ALMA Matters


From / de Gerald Schieven (ALMA)
(Cassiopeia – Autumn / l’automne 2021)

ALMA Development Project – Second Generation Correlator

NRC, in collaboration with NRAO and Haystack/MIT, submitted a proposal in April 2021 in response to the ALMA Cycle 9 call for development proposals, to build a second generation ALMA correlator. This proposal, with 2X bandwidth (16 GHz/pol) and expansion capability to 4X bandwidth (32 GHz/pol), was selected for funding consideration by NRAO in a competitive peer-reviewed process. The proposed correlator (and VLBI beamformer) is based on the TALON technology and Frequency Slice Architecture that NRC developed for the SKA1 Mid telescope correlator/beamformer. This design meets and exceeds second generation ALMA correlator requirements on many fronts, correlating up to 80 antennas in one or more sub-arrays (i.e. all ALMA site antennas) with standard full-Stokes channel bandwidth of 13.5 kHz with nearly brick-wall -60 dB channel-to-channel isolation, across the full science bandwidth, with tunable “zoom” window channel resolution by factors of 2 down to a factor of 64 (~211 Hz) with proportionately less total correlated bandwidth. VLBI beamforming bandwidth and correlated bandwidth can be flexibly traded-off, optimizing use of processing resources.

The Cycle 8 2021 ACA Supplemental Call for Proposals is Now OPEN

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) is now accepting observing proposals for Cycle 8 that request to use the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) in stand-alone mode. Instructions on how to submit proposals can be found on the Cycle 8 Supplemental Call web page.

Users of any nationality or affiliation are invited to submit proposals before the deadline of 15:00 UT on Wednesday 6 October 2021.

Proposals submitted in the Supplemental Call will be peer reviewed using a distributed system in which each proposal team selects a designated reviewer to participate in the review process. The review process is described in detail in the Supplemental Call documentation.

Proposals with targets at any RA will be considered, but those that can be observed in the LST range 20 to 10 h are particularly encouraged. Note that 7m-Array polarization observations are not offered at this Supplemental Call. In addition, time-constrained and Target-of-Opportunity (ToO) observations are not offered at this Call for Proposals. A minimum of 1500 h will be allocated each on the 7-m Array and the Total Power Array to proposals submitted at this Call.

For the complete news item, please visit here.

Cycle 9 ALMA Ambassadors Program is Now Accepting Applications (deadline 15 October)

Are you a graduate student, postdoc, or early career researcher at a university or research institute in Canada or the US and interested in learning more about ALMA, sharing that information with the community, and receiving up to US$10,000 to support your research? Apply to become an ALMA Ambassador!

The NAASC is pleased to announce the opening of applications for the 2022 Cycle 9 ALMA Ambassadors program. Ambassadors will receive training in interferometry, the latest ALMA capabilities, and tips for proposing for ALMA. They will use that information to organize and lead a proposal preparation or data processing/analysis workshop (for their home institute, an alternate institute, or virtual workshop).

Applications are due by 5 P.M. ET on 15 October 2021; training will take place in February 2022. Proposal workshops will be held in March/April 2022 and data processing/analysis workshops will be held later in 2022.

For more information on the program and how to apply, please see here.

The Regional ARCs continue to provide support to their communities. Please contact the ALMA Helpdesk if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

Employment Opportunities with the North American ALMA Research Center

The North American ALMA Regional Center (NA ARC) is recruiting for up to three scientific staff positions. NRAO staff scientists are expected to enable cutting-edge science by the community, help enhance the scientific impact of NRAO telescopes, contribute to the overall NRAO mission, and demonstrate commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. NRAO scientist-track appointments entail 25% independent scientific research and 75% functional responsibilities.

Scientist (Open Rank): Up to two positions will be within the North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC), focused within the ALMA Telescope Interface and Diagnostics Group. This group is the NAASC technical liaison to the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) in Chile and is responsible for all ALMA telescope-facing activities. The successful candidate(s) will work closely with the Telescope Interface and Diagnostics Group, the JAO, and the NAASC data processing team on functional duties that could include technical investigation, reporting and tracking of data quality issues, contributing to the extension and optimization of ALMA’s capabilities, scientific support of ALMA development programs, technical support for ALMA observations, and supporting ALMA telescope operations in Chile.

Assistant Scientist: One position will be focused on supporting development of ALMA-related functionality for NRAO’s Science Ready Data Products (SRDP) Initiative. The SRDP project aims to facilitate science at radio wavelengths by delivering data products that are ready to use for scientific study by a wide range of astronomers, including non-experts in interferometry, thereby making radio astronomy more accessible to the broader astronomical community. The successful candidate will work with the SRDP Project Scientist and the SRDP Heuristics Team to define and prototype new features to be included in ALMA/NRAO data processing pipelines, CASA software package, and the NRAO archive.

For further information, including application instructions, visit the Associated Universities, Inc. Careers page. The deadline for receipt of applications is October 15, 2021.

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