European ARC Announcements

European ARC Announcements are provided by ESO and the European ALMA Nodes that together make up the European ALMA Regional Centre Network.

Delay to the Cycle 10 configuration schedule due to transporter issues

Published: 26 Oct 2023

The start of antenna relocations between configuration C-8 and C-7, originally scheduled for October 20th, will be delayed until at least November 10th.  Following recent inspections, it was found that both antenna transporters need urgent maintenance. ALMA has thus decided to take both transporters out of operation to proceed with the necessary repairs, to prevent a longer-term stoppage of antenna relocations. This situation will have an impact on the remaining Cycle 10 configuration calendar.  As far as possible, ALMA will take mitigation actions to ensure that the observing queue is populated. A further announcement will be posted on the Science Portal once the technical issues have been solved and the specific impact on the configuration schedule has been established. We regret any inconvenience or impact experienced by our ALMA users due to this issue. If you have any questions, or have comments or concerns, please contact your local ALMA Regional Centre via the ALMA Helpdesk at https://help.almascience.org/

‘The ALMA Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade’: first announcement of a workshop on the most ambitious upgrade of ALMA since its conception

Published: 25 Oct 2023

This is the first announcement of the workshop 'The promise and challenges of the ALMA Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade' to take place at ESO - Garching from June 24 to 28, 2024. This upgrade constitutes the top priority of the ALMA 2030 roadmap. It consists of an increase of the instantaneous spectral bandwidth by as much as a factor of four, while retaining full spectral resolution over the entire bandwidth, thus resulting in increases of the spectral scan speed up to a factor of 50 for the highest spectral resolution. In addition, an upgrade of the full signal chain of ALMA – from the receivers and digitizers, all the way through to the correlated data – will result in increases in sensitivity for all observations. 

The aim of this workshop is to widely present the upgrade and engage the community by showcasing the science that will be enabled in the upcoming years. At the same time, we will also solicit input from the ALMA community that will be used to inform priorities during the commissioning phase. The call for abstract and registration will open on December 15.

 

 

First European ALMA school

Published: 23 Oct 2023

The European ALMA Regional Centre network is organising the first European ALMA School that will be hosted by the UK ARC Node on 10 - 14 June 2024 in Manchester. This school is designed to provide training on a broad range of aspects related to ALMA, including interferometry, data calibration and imaging, the ALMA archive, analysis techniques, ALMA science, and future ALMA developments. For more details and registration please visit the meeting website: https://sites.google.com/view/eu-alma-school-2024. The deadline for registration is 31 December 2023.

Development study on a wideband 2SB upgrade of the Band 9 receivers kicks off

Published: 21 Oct 2023

A new development study, led by the Nederlandse Onderzoekschool Voor Astronomie (NOVA) in Groningen, aims to produce a refurbished ALMA Band 9 cold cartridge receiver compatible with the ALMA Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade (WSU) requirements. The study will improve several key components. First, the receiver will be upgraded from a double sideband (DSB) to a sideband separating (2SB) configuration to improve sensitivity by suppressing image sideband sky noise. This requires a much more complicated mixer assembly, as well as a doubling of the number of SIS mixer devices and new cryogenic low-noise IF amplifiers. Second, the IF bandwidth will be extended, aiming for the WSU goal of 16 GHz per sideband. Third, the polarization performance will be improved either by improving the alignment of the existing grids or by the implementation of an orthomode transducer.

Allegro CASA day

Published: 21 Oct 2023

Allegro announces that on November 27th it will host a CASA training with hands-on component at Leiden Observatory. More details on the registration will be shared via the Allegro Newsletter and will be posted on its website: https://www.alma-allegro.nl.

ALMA at 10 years: Past, Present and Future - Deadline for online registration

Published: 20 Oct 2023

As previously announced in the October 2022 EU ARC Newsletter, the ALMA partnership is organizing a conference to commemorate its first decade of science operations. The conference will take a look back at the observatory accomplishments, highlight its latest results and look forward to future technical developments. The programme is now available at the conference website.

This is a reminder that registration for online attendance to the conference is available at the conference website with a deadline for registration on the 1st of November 2023.

Development study on integrated system on a chip low noise amplifiers kicks off

Published: 25 Sep 2023

On September 25th, 2023, representatives of the ESO ALMA development study program and the European Science Advisory Committee (ESAC) met at the University of Manchester (UoM) with researchers from both UoM's Advanced Radio Instrumentation Group and the Science and Technology Facilities Council's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), kicking off a key ALMA study aiming to provide more integrated and scalable approaches to building the low noise amplifiers and mixers at the heart of ALMA receivers. 

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