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ALMA Development - North America

by Lyndele von Schill last modified Sep 22, 2016 by William Randolph

Current Calls for Proposals

The release date for the North American Development Cycle 5, Call for ALMA Project Proposals is 10 October, 2016 The closing date is 30 January 2017. Provisional awards (subject to review and approval by the ALMA Board) will be announced on 30 May 2017. Final awards will be made on 01 December 2017.

Detailed instructions on how to prepare and submit your Project Proposal will be available HERE on 10 October 2016.

About the ALMA Development Program

HL Tau
ALMA image of the young star HL Tau and its protoplanetary disk. This best image ever of planet formation reveals multiple rings and gaps that herald the presence of emerging planets as they sweep their orbits clear of dust and gas. Credit: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ); C. Brogan, B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe (ESO), North America (NRAO/AUI), and East Asia (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.  The JAO coordinates the ALMA Development Program in order to effectively manage the technological evolution of the ALMA facility.  Periodically, solicitations (“calls”) are issued by each of the international partners to identify and fund development initiatives (“upgrades”) which will enhance the performance of the ALMA facility.  The implementation of ALMA upgrades will be assigned on a competitive basis.

Upgrade priorities are science-driven, and are established by the collective input from the ALMA Science Advisory Committee (ASAC), the ALMA Development Steering Committee (ADSC), and their respective subcommittees.  Upgrades typically progress through three successive phases of development, and correspond to an increasing level of technology readiness.  The principal phases are:

a.    conceptual study (including scientific justification, specification, and outline costing);
b.    prototype/pre-production; and
c.    full production and implementation.

The North American ALMA partnership typically funds conceptual Studies every year.  Projects are typically funded every two (2) years.

All members of the North American ALMA Operations partnership, and the North American radio astronomy community at-large, are invited to participate in the ALMA Development Program.

ALMA/NA Development Status Splinter Session Presentations
American Astronomical Society meeting, June 2016, San Diego

  1. Information and Mechanics of Upcoming Calls (Bill Randolph presentation).
  2. Scientific and Other Goals of the Upcoming Calls (Al Wootten presentation).