The Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA)
RAL is participating in the construction of the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA (link opens in a new window)), located in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile at an altitude of over 5000m. The facility will combine fifty-four 12 m diameter and twelve 7 m diameter telescopes to form an interferometric imaging array.
When completed in 2012, the instrument will provide an unprecedented sensitivity and spatial resolution at millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelengths. It will be used to detect and study the earliest and most distant galaxies, and probe dust-obscured regions which are the birthplace of stars and planets.
The project is an international collaboration between Europe, North America and East Asia. RAL is contributing to key areas of ALMA construction technology - cryogenics, photonics and receiver integration and test, the latter though hosting the European Front End Receiver Integration Centre (FEIC).
RAL also hosts the ALMA UK (link opens in a new window) Project Office which is responsible for overseeing the UK technical activities.
For more information:
Latest information about the international ALMA project (link opens in a new window)
ALMA UK Regional Centre (link opens in a new window)
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