Ready to Build the ALMA OSF

360 degree panorama view of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Operations Support Facility (OSF) construction site, taken in 2004. The construction work for the OSF Technical Building started in August 2006 and was completed in early 2008.

This 7000-square-metre building is the central location for the ALMA operation activities, as needed for this observatory in a remote desert site. The OSF is located at 2900 m altitude on the road up to the even higher 5000-metre Chajnantor plateau, where the Array Operations Site (AOS) of the ALMA telescope itself is located.

Since millimetre- and submillimetre-wavelength radiation is strongly absorbed by the water vapour in the Earth's atmosphere, a very high and dry site is required for astronomical observations at these wavelengths, and Chajnantor is one of the very best in the world. However, the high altitude site represents a considerable additional challenge in the construction and operation of ALMA, with its effects on the human body as well as those of the environment on materials and engineering. For this reason, the human presence at the AOS will be reduced to a minimum once construction has ended, and ALMA will be operated from the lower altitude of the OSF.



About the Image

Release date:26 February 2011, 21:08
Size:8235 x 1931 px
Field of View:140° x 70°

About the Object

Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Telescope

Image Formats

Large JPEG
5.6 MB
Screensize JPEG
145.4 KB



Also see our