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TOPIC: Atacama Large Millimeter Array


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Title: Atacama Compact Array Antennas
Authors: Masao Saito, Junji Inatani, Kouichiro Nakanishi, Takahiro Naoi, Masumi Yamada, Hiro Saito, Bungo Ikenoue, Yoshihiro Kato, Kou-ichiro Morita, Norikazu Mizuno, Satoru Iguchi

We report major performance test results of the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) 7-m and 12-m antennas of ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array). The four major performances of the ACA antennas are all-sky pointing (to be not more than 2.0 arcsec), offset pointing (to be < 0.6 arcsec) surface accuracy (< 25(20) micrometer for 12(7)m-antenna), stability of path-length (15 micrometer over 3 min), and high servo capability (6 degrees/s for Azimuth and 3 degrees/s for Elevation). The high performance of the ACA antenna has been extensively evaluated at the Site Erection Facility area at an altitude of about 2900 meters. Test results of pointing performance, surface performance, and fast motion capability are demonstrated.

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Title: Next Generation Millimetre/Submillimeter Array to Search for 2nd Earth
Authors: Masao Saito, Satoru Iguchi

ALMA is a revolutionary radio telescope at present and its full operation will start from 2012. It is expected that ALMA will resolve several cosmic questions and will show a new cosmic view to us. Our passion for astronomy naturally goes beyond ALMA because we believe that the 21st-century Astronomy should pursue the new scientific frontier. In this conference, we propose a project of the future radio telescope to search for Habitable planets and finally detect 2nd Earth as a Migratable planet. The detection of 2nd Earth is one of ultimate dreams for not only astronomers but also people.

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Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array
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First European ALMA Antenna Handed Over to Joint ALMA Observatory

The first European antenna for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) project has just been handed over to the Joint ALMA Observatory. The antenna, which has a dish 12 metres in diameter and weighs about 95 tonnes, was moved from the Site Erection Facility where it was assembled and tested, to the observatorys Operations Support Facility (OSF).
Although this was only a short trip between two adjacent sites at an altitude of 2900 metres in the foothills of the Chilean Andes, the move is nevertheless very important.

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Plan for ALMA Early Science Cycle 0

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) expects to start Early Science observations (Cycle 0) on a best effort basis late in 2011 and a call for proposals will be issued at the end of the first quarter of 2011. The purpose of Early Science will be to deliver scientifically useful results to the astronomy community and to facilitate the ongoing characterisation of ALMA systems and instrumentation as the capability of the array continues to grow. Early Science will not be allowed to delay unduly the construction of the full 66-antenna array, but nonetheless provides an important opportunity for first science from this cutting edge facility. Early Science will continue through Cycle 1 and until construction of the ALMA array is complete.
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A Virginia-led international astronomy project in Chile was not damaged by the countrys 8.8-magnitude earthquake but will remain dark until Saturday because of earthquake-related issues.
None of the staff or their families suffered serious injuries, although many reported severe property damage.

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ALMA Test Sharpens the Vision of New Observatory

The Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) has passed a key milestone crucial to producing the high-quality images that will be the trademark of this revolutionary new tool for astronomy. A team of ALMA astronomers and engineers successfully linked three of the observatory's advanced antennas at the 16,500-foot-elevation observing site in northern Chile. Linking three antennas to work in unison for the first time allowed the ALMA team to correct errors that can arise when only two antennas are used, thus paving the way for precise, high-resolution imaging.

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Three antennas working in unison open new bright year for revolutionary observatory

The Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) has passed a key milestone crucial for the high quality images that will be the trademark of this revolutionary new tool for astronomy. Astronomers and engineers have, for the first time, successfully linked three of the observatory's antennas at the 5000-metre elevation observing site in northern Chile. Having three antennas observing in unison paves the way for precise images of the cool Universe at unprecedented resolution, by providing the missing link to correct errors that arise when only two antennas are used.
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