ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) is an international astronomy facility which is operated in a partnership of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA construction and operations are funded in Europe by ESO, in North America by NSF in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI). ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.
This framework was established in the “Agreement Concerning the Operations of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)” also known as “the ALMA Agreement” which was signed by ESO, NSF, and NINS in December 2015. The three parties collaborate with one another to jointly operate ALMA in accordance with this agreement.
Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)
Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO)
The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) is managed under the leadership of the ALMA Director who reports to the Board. Upon request from the ALMA Director, staff members for JAO will be employed or assigned by any of the three Executives (NAOJ, ESO, or NRAO), or employed as local staff members through AUI. All JAO staff is managed and directed by the ALMA Director.
Regional ALMA Support Centers (ASC)
Regional ALMA Support Centers (ASC) are operated and managed by the respective Executives. Regional ASCs facilitates scientific interactions among researchers, and provides scientific and technical support for the respective user communities. Regional operation managers are responsible for the operation and maintenance of ALMA in cooperation with JAO to produce results of scientific/social value for the respective ALMA user communities.