New ALMA Development Studies

Published: 20 Feb 2024

To keep ALMA at the forefront of technology, ESO collaborates closely with the member state institutes, who are invited to submit proposals for development studies through a call for proposals issued by the contracts and procurements department. The evaluation of the latest call has now been completed and seven new agreements have been signed. Five of these studies are directly supporting the ALMA wideband sensitivity upgrade (WSU), an ambitious project to increase ALMA's instantaneous bandwidth by up to four times. The two remaining studies are working to bring advanced data products for ALMA and exploring the science cases for focal plane arrays on ALMA.

The full list of approved development studies is:

These studies will run for a period of two to three years, and allow the ESO member state institutes to take calculated risks to develop ambitious new technologies.  Many previous studies have led to an implementation as development projects, such as Band 5, Band 2 and the new digitizers. The collaboration with the member state institutes is essential for ESO to advance towards delivering the WSU to the ALMA users. It is expected that this development will continue well into the next decade, and institutes interested to get involved in future studies are encouraged to contact ESO through the coordinator of the development studies.