Science > Meetings > 2016 > ALMA Future Science Development Program Workshop

ALMA Future Science Development Program Workshop

by Davis Murphy last modified Jul 20, 2016

24 - 25 August 2016

NRAO Auditorium

Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Science results from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have been transforming astronomy, and 400+ papers have been published on a wide range of topics to date. Installation and commissioning of two of the final three of the ten receiver bands defined in the specifications and requirements are in progress. The ten bands empower ALMA to operate at wavelengths from 7mm to 0.3mm across a decade of frequency access as enabled by broad bandwidth ALMA receivers, powerful correlators and spectacular site. 

Having invested ~$1.3B USD to realize the largest historical advance in ground-based astronomy, it is vital to maintain and expand ALMA capabilities.

To engage the North American and international astronomy communities to define future scientific challenges for ALMA, and how to most effectively equip the array to meet them, we invite participation in an ALMA Strategic Development Workshop to be held at NRAO - Headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia on Wednesday and Thursday, 24-25 August 2016.  

The emphasis of this Strategic Development Workshop – and subsequent Cycle 5 Call for Studies and Projects – will be on high-impact initiatives providing major advances in ALMA sensitivity, instantaneous bandwidth and spectral coverage, spatial resolution, and imaging speed. An overview of the current ALMA Development Plan and its components will be featured at the Workshop. Remote participation will be available via video and audio links.


The ALMA Operations Plan envisages an on-going program of development and upgrades that may include hardware, software, or data analysis tools. With a modest investment, ALMA will continue to lead astronomical research through the 2020-2030 decade and beyond.

Funding and construction of new receiver bands, phasing hardware, and data analysis tools initiated since the formal completion of ALMA construction in September 2014 has  commenced in North America. Three Calls for Development Studies have occurred, funding 21 investigations, for which reports are available. Submissions for the Cycle 4 ALMA Call for Proposals are being refereed. Two Calls for Development Projects have been completed, funding eight projects.

New Calls for Projects and for Studies are planned for Fiscal Year 2018 (1 Oct 2017 – 30 Sep 2018). These Calls are intended to attract proposals for innovative ideas that address current and future scientific opportunities with ALMA. All interested parties located within the North American ALMA operations partnership are eligible to participate in these studies.