Handover of the First Antenna to the Joint ALMA Observatory
 -ALMA observatory equipped with its first 'eye'-

An ACA (Atacama Compact Array) 12-m antenna was handed over as the first antenna to the Joint ALMA Observatory, which operates ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array). This is the first antenna acceptance and marked an important milestone for the ALMA Project.

The first antenna manufactured by Japan is a part of ACA, which consists of four 12-m antennas and twelve 7-m antennas.
As ALMA antennas must withstand harsh conditions such as strong wind and variable temperature at 5000-meter altitude, they will undergo various tests at the Operations Support Facility (OSF) at 2900-meter altitude to ensure that they meet the specifications and requirements. After passing all the tests, the antennas will be handed over to the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO).

“Our Japanese colleagues have produced this state-of-the-art antenna to exacting specifications. We are very excited about the handover because now we can fully equip this antenna for scientific observations,” said Thijs de Graauw.

Satoru Iguchi, NAOJ ALMA-J Project Manager, expects ALMA to bring about great improvement in Astronomy, “ALMA is a global partnership between East Asia, Europe, and North America. Once ALMA is completed, it will enable us to observe the universe that has never been reachable and initiate a new era of astronomy.”

For details, see ALMA observatory