ALMA EA-FEIC Completed the Last ACA Receiver System

On January 4, the ALMA East Asia Front-End Integration Center (EA-FEIC) in Taiwan completed the fabrication and evaluation of all the receiver systems for the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) and delivered them to the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) in Chile. This is an important milestone for the ALMA EA team in collaboration between Japan and Taiwan.

The ALMA telescope uses different receivers according to the target frequency. Since the receivers have superconductive devices which are operated at -269 degrees Celsius (=4 degrees Kelvin), they are contained in a big cooling apparatus called “cryostat” and installed in the antenna. The function of the Front-End Integration Center is to install a set of receivers into the cryostat and evaluate the integrated receiver system. The EA-FEIC, located in Taichung, Taiwan, is operated by the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) of Taiwan as one of the three ALMA FEICs in East Asia, North America, and Europe. The EA-FEIC is also responsible for the assembly and evaluation of the receiver systems for the ACA consisting of 16 Japanese antennas, which is nicknamed IZAYOI.

The first ALMA receiver system was delivered from the EA-FEIC to the JAO at the end of 2008. After three years, the EA-FEIC finished all the integration and evaluation of the ACA receiver systems and completed the delivery to the JAO. These receiver systems are being installed sequentially in the assembled antennas, and some of them have already been used for observation.

The picture shows the EA-FEIC staff members celebrating the delivery of the last receiver system (blue cylinder-shaped object in the middle of the photo).

The picture below shows the laboratory of the EA-FEIC. Each of the two rooms (shown right and left) has one testing device for simultaneous evaluation of two receiver systems.