bank-based staff, and Fiscal Socorro for Socorro and Tucson-based staff).

What per diem/expenses may I claim for my time in Chile?

When considering what expenses are reasonable to reimburse, we apply the ‘prudent person’ rule to reimbursement requests – acting with thought and care toward our fiducial responsibilities with taxpayer funds.

It is expected that the generous $96/day per diem for Santiago will cover normal living expenses while in Chile. The NRAO Travel Expense voucher includes a list of miscellaneous expenses that are ‘reimbursable’. As a matter of policy, we consider those items to be reimbursed under the $96 per diem, and not reimbursable as separate expenses. Exceptions include excess baggage fees (up to 2 checked bags for travel longer than 2 weeks) and required immunizations.

A per diem of $19/day may be claimed for the days that you are at the OSF.

When planning trips to Chile, or to any location, on NRAO funds, please expect that the per diem should cover normal living expenses. If you expect larger than normal expenses to occur, please talk with your manager before your travel.

Do I get any additional salary benefit?

If you are out of station for more than 21 consecutive days, qualified mid-term assignees (NRAO employees) are paid a 15% salary premium during the period of their assignment in Chile. This pay begins on the day you travel to Chile and it ends on the day you return to the United States. Assignees are also paid the daily per diem to cover meals and incidental expenses. The per diem rate for Chile is $99/day, less any meals provided (based on breakfast $15/lunch $25/dinner $40/incidentals $19). Up-to-date rates can be found at the State Dept. website, along with the meal breakdown. The salary allowance is intended to provide an employee with limited funds to cover direct and indirect costs associated with living abroad and does not supersede travel benefits the employee would otherwise be afforded during the assignment.

Any personal time (vacation, holiday, etc.) spent at the beginning or end of the assignment will not be covered by this allowance. NOTE: This premium becomes null and void if you leave your station assignment and return home. Meaning, if you are on a 4 month deployment but return to the States for 2 weeks after month 2, you CANNOT count those 2 weeks as part of your out of station deployment. The "clock starts ticking" again when you return to your deployment as "Day 1." The allowance is also a separate payment, not an addition to the employee's salary. It therefore does not increase an employee's base salary for benefit purposes, such as the retirement plan contribution, but is still taxable income to the employee. These payments will not be grossed up for taxes. See your letter for more information concerning the allowance.

What is the shortest possible deployment schedule that qualifies me for the 15% salary premium?

The following illustration (from ARCinCSVRules)describes the shortest deployment that will allow a 15% salary premium.

deployment.bmp

The following section describes in detail the 8+1+8 "turno" (the first row in the illustration) that will minimize the time spent in Chile, yet still give you the appropriate amount of time out of station so that you are eligible for the 15% salary premium.

Short Term ARC CSV Support (30 days out of station)

Day 1 - A travel day as you get to the airport for your overnight flight to Chile.

Day 2 - The actual day that you arrive in Chile at the Santiago airport. You'll report to Alison Peck, Deputy Project Scientist at the Santiago Central Offices (SCO) and spend the night at a hotel in Santiago.

Day 3 - You report back to the SCO in the morning and that afternoon, take a taxi from the Office to the airport for the afternoon flight from Santiago to Calama. From Calama, you will be picked up and taken to the OSF where that night will be your first shift in support.

NOTE: As an alternative, you have the option of taking a very early, i.e. either a 6:30 or 7:30AM flight in day 4 but you are required to spend that evening in observing support until midnight despite the early morning flight.

Days 4-9 - Spent in support at the OSF.

Day 10 - On the afternoon of Day 10 and after your shift from the previous night, you are required to leave the site for at least 1 full day. The exact number of days off in between shifts is up to you but the minimum is 1 day off site and the maximum is 6 days off site. (see above graphic that shows 3 or 6 days off in between support shifts). For the purposes of continuing this illustration, assume we are taking 1 day off.

Day 11 - Spent off site.

Day 12 - You return to the site and spend the evening at the OSF in support.

Days 13-18 - Spent in support at the OSF.

Day 19 - On the afternoon of Day 19 you have completed your required OSF turno. You will be picked up from the OSF and taken back to Calama. That evening, you will take a flight back to Santiago from Calama.

Days 20 & 21 - Spent in the ALMA offices in Santiago. On the evening of Day 21, you report back to the airport and take the evening flight back to the States.

Day 22 - Travel day to report back to your home station.

In this example, Days 23-33 are your off days from your station as a result of your CSV tour. For every 8 days spent in your support role at the OSF, you receive 6 days off. Also note that weekends count as part of your “off days”. So if you return from your turno on a Friday, your first off day starts on Saturday NOT Monday.
Also, this is just one illustration. Following the discussion in Sections Sec 3.6.2 & Sec 11.2.2 of the ALMA Operations Plan version D.

How will I know what my shift schedule will be at the OSF (aka 'OSF Turnos')?

Andreas Lundgren and Maseo Saito are responsible for organizing the date of your shifts at the OSF. In the OSF Science Support google calendar you will see the shift (day --from 12:00 p.m. o 8:00 p.m.-- or night -- from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.--) assigned to you. This calendar is also embedded on the AIVC Office web page and in the OSF Science roster. OSF shifts usually last 8 days and you can arrive the morning of your shift or the evening before. If you arrive in the morning you should not work later than midnight that first day.

As noted earlier - the schedules are prepared over a month in advance. So if you have preferences for dates of travel and/or night vs. day shift, contact Andreas Lundgren and Maseo Saito as soon as possible in advance of your travel.

Are there any guidelines for ARC Staff Supporting CSV?

There are many guidelines for ARC staff supporting CSV. Please note that these are guidelines rather than requirements, but exceptions should not be made lightly, and no bias should persist between the ARCs.

The following guidelines concern time in the Santiago office:

Each ARC staff traveling to Chile will spend at least some time in SCO before and/or after their OSF trips to interact with the DSO staff.

ARC Managers will coordinate the participation of their support staff in CSV activities using the following guidelines:
  • The ARC CSV support staff will report to the CSV offices in Santiago on the day they are first scheduled.

This means, at the very least, that you MUST report to the Santiago office on the day you arrive in CSV support at the OSF. However, it may also be possible to leave for Calama that same day without spending the night in a hotel in Chile. Your first shift in support will still start on Day 3 as described in the above illustration, but you would not have to travel on the day of your first night in support.

Since there is no formal requirement about the time spent at the Santiago offices, after your second 8 day turno is complete, you could travel directly back to the States without going back to the Santiago offices. However, as described in the above illustration, by leaving Chile “early” and not going into the Santiago offices, you will NOT be out of station for the requisite 21 days, making you ineligible for the 15% salary premium.

In summary, for a CSV support turno in Chile, you need to complete:

    1. Two (2) 8 day shifts at the OSF and these CANNOT be consecutive and a shift CANNOT be more than 8 days. Furthermore, turnos MUST be separated by at least 1 day off and you must go off site for the off day(s).
    2. You must spend “some time” at the Santiago offices in Chile and you must report to the Santiago office the day you arrive in Chile.
    3. To be eligible for the 15% salary premium, you must spend 21 consecutive days out of station. Therefore, at a minimum, you will need to spend at least 2 extra days in Chile before returning back to the States. If you chose to spend these days as work days in the Santiago office, you can do these either at the beginning or end of your turno. When/if you spend that time in the Santiago office is up to you.

Any further arrangements concerning your turno time at the OSF, time spent during your “off days”, or and other personal requests during your CSV tour should be directed to Alison Peck, Deputy Project Scientist (DPS).

What should be my timeline before deployment?

~5 months before deployment

Approximately 5 months before a planned trip, ARC managers will send the names and approximate dates of the proposed support staff to Andreas Lundgren and Maseo Saito). This list should include a range of acceptable dates and any other travel considerations, as well as the desired turno cadence (e.g., 8+2+8, meaning 8 days at the OSF, 2 days off, 8 more days at the OSF). Note: For non-CSV Liaison staff, the dates should allow for overlap with other ARC staff for training purposes. CSV should try to accommodate the desired turno cadence, although the exact schedule may differ by a few days (e.g. 8+4+8 instead of 8+2+8).

~3 months before deployment

The DPS will confirm the dates when the ARC staff should report for CSV support duty in Chile. This information will be communicated to both the support staff and the relevant ARC Manager.

~6 weeks before deployment

The DPS will post the schedule for staff participating in CSV support at the OSF on a shared calendar, and notify the support staff.

Prior to traveling to Chile, contact Suitay Chang and Marcela MIranda to arrange for taxi service to the Santiago offices. You will need to provide them with a copy of your TAF, your airline, flight number, and arrival date and time. The taxi driver will meet you after you come out of the International Arrivals area, who will be holding a sign that has the "ALMA Logo" on it. If the driver is not visible, the bus is always located at right side of the exit (at the end of the road). It is a good idea to take with you Suitay Chang's and Marcela Miranda's phone number in case you don't see anyone waiting for you at the airport.(+56 2 4676600).

Talk with Suitay Chang and Marcela Miranda or one of the people who have already been down there (Tony Remijan, Al Wootten, Kartik Sheth, Ed Fomalont and Nuria Marcelino) about:
  • accommodations in Santiago.
    • The AUI folks in Chile will likely recommend Vespucci Suites, which is basically a hotel. If you would rather stay in an apart-hotel (better for longer stays), there are many in the area. Kartik stayed at VitaApart Hotel and LOVED it. AUI now can pay them on a monthly basis so this is another option to consider. In the same building is also the Monaraca Apart Hotel. Another apart-hotel usually used by ALMA and ESO visitors is the Caburga Inn. Depending on the room you get, it may not be as good as it looks on the website. In particular these apartments are cold in the winter because the heating system does not work well and/or windows do not close completely. Another recommendation is Suites Vitacura located in Av. Kennedy, just in front of the Parque Arauco mall.
  • obtaining and using a cell phone while in Chile - the ARC staff at JAO share a cell phone (+56 (9) 6239 5900). Other NRAO items (mini laptop, etc.) as well as the cell-phone, will be kept in the NA ARC room in the Santiago offices.

Contact Suitay Chang and Marcela Miranda to:
  • confirm housing arrangements at the OSF
  • arrange your travel to and from the OSF from Calama

NOTE: You will need to send Alicia and Marcela your affiliation and passport information so that they can make your in-country travel arrangements.

Deployment

You will report to the SCO offices in Santiago on the day you are first scheduled. You must have fulfilled any and all required work prerequisites (e.g. high altitude physicals, international drivers license and offsite driving training --if necessary).

You should bring your own laptop. As a backup we now have a MAC mini which sits in Rm 245 of the ALMA office building at SCO. There is a NAASC visitor account which you can use if you need to. Username: NAASC. Password:

You are required to make your own travel and lodging arrangements to and from Santiago.

CSV will arrange all transport between Santiago and the OSF, and lodging at the OSF.

How do I make travel arrangements for my trip to Chile?

You have several options for arranging air travel to Chile:

In all cases, flights must be on a US flag-ship carrier.

  • You can make all the air travel arrangements yourself. There are non-stop flights to Santiago on American and Delta leaving from either Dallas Fort Worth, Atlanta International, or Miami Dade. There are many other ways to get to Santiago, but these are the most straight-forward. If you make your own arrangements, you will be reimbursed for a round-trip coach fare ticket.

  • You may work with Lyndele von Schill in the NAASC office. She can arrange to direct bill your air travel expenses. Ideally, you will have looked through various online booking sites to get an idea about the available flights and schedules. The most simple way to handle this would be to send Lyndele an itinerary that best fits your needs (choice of airline, departure airport, schedule, etc.). She can then purchase the ticket on your behalf.

  • You may work directly with Victoria Gee at World Travel in Charlottesville (434-295-8747). Vicki can book your flight to and from Santiago and direct bill to your account in ALMA.

Important: As soon as you have booked your travel to Santiago, you should also forward the itinerary (and your passport information) to Suitay Chang and Marcela Miranda, so they can arrange your internal Chile travel (Santiago to Calama, etc.).

What pre-travel meetings should I attend?

Attend the JSG group at NRAO which usually meets every Thursday at 10:00am. See this page: JSG Wiki Page

If you are assigned to AIV support on your turno then attend the:

AIV Coordination Meeting

Before and during your deployment, you should definitely call in to the AIV Coordination Meeting

Dialup Information
• 1500 UT Fridays
• NA Dial-in 877-954-9013
• Non-NA dial-in: +1-203-566-7210
• Participant passcode: 1689681

You should also check out the AIVC wikipage, specifically the AIVC Science Coordination page.

Dialup Information
• 17:30 UT Tuesdays (14:30 Chile time)
• NA Dial-in 877-874-1919
• Non-NA dial-in: +1-203-320-9891
• Participant passcode: 185064

Science Coordination Meetings

For a more detailed information, you can check the next URL:
http://wikis.alma.cl/bin/view/AIV/ScheduleAndCoordinationMeetings

When you are in Chile, there are daily Science Coordination meetings at 15:00 Chile time that you are required to attend while on duty and especially when you are on shift at the OSF. At this meeting, scientists inform their SCO colleagues about the progress of the previous night's observations and discuss the observing plan for the day. These meetings take place in the large conference room at the OSF, and by video to the Santiago office (Miscanti conference room).

There are also daily AIV coordination meetings ( minutes & dial-in info) starting at 15:30 Chile time in the same room at the OSF. These meetings are NOT required.

On Wednesdays, there is a longer Science coordination meeting with a video link connection with SCO, ESO, and NRAO. It starts at 2:00p.m. and includes more general topics of logistics and testing. This is followed at 15:00 by the daily Science Coordination meeting.

On Thursdays occasionally there is a science talk, or a few short ones, at 2:00 pm, followed by some discussion. At 3:00 pm the usual astronomers meeting takes place.

Current Activities at the OSF

You might also want to review the information available on the <a href="http://wikis.alma.cl/bin/view/AIV/CurrentActivitiesAndOSFInformation">Current Activities at the OSF</a>site.

Arriving in Chile

What happens during and after my flight to Santiago?

On the Plane - While you are on the international flight to Santiago, you will be given a customs form and an immigration visitation form. Where asked to provide your location while in Chile, you may use the address given above. Alternatively, if you are going directly to the OSF, you can simply put "ALMA Operations Support Facility." You must have these two forms to go through immigration and customs. If for some reason you are not given the forms on the plane, you'll find them on a series of tables at the bottom of the escalator before going through immigration.

Getting Through Immigration - As you come down the escalator on your way to immigration, you will be greeted and asked (1) if this is your first time in Chile and (2) if you are a U.S. Citizen. All U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Australian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity tax the first time the traveler enters Chile AND anytime a new passport is issued for the first time entering Chile. A small paper stamp is stapled to the back of your passport. The stamp for U.S. citizens costs $160 USD (as of October 2012) and is not transferable. You can pay with domestic currency or credit card. Go to "Arrivals Documentation" near the middle of the page for more information on this tax.

The tax is paid at the Santiago airport before you clear immigration. As you come down the escalator, turn left, basically going behind the escalators where you will see a booth where a Chilean representative will inspect your passport and request the required reciprocity tax payment. After you have paid the tax and obtained your stamp, you are now ready to go through immigration. NOTE: As of September 2009, there is a lot of construction in the Santiago International Arrivals area so the actual location of the booth to pay the tax may have moved.

As you go through immigration, the inspector will make sure you have paid the tax and take the top copy of your visitation form. He will also stamp the bottom copy and give it back to you. You must keep that copy because you need to turn it in back to immigration before leaving Chile on your way back to the States!

Baggage Claim - Proceed to baggage claim. If you have any checked bags, you can pick them up. When you have all your bags, proceed directly to the exit. As you are leaving, Chilean customs will X-ray all your bags (checked and carry-on bags). They are looking for any foreign fruits, vegetables or plants. Chile has a very strict agriculture importation policy that restricts bringing in fresh foods, nuts, fruit, etc. You will be warned about this prior to leaving your flight and when you pass through customs. The Agriculture officials from the Servicio Agricola Y Ganadero (SAG) are very serious about halting the importation of these goods and they aggressively monitor luggage and personal bags to detect the contraband. You can expect to have one or more SAG dogs sniff you, your carry-on bags, and your luggage as it comes off the carousel. Any contraband discovered will be confiscated and the owner fined immediately. The bottom line is to heed the warnings, be cooperative with the inspectors, and rid yourself of any contraband by leaving it on the airplane or by using the containers provided in the airport.

Leaving the Airport - Upon clearing customs and immigration, you can turn right or left to get out into the lobby of the international arrival terminal. Most likely, you will turn LEFT out of the exit. Look for the taxi driver who will be holding a sign that has the "ALMA Logo" on it. You will not need to pay for this taxi as it is directly billed to the AUI Chile Office. It is a good idea to take with you some of the phone numbers in the table above (AUI Chile Office, Alicia/Suitay) in case there is a misconnection between you and your driver and you cannot find your pre-arranged ride.

Cell Phones - Very likely, your US cellular provider will allow you to connect to the Chilean cell provider, so you can make an international call directly from your cell phone. Depending on the coverage and plan that you have, roaming charges while using your cell phone in Chile can be up to $2.89/min (Verizon). However, this charge can be reimbursed and should be included in your TER upon your return to the States. In addition, the roaming charges on short phone calls to family, friends, and colleagues letting them know you have arrived in Chile are also allowed and can be reimbursed at the discretion of your supervisor or the business manager. Ask your supervisor if you have any questions about using your personal cell phone while on travel to Chile.

There are also telephone kiosks throughout the terminal where you can make a phone call and charge it to your credit card if you have not received any change yet in Chilean pesos. Once again, those calls will be reimbursed at the end of your trip when you file your TER.

As part of your packet of information when you arrive to the Santiago office, you can receive a Chilean cell phone that can be used for calls within Chile (see above).

In Santiago

What happens after I arrive at the ALMA Santiago Central Offices (SCO)?

*Report to Andreas Lundgren or Masao Saito or another member of the CSV team. You will be debriefed on the current CSV activities as well as any work that needs to be completed during your visit during the 3PM Chilean time meeting (see meetings near the end of this document). You will also meet other members of the CSV team. Depending on your particular assignment there will be several options available for you concerning where you will stay. Much of this will depend upon the amount of time you will spend in Santiago and the time you expect to spend up at the Operations Support Facility (OSF).

How do I get to Calama and the OSF?

Getting to Calama and the OSF - CSV and scientists assigned to Chile should contact Suitay Chang and Marcela Miranda, +56 (2) 467 6600, to make your arrangements to get back to the airport for the trip to Calama. Administrative, IPT and other employees should contact Carola Lara. They will also book your flights to and from Santiago. Before going to the airport, you can check in online (if you are using LAN airlines to get from Santiago to Calama). If you want to check any bags, do so like you would at any other airport. If you are traveling with only what you think is small enough to be considered a carry-on, it may not be according to LAN standards. It appears that the restrictions for carry-on bags are higher than on US carriers because not only is there a size limit to the carry-on bag but also a weight limit. Check out the information page and especially the baggage conditions before getting to the airport.

After you have checked all your bags and obtained a boarding pass, you will proceed through the domestic terminal security. Before going through security there are several places to get some food. Once you pass security and are in the domestic terminal, your options are more limited to where you can purchase food. There are a couple small Cafe's, a Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks in the domestic terminal past security. If you want/need anything else, you need to get that before going through security. Also note that if you are taking the 6:30AM flights, many of these places will not be open when you arrive at the airport! For example, the Starbucks near the gates does not open until 6 AM.


After passing through security in the domestic terminal, you have the option of using the VIP Lounge called the Pacific Club. To get in, you can pay $25 or if you have a Diner's Club credit card, that will also get you in free of charge. If you are an NRAO employee, you can obtain an NRAO corporate Diner's Club card. The card will be in your name and you will get the bills if you incur any charges but it will allow you to get into the lounge free of charge.

Where should I stay if I need longer-term accomodations?

The OCA and NRAO have arrangements with several hotels in Santiago. Please contact ( Ann Edmunds for recommendations and reservations. Recommended hotels include:

Vita Apart - Americo Vespucio Norte 22. 30 minute walk to office, but is right at the Escuela Militar Metro stop, so very conventient. Wireless internet, cell phone, fully furnished, laundry on bottom floor. Can be direct billed.

Monarca Apartments - same building as above.

Hotel Noi, Vitacura. "Across the street" from HQ.Can be direct billed.

Hotel Director El Golf

Vespucci Suites Can be direct billed.

How do I take care of personal tasks, like shopping and banking?

Laundry - There are laundry facitlities at the OSF. If your apartment building in Santiago does not have a laundry on premises, there are many laundromats in the city; the rate for a load of laundry is about 5500 CLP.

Shopping - If you go shopping at the Unimarc or any other grocery store, note that the baggers are not paid employees but work only on tips. A typical tip for bagging is between 200 and 300 Chilean pesos (CLP) but may be more depending on the number of bags. As of July 30, 2011, the currency exchange between Chilean pesos and USD is: 457 CLP = 1 USD. Note that Vespucci Suites kitchen is very basic. One may borrow pots and pans but the refrigerator is a mini-fridge type and inadequate for e.g. keeping frozen food safe while one goes to the OSF.

Banking - It is highly recommended that you use your Debit card for making transactions. Inform your bank before you go; some banks will phone your home to see if the charge is valid and of course you are not there. You use your ATM card like any other machine except that after you enter your pin number there will be a "Foreign Exchange" choice which is the last choice at the bottom left of the screen. You can then chose English for your language to continue. NOTE: the maximum amount you can take out per day is 200,000 CLP! If you try to get more, they may still charge your bank but you will not get the cash. The fee is typically 2.5% of the total withdrawl.

Valuables - Good rule of thumb: keep all your valuables back home. In addition, keep your laptop with you.

Transportation (Getting around Santiago)

Bus/Subway

You can obtain a bus/subway card (called a bip! card) at the Escuela Militar subway station, which is one of the closest ones to JAO, and perhaps the easiest one for a pedestrian to reach. It is about a 35 minute walk from the JAO (east on Alonso de Cordova, then south on Americo Vespucio Norte). The station is under the east side of this busy street, but you can cross underneath from the west side of the street through an underground pedestrian tunnel filled with eateries. Note that the automatic card machines at this station have a button for "English" (but not all stations do).

The minimum cost for a card is 5000 peso (about $10), which includes the initial card fee and is good for about 8 or 9 rides on the bus or subway. You can just insert paper money if your bank card does not work. Entering the subway is the same as any American city, you place your card briefly on top of a reader on the turnstyle until the display illuminates. When boarding a bus, there are yellow boxes mounted on the pole behind the driver at which you place your card against the bulls-eye target until the light flashes. The remaining balance is displayed briefly on both the bus and subway box. If you have to transfer buses, there is no additional charge as long as you exit and board the next line within a certain time window (something like an hour). You can recharge your card with money at one of the orange card machines at most stations.

To plan your trips on bus or subway, a good site is www.transantiago.cl. It uses Google maps as the interface (click "planifica tu viaje", then "directions"). It tells you the bus number(s) and bus stops (paradas) or subway stops to use, and the current arrival times. When you are outside, you can use the phone app Transantiago Master (a.k.a. tsm) to see where the closest bus stops are to you, and learn how many minutes the next bus is from your stop. But note that buses and subways are really crowded during rush hour.

Further notes about buses:
  • The bus stops are not announced or displayed (like they are on the Boston MBTA for example). So you really need to know where you plan to get off ahead of time. There are green buttons to request a stop.
  • It probably helps to look at the area around your destination on google satellite to see the building layout. The bus stops do have prominent signs (white letters on black background) that list the lines that stop there.
  • The buses display their number in lights on the front and back, and on a white card on the street-facing side.

Taxi
  • If you need a taxi, a useful phone app is EasyTaxi (easytaxi.cl). It uses the GPS in your phone to place your location on a map, and you simply press Request taxi, and within minutes a taxi will appear.
  • Even if you don't have a data plan, you can enter your address manually and Request taxi from inside your apartment using WiFi before going outside.
  • The name of the driver, type of car and license plate is sent to you as soon as the vehicle is assigned. To learn the typical price you should pay for a taxi trip, this web site is useful: http://www.taximetro.cl/

What kinds of things are there to do in Santiago?

ALMA Staff members working in Santiago have been offered the opportunity to participate in some of the ESO Vitacura recreational activities. Most of the classes include a modest fee, paid to the instructor. Examples of some activities include:

Tango classes - contact Luz Camucet at luz at eso dot org

Soccer and Volleyball leagues - Claudio at cmeo at eso dot org

Yoga - contact Laura at venturalventura at eso dot org

Tai Chi - Paulina at pjiron at eso dot org

Climbing course - contact Laura at venturalventura at eso dot org

In Calama/OSF

What happens at the Calama airport?

At the Calama Airport - The airport in Calama is very small, on the order of the size of the Charlottesville airport. Thus, there are only a few gates and only one area for baggage claim. Once you have retrieved all your bags, right outside baggage claim, you will find your pre-arranged ride to take you to the OSF. Once again, the driver will be holding an “ALMA” sign and a clipboard with your name on it. More likely than not, there will be several people heading up to the site and were on the plane with you to Calama.

After the driver checks everyone in, you get on a bus for a ride up to the OSF. The OSF is about 130 km from Calama. On average, the trip on the bus will take about 1.5-2 hours. If you took the 15:55 flight to Calama from Santiago, you can expect to arrive at the OSF main office building around 20:30. If you arrive before 21:30, you may still have time for dinner.

What can I expect when arriving at the OSF?

The first time you go to the OSF a temporary ID card will be provided at the ALMA main gate. Once you arrive the OSF, you have to request a permanent ID card in the reception and ask for the activation of the meals. Unless you have already picked up your keys for you room while in Santiago (very unlikely), you proceed into the main office; it has a sign called “Reception”. If the office is locked, there is a keypad where you have to enter a code...the code is 6-5-4-3-2-1-#. You can then enter the main building.

If you are there during the day, there should be someone there to help you check in and pick up the key to your room. If not, look for an envelope on the desk with your name, and a map on the desk showing where the different buildings are located.The Tech building is uphill if its night and hard to see where things are.

If they purport to be open, but there is no one there and everyone is waiting, you may want to contact Suitay or Alicia...or go to the cafeteria. The receptionists may be at dinner or breakfast depending on when you arrive.You can also proceed directly to the OSF control building where your support duties will take place and someone there, especially one of the telescope operators, may be able to help you check-in and get keys to your room.

Provided for you in your room at the OSF will be:
1. Set of towels
2. Small bars soap
3. bottles of water
4. telephone
5. ethernet cable and alarm clock (sometimes)
6. refrigerator

Other toiletries that will not be provided are shampoo, shaving cream, toothpaste, etc...make sure you bring those with you to the site. Cleaning service is also provided daily. If you do not want to be disturbed, make sure to hang the sign on the door before heading to bed.

*Humidifiers*are available, and you may have one in your room.Presumably someone could get you one if not - maybe Suitay or Alicia.

Laundry - At the OSF, laundry facilities are available, but you'll need to do your own laundry on your own time and provide your own detergent. Once you are all settled in, report to the OSF control room to start your CSV support duties.

Desk - evidently you can sit wherever in the control room; don't expect anyone there to know you're coming or if you have an office.

What will I be expected to do at the OSF?

Meetings

When you are in Chile, there are daily Science Coordination meetings at 15:00 Chile time that you are required to attend while on duty and especially when you are on shift at the OSF. At this meeting, scientists inform their SCO colleagues about the progress of the previous night's observations and discuss the observing plan for the day. These meetings take place in the large conference room (auditorium), and by video to the Vitacura office (Miscanti meeting room).

There are also daily AIV coordination meetings ( minutes & dial-in info) starting at 15:30 Chile time in the auditorium near the control room. These are NOT required.

On Wednesdays, there is a longer Science coordination meeting with a video link connection with SCO, ESO, and NRAO. It starts at 2:00p.m. and includes more general topics of logistics and testing. This is followed at 15:00 by the daily Science Coordination meeting.

On Thursdays occasionally there is a science talk, or a few short ones, at 2:00 pm, followed by some discussion. At 3:00 pm the usual astronomers meeting takes place.

Daily Science Reports: Science Activity Journal and Shift Log Tool You will be asked to fill in the Science Activity Journal and the Shift Log every day to report all the tests you do during your observing shift, as well as any problems that you discover. You might also have to provide information in relevant JIRA tickets or create new tickets (ALMA Issue tracking).

To access the ALMA Shift Log Tool, you will log into an STE and type: shiftlog archive. Then go to File-->New-->Simple and enter your notes. When finished, press Save Entry in the upper right panel.

What do I need to know about Computers and Systems at the OSF?

The Standard Test Environment (STE)

The STE is a protected network that provides a standardized operating system, network infrastructure and user environment to test and run ALMA software. The STEs are designed to be consistent and reliable, regardless of which ALMA development partner builds and operates a particular STE.

The STEs all share one hard disk. You can access all directories of all tests performed using different antennas from every STE. All data is stored automatically in the new archive.

As of March, 2010, there are four STEs, accessible to the scientists:

  • TFINT (to perform interferometry at the OSF)
  • AOS (to carry out interferometry at the AOS)
  • TFSD (for single dish tests at the OSF)
  • TFOHG (for holography tests at the OSF)

User personal accounts are individual and centrally authenticated for all STEs. They are stored in users/username/TFSD directory. To access remotely to an STE, you must use the following hostname: STE-gns.aiv.alma.cl

Example: if you want to connect with the STE that is doing interferometry at the OSF, you should type:

ssh -X username@tfint-gns.aiv.alma.cl and use the password of your personal account

Additional information can be found at STE User Manual, STE Manual, and tutorials.

Science Tests Directories

For science tests, the main directory is /groups/science. There you can find several sub-directories that contain important information about antenna testing for scientists and engineers.

DATA ---> Are under directory /groups/science/data, ordered by antenna name for single dish tests carried out at OSF, and under RADIO for those carried out with the AOS interferometer.

SCRIPTS ---> Are under directory /groups/science/scripts/R7.0.0_WORKING (note: this directory may change with time. Ask your colleagues about the latest directory). Further auxiliary scripts may be found in thematic subdirectories under /scripts/.
CVS (Concurrent Version Control)

Science tests are usually done with scripts under /groups/science/scripts/R7.0.0_WORKING/. If you want to edit an script, you can do it in your own account, under /AIV/science/scripts/R7.0.0_WORKING/ directory, using cvs, and then you can commit it later into the repository.

To checkout a version of the archive in your own directory:
  1. CVS login:
    • export CVSROOT=":pserver:USER@cvssrv.hq.eso.org:/project21/CVS"
    • cvs login
  2. Local copy checkout (checkout sources for editing):
    • cvs co AIV/science/
To update (Bring work tree in sync with repository) and commit changes:
  • cvs update [file or dir]
  • cvs commit [file or dir]

The final step to update the scripts in the common working scripts directory:
  • ssh gns
  • /sbin/update-sciencedir -d scripts

If you want a cvs account, send your request to mpasquat@eso.org

More information is available at: Using CVS wiki STE Usage Schema and CVS Tutorial wiki STE Users Manual Quick Reference Guide (PDF)

ALMA Issue Tracking

The ALMA Issue Tracking system is used to report and follow the evolution of tests and problems observed in the different areas and activities of the project. Ask msimmond@alma.cl for a JIRA account to get into the ALMA Issue Tracking system.

ALMA EDM (Electronic Document Management)

ALMA Electronic Document Management is the suite of programs designed to store and track ALMA electronic documents and other media. Ask acaceres@alma.cl for a username and a password.

Remote Access to STEs, Reduction machines (sco-red and osf-red) and data

If you just want to check or retrieve some files, you can simply login in tatio.aiv.alma.cl and from there login to any STE. This is fast but tatio has no X windows support, so its functionality for editing or data reduction is poor.

For greater functionality, remote access is available either by using a VPN connection or through an SSH tunnel via tatio. Detailed procedures

What tools will I use for observing?

OMC - The Operation Monitor and Control GUI. This controls the array (and sub-arrays). Usually controlled by the operators.

JLog - System logs - These are updated continuously and so when something goes wrong, this is where you look for the errors. Make sure you cut and paste the entire error message into the ShiftLog or in the JIRA ticket if the problem needs to be tracked down and diagnosed.

Quicklook - Quicklook windows open at the end of a source and plot the results of the observing intent (flux, delay, amp) - i.e. for a pointing observation, the QuickLook window will show the results in a graphical format.

CorrGUI - This GUI is expected to allow you to see the real time data from the correlator. You can only see one baseline at a time, but if you are tracking a source or going back and forth between objects, its a nice way to ensure you have fringes.

TelCal and TelCalSpy - TelCal is the calibration software that runs "under the hood" and measures such things as delays, pointing offsets, coherence, etc. The output of TelCal is what gets fed into QuickLook. A TelCalSpy window is usually run in a separate window by the operators - make sure and check this esp. when starting any time of observation.

ShiftLogTool - This is a GUI that is to be used by the scientists continuously to enter in commands and keep a log of their observations. The ShiftLogTool puts the comments into the science archive and therefore has a long term storage capability. Note that, if the archive is down, the tool may not work.

Science Activity Journal - Before the ShiftLogTool was available, the scientists began keeping the log in a Science activity journal which still persists and is used as the standard log entry place by the scientists. Its not very readable but it is functional.

ALMA Observing Tool - This is the tool that will be used by all astronomers who want to observe (and propose) with ALMA. We use it currently to create "scheduling blocks" and run and test the array but we are limited by the underlying scripts it calls. So the OT is what we will use long term but in the short term we rely more on the manual mode python scripts.

Manual Mode and Scripts - Manual mode is essentially what is used to control the array currently using python scripts which in turn call various pre-defined control objects.

What about Technology at the OSF (computing, internet, telecons, etc.)?

While on-site, your main duties will revolve around your CSV support but you will also be given office space if you want to work during your off hours. You will most likely share an office with other CSV support staff but there should never be more than 2 people occupying one office at one time. If you find this is a problem, contact Alison Peck and ask if you can spread out to another office. The OSF is a BIG building! But it will fill up fast.
Computing

A Mac Mini is available to serve as a back-up in case your laptop dies. Username and password: NAASC and 16ALMA16

Printing

If you want to print to local printers, you need to be connected to the wired network. Alison should have provided enough ethernet cables in the offices but if not, feel free to walk down the hall to IT support at the opposite end of the OSF from the control room and ask for something you need. The computing IPT and support staff should be able to help you. There is also a wireless network available for your convenience, but you won't be able to connect to the peripherals (like printers) on that network.

VPN

While on the network you will find you do not have any access to the recent scientific journals or ADS. If this is a problem, the immediate solution is to connect via a VPN or VNC to your home institution. For information on how to set up these connections, see your local IT support staff before leaving for Chile. Also, if you have trouble connecting while on-site, contact the local IT and computing IPT support staff.

Conference calls and videocons

If you have conference calls, telecons or videocons to attend, there are several rooms available that can be used throughout the day for these meetings. If you need to call out of the OSF and it is not through a toll-free number, you will need to get an access code to call out. Contact Alicia or Suitay to obtain an access code. You will have to justify the call and may have to reimburse the project if the call was not directly work related. You can also use your cell phones while on site but the same expensive roaming charges will apply. If you are given a Chilean cell phone, there are no expensive roaming charges and all landline calls to the ALMA or AUI/NRAO offices in Santiago are of no cost to you.

Telephone calls

The most effective way to communicate free of charge while in Chile is through Skype.

Skype can be used in any platform but Linux will have a problem finding the appropriate drivers for webcams and as such, videoconferencing on Linux may be very difficult to set up. However, calling into telecons and regular calls work very well on all platforms. Contact your local IT support if you have difficulties setting up Skype.

What do I do about eating and drinking at the OSF?

Stay Hydrated!

You will find bottled water all over the site, in every refrigerator and canteen, as well in your room. The environment at the OSF is quite high and dry. Because of this, the project made it a point to keep everyone well hydrated. So, take as many bottles of water as you want and keep hydrated all day and night. While potable water is delivered daily to the site, you will not find a water fountain anywhere on-site like you would in the States. So, keep drinking the bottle water provided to you! If not, you may start to have feelings similar to a hangover (ie. feeling dizzy, headache, some nausea). So, make every effort NOT to get dehydrated. If you do start to feel sick, there is a medical staff on-site. It consists of a paramedic and an ambulance driver. They can take care of a lot of the small issues as well such as providing nose and eye drops due to the dry conditions. Let them, as well as your support staff, know what is going on if you start to feel ill. Also note that the paramedic does not speak English very well so you may want to bring a bilingual colleague with you especially if the symptoms are vague.

Meals

Meals are provided at the Comedor/Casino/Cantina (dining room). You have to pass you ID card through the electronic reader and give the ticket to the kitchen personnel at the entry or drop it in a bowl next to the reader every time you get a meal.

While on-site, you can eat in the cafeteria which provide 3 meals daily as well as a fresh night lunch for those working night shifts. At lunch and dinner, there is always a full salad bar, selection of fresh fruit and various rolls and breads. There is also a vegetarian option at each meal.

The timetable for meals is:

Breakfast: 6:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Lunch: 12:30 – 14:30 p.m.

Dinner: 18:30 – 21:30 p.m.

Night Lunch: 1:00 – 3:00 a.m.

Breakfast for Astronomers

If you are working by night and you get up late, you can have a fast and light ”Desayuno para astronomos” (breakfast for astronomers). You should be able to find it in the fridge of the dinning room; if not, ask the kitchen personnel.

Night Meals

If you will be working overnight, besides the Night Lunch, you can also request a ”colacion” using the form ALMA_Night.pdf and send it to colacion@alma.cl before 6pm of the same day. More information about getting food at night, as well as the form can be found in http://wikis.alma.cl/bin/view/AIV/NightMeal.

If you feel you will have a problem with the food selection while at the OSF or have severe food allergies and require a specific diet, contact your supervisor, Alison Peck while you are planning your trip so the appropriate arrangements can be made.

Finally, the OSF as a dry site has more than one meaning – no alcohol allowed!

Things to do at the OSF

As for recreational activities, each room is equipped with DirectTV. Most of the channels can be heard in both Spanish and English. You just have to find the right button on the DirectTV remote to change the language setting. In addition to the local programming, there are a number of stations that televise shows running in syndication and there are a fair number of movie channels.

Right off the cafeteria there is a small recreation room where you can play ping pong, shoot pool, play darts or watch a movie (on DVD) on a large screen TV. The recreation area also includes a music room and a reading room. Outside the offices and cafeteria trailers is the tennis court that is used for a variety of outside activities including soccer. There is also a gym with an elaborate but limited nautilus type machine, some free weights, a couple treadmills, stationary bikes and rowing machines. In the end, there is also plenty of sightseeing and hiking you can do while on site. Just don't forget your water!

What about time off?

Visiting San Pedro

If you decided to take only one (1) day off in between your shifts, it does not make much sense, as well as being expensive, to travel all the way back to Santiago or Calama. Instead, you can just spend that day in San Pedro. As always, in general, it is up to you to make your accommodations to leave and stay at a hotel or hostel while in San Pedro. However, Marcela and Suitay may be willing to help you make arrangements.

Hotels are pretty pricey in San Pedro. You can check out the GoChile website.

In addition, there are nice hostels as well. The nice hostels have an en-suite bathroom and include breakfast, so just like a hotel but cheaper. If you want some recommendations, the Hotel Altiplanico is very nice and quiet with a bilingual staff and full meals all day.

There are 2 regular shuttles a day that leave for San Pedro from the OSF. The shuttles leave from outside the Reception office where you first arrived. The first shuttle leaves at 10:00 am daily and drops you off at the corner of Domingo Atienza and Caracoles in San Pedro (map below). This shuttle will return at 11:30 am from the same point.

The second shuttle leaves the OSF at 20:00 from the OSF and drops you off at parking area behind the main square in San Pedro. This shuttle returns to the same corner three hours later at 23:00 for travel back to the OSF from San Pedro. At any time, you can meet the buses on these corners for the return trip to the OSF. NOTE: There are two additional services leaving OSF at 13:30p.m. and 16:00. These services can be used by prior arrangements with Reception.

NOTE: It is about a 30 min trip from the OSF to San Pedro so if you are trying to meet the 13:30 or 20:00 buses in San Pedro, they should arrive between 14:00 and 20:30 but get there early because the last bus leaves for the site at 23:00!

Besides those shuttles, everyday the bus going/coming from/to the Airport to the OSF can stop in San Pedro:

OSF-Airport6.30 and 15.00 hrs.Airport-OSFLeaves the airport at 9.00 (depending of the flight arrival time), so will be passing San Pedro around 10.30 hrs.Leaves the airport at 18.00 (depending of the flight arrival time), so will be passing San Pedro around 19.30 hrs.

There are also several restaurant options while in San Pedro. Most of the restaurants are on Caracoles, including the Cafe Restaurant Adobe and the Tierra. If you are walking from the village to the Hotel Altiplanico, it will take between 15-20 minutes.

It is very important to be aware of the alcohol, drug and tobacco policies related to the ALMA Site. Possession and use of alcohol is forbidden at the OSF and associated facilities near San Pedro. Further, if you leave the facility and consume alcohol you can expect to be tested on your return. See page 98 of the Safety Manual for detailed information.

Time Off in Santiago

For longer trips (ie. more days off between shifts) you may want to return to Santiago. In this case, Marcela and Suitay would help you make the arrangement to drop you off and pick you up from the Santiago airport to your hotel/apartment in Santiago when you finalize your travel arrangements and know where you want to stay during your off days. For Santiago on the day or two before and/or after your OSF trip, Marcela and Suitay can find a hotel for you.

Contact Marcela and Suitay to help you make arrangements to get back to the site. NOTE: if you are traveling somewhere else than San Pedro or Santiago on your off days, you need to make your own arrangements to get back to a location where the buses can take you back to the OSF.

What do I do about leaving the OSF at the end of my shift?

Leaving the OSF

Once back, and after you complete your second 8 day shift, you can then take the afternoon flight back to Santiago leaving from Calama. The bus back to the airport to catch the afternoon flight leaves at 15:00. Once again, you should make arrangements through Claudia to make sure you are scheduled to be picked up from the OSF and are on the bus going to the Calama airport.

Please leave your room key with someone in the main office and let them know you are checking out.

After arriving at the Santiago airport, you should find your pre-arranged ride back to the hotel.

Reporting for work in Santiago

Report for work to the Santiago offices for the next two days and prepare to give a full de-briefing of progress/bugs/failures to other members of the CSV team at the 3PM meeting. Also, make sure during the entire trip to the OSF you report progress/bugs/failures to Andreas Lundgren and Masao Saito; as well other support staff; by posting to the JIRA ALMA issue tracking site.

If you do not have a JIRA username and login, a twiki username and login, a login on the STE's at the site and/or you have not been added to the almasci_chile mailing list, contact Alison Peck. You will need these accounts to be able to work effectively at the OSF and during your deployment in Santiago.

Above all else, if you have any questions or personal requests about the length of time spent in the Santiago office or the requirements and specifications of the off days, contact Andreas Lundgren and Masao Saito directly addressing your concerns and requests.

The ALMA High Site

Remember that you will not be able to visit the High Site without your High-Altitude Clearance.

When you travel up to the AOS, the guards will scan your card so that everyone at the site can be accounted for. Please remember to carry your card with you at all times.

It is very important to be aware of the alcohol, drug and tobacco policies related to the ALMA Site. Possession and use of alcohol is forbidden at the OSF and associated facilities near San Pedro. Further, if you leave the facility and consume alcohol you can expect to be tested on your return. See page 98 of the Safety Manual for detailed information.

Returning to the U.S.

How do I get back to the US?

When you have completed your 2nd day of work in the Santiago office, you can catch the evening flight from Santiago back to the states. American and Delta airlines do not actually open check-in at the airport until after 5PM. Also, because it is an international flight, you may not be able to check-in online. After making your arrangements through Suitay or Marcela to get back to the airport, have checked-in, and now have your boarding passes, you can now proceed back through immigration.

Remember that copy of the visitation form you received on the plane and the immigration officer took the top copy? Well, they will now want the bottom copy of that form. If you lost it or don't have it on you for one reason or another, you should consult the assistant helping out during check-in well before you ever get to the immigration officers.

Once you have made it through immigration, enjoy the shopping, dining and Pacific Club in the international terminal. There is much more to offer here than in the domestic terminal!

Enjoy your flight back to the US!

-- AlWootten - 2011-02-10 -- LyndeleVonSchill - 2010-10-29
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I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
2013-Chile-TravelInfo.pdfpdf 2013-Chile-TravelInfo.pdf manage 1439.2 K 2013-08-06 - 14:32 LyndeleVonSchill  
ALMA_Night.pdfpdf ALMA_Night.pdf manage 586.5 K 2010-12-10 - 10:40 LyndeleVonSchill  
Maps_of_ALMA_offices.pdfpdf Maps_of_ALMA_offices.pdf manage 381.6 K 2012-08-03 - 14:47 LyndeleVonSchill  
Mid-term_work_assignment_to_Chile.pdfpdf Mid-term_work_assignment_to_Chile.pdf manage 76.4 K 2012-10-01 - 15:01 LyndeleVonSchill  
Pre-trip_List.pdfpdf Pre-trip_List.pdf manage 72.4 K 2011-01-20 - 11:14 LyndeleVonSchill  
SCL.JPGJPG SCL.JPG manage 79.7 K 2013-03-27 - 08:57 LyndeleVonSchill  
adapters.jpgjpg adapters.jpg manage 4.7 K 2010-12-09 - 11:10 LyndeleVonSchill adapter
san_pedro.jpgjpg san_pedro.jpg manage 77.5 K 2010-12-08 - 15:21 LyndeleVonSchill san pedro
santiagoalsacia.jpgjpg santiagoalsacia.jpg manage 42.7 K 2010-12-10 - 09:22 LyndeleVonSchill  
Topic revision: r87 - 2016-12-01, CatherineVlahakis
 

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