Image: Orion over an ALMA site quebrada photo by P. Carillo.
- Orion glides overhead framed by an ALMA site quebrada. Photo by Pablo Carillo.:
A Cycle 1 Status Report was produced by the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) with contributions from the North American, East Asian, and European ALMA Regional Centers (ARCs) and was published in the ALMA Science Portal
. In it one may find the current status of Cycle 1, the progress in observing the 196 approved Cycle 1 projects, the state of data reduction for those projects, the 2014 ALMA configuration schedule and an analysis of the expected project completion likelihood.
Overall, ALMA has thus far obtained 544 successful executions (including both 12-m Array and 7-m Array observations), or 36% of the estimated 1500 needed for Cycle 1 High Priority projects. The time from completion of data acquisition to delivery to PI has been reduced by nearly a factor of three since Cycle 0.
Science observations resumed earlier than expected owing to favorable conditions during the latter part of the austral summer. They have benefited from stable power and a newly implemented remote power restart and recovery capability. Beginning in April, the tempo of science observing will increase, with two weeks of science time scheduled for every week of commissioning. At the end of Cycle 1 on 31 May, it is predicted that 338 hours of Cycle 1 High Priority projects will remain unobserved, and will need to be transferred into Cycle 2. Therefore about 1700 hours will be available for High Priority Cycle 2 proposals. Details may be found in the Status Report.
The Cycle 2 science assessment process is concluding. The 78 reviewers have finished their evaluations of the 1381 proposals seeking more than 7000 hours of observations at a meeting in London, Ontario. Proposers will be informed of the outcome in the first few weeks of April 2014. Cycle 2 observations will begin in June, with the array in an extended configuration.
ALMA commissioning will focus on validation of the Cycle 2 online observing software and dealing with residual issues in single dish observing modes. The array is currently configured in a pattern close to C32-3 and will be expanding during the coming months. Recently, correlation was achieved between 53 antennas for a total of 1378 baselines using the 64 antenna correlator. The newly installed Band 10 (350 micron) receivers were used in an initial test observation (22 antennas are currently outfitted with this future capability).
ALMA Development Projects
The ALMA Board met in Santiago in mid-March. Among other actions, they approved the program of ALMA Development Projects proposed by the North American partnership described in last month's eNews. These Projects offer a first step towards construction of a prototype receiver for the 4mm window, construction of a new subarray, an upgrade to ALMA's 3mm receivers, and software to foster easier access to data in the ALMA archive and for its visualization.
A program of Studies for ALMA Development was approved earlier. North America anticipates issuing a new Call for Studies of Proposed Development Upgrades of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in about six months.
Dr. Stuartt Corder was appointed by the ALMA Board
as interim ALMA Deputy Director for a period of 2 years, effective January 1st, 2014.
A new group, called "Extension and Optimization of Capabilities", has been formed to lead and increase ALMA's increasing instrumental opportunities. Anthony Remijan will lead the group, holding the title of Program Scientist (Extension and Optimization)". Catherine Vlahakis will become "Deputy Program Scientist (Extension and Optimization)", effective 24 March for 18 months.