Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
by Staff Writers
Munich, Germany (SPX) Jun 19, 2014
The final antenna for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) project has been taken up to the high-level site at the ALMA Observatory, 5000 metres above sea level. Its arrival completes the complement of 66 ALMA antennas on the Chajnantor Plateau in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile - where they will in future work together as one giant telescope.
The 66th ALMA antenna was transported to the Array Operations Site (AOS) on Friday 13 June 2014. It had been delivered to the ALMA Observatory for final testing in October 2013 (eso1342).
The 12-metre diameter dish is the 25th and final European antenna to be transported up to the Chajnantor Plateau on . It will work alongside its European predecessors, as well as 25 North American 12-metre antennas and 16 East Asian (four 12-metre and twelve 7-metre) antennas.
The global ALMA collaboration is the largest ground-based astronomical project in existence. The final European antenna was manufactured by the European AEM Consortium , as part of the largest ESO contract so far covering the design, manufacture, transport and on-site integration of the 25 antennas.
The ALMA Observatory was inaugurated by the President of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, in March 2013. This signified the completion of all of the major systems of the giant telescope and the formal transition from a construction project to a fully-fledged observatory.
"This marks the end point of many years of delivering state-of the art high-technology systems and components to Chajnantor and is an important milestone for the ALMA project. All ALMA antennas are now available to be integrated into the operations," says Wolfgang Wild, the European ALMA Programme Manager.
ALMA probes the Universe using light with millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths, between infrared light and radio waves in the electromagnetic spectrum. Light at these wavelengths originates from vast cold clouds in interstellar space and from some of the earliest and most distant galaxies in the Universe. The telescope will provide astronomers with a window into the mysterious cold Universe where secrets of our cosmic origins are waiting to be discovered.
Notes:  The AEM Consortium is composed of Thales Alenia Space, European Industrial Engineering, and MT-Mechatronics.
Space Telescope News and Technology at Skynightly.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|