The Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA), is the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world. It consists of 66 high precision antennas, situated on the plains of Chajnantor, at 5000m above sea level in the Atacama Desert, Chile - one of the driest places on Earth.
ALMA has been built by a large international consortium including the USA and Canada (led by the National Radio Astronomical Observatory), 10 European countries (led by the European Southern Observatory) and Japan and Taiwan (led by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan). The UK participated in a number of areas in this challenging and complex project.
STFC’s Applied Science Division supplied the cryostats - each cryostat houses 10 receivers mounted on quick-release cartridges cooled down to 4K. ALMA represents the largest assembly of superconducting electronics ever built, and detecting light at wavelengths between 0.32 mm and 3.6 mm. These allow astronomers to observe cold regions of the universe with unprecedented clarity.
For more information on ALMA see
Contact: Applied Science Division
Tel: 01235 445717