01. NAOJ ALMA Website Renewed !

Published in the June 2010 issue of NAOJ News (monthly newsletter)

This is the first installment of gBienvenido a ALMA !h which is a series of column articles written by NAOJ ALMA staff members. ALMA is the worldfs largest telescope project under construction in Chile in global partnership among East Asia (led by Japan), North America, Europe, and Chile (the host country). Through this column, we would like you to know how NAOJ ALMA staff members are working toward the upcoming full operation.

In this first article, I will introduce our renewed website (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Top page of the NAOJ ALMA website

A new category gOpen New Window About ALMA h provides a wide variety of contents for those who want to know more about ALMA On gOpen New Window ALMA Telescope h pages (see Figure 2), you can find easy-to-understand explanations of ALMA (e.g. history of Japanese radio astronomy, site survey, and submillimeter astronomy) with illustrations and images.

Figure 2: gALMA Telescopehprovides all about the ALMA project.

On a video content gOpen New Window ALMA Channel h (see Figure 3), you can learn the scientific goals of ALMA from frontline researchers. On the new gOpen New Window Virtual Tour ,h you can simulate the trip from Japan to the ALMA site in Chile with photos.

Figure 3: On gALMA Channel,h researchers talk about the scientific goals of ALMA.

gOpen New Window News & Columns h provides updated information on ALMA. You can check the progress of the project on gLatest Newsh and find enjoyable topics related to ALMA on gALMA Photo Diary.h

Furthermore, Open New Window Multimedia offers images of beautiful stars, antennas, and natures, as well as ALMA construction movies. Visit our new website and experience the universe explored by ALMA.

Currently, over 70 people are working at the ALMA-J Project Office (as of June 2010). The number of staff is increasing with the progress of the construction. Besides astronomers, there are various people supporting the ALMA project. For example, the development and production of receivers (part of Japanese deliverables) are assumed by experienced engineers at the NAOJ Mitaka Campus. They are committed to the development of new technologies to realize an ultimate radio telescope with unprecedented sensitivity to receive weak signals from the universe.

Many of the NAOJ ALMA researchers and engineers are frequently traveling to Chile. At present, they are mainly working on antenna testing and evaluation for checking the antennas meet the scientific requirements of ALMA. The Japanese antennas are manufactured in Japan and shipped to Chile. After numerous tests at the Operations Support Facility (OSF) at 2900 m asl, the antennas are sequentially transported to the Array Operations Site (AOS) at 5000 m asl.

These frontline works are supported by various specialists: e.g., translator for communications among partners in English (sometimes in Spanish, the official language in Chile); safety expert for safety control at high altitudes; and logistics specialist for delivery of goods required for construction and operations of ALMA. Future articles will also be written by these people working behind the scenes. I hope this new column will be loved by everyone for a long time.

*The titles of authors and the names of organizations are those at the time of writing.