ACA Correlator Development Video Released

NAOJ Chile Observatory produced a short video introducing the development of the ACA Correlator “Mission to Process Huge Amounts of Data in Real Time Development of the ACA Correlator.”

In the ALMA project, Japan assumed the development of the ACA, also known as Morita Array. The ACA is composed of 16 parabolic antennas, receivers, and the ACA Correlator. The ACA Correlator is a kind of supercomputer designed to process signals collected from 16 antennas. It performs high-speed processing of signals received from target objects and converts them into a form easy to analyze.
To process enormous amounts of data received from the antennas, the ACA Correlator was required to meet very high performance requirements. Moreover, the installation site was the desert at 5000-m altitude on the other side of the world, where the atmospheric pressure drops to half of the value at sea level, ordinary hard discs are not operational, and the efficiency of air cooling decreases. Furthermore, under such severe environment, people need to carry out installation and maintenance works.
This video introduces the history of the ACA Correlator development that has gone through various difficult phases, including interviews with researchers and engineers engaged in the development.