ALMA OSF under construction

The construction of the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF) building started in August 2006 and was completed in late 2007/early 2008. This 7000 square metre building will centralise the ALMA operation activities, suiting the requirements of this exceptional observatory in a remote desert location. The OSF is located at 2900 m altitude on the road up to the Chajnantor plateau, where the 5000 m altitude ALMA Array Operations Site (AOS) is located. Since the 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 observation 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. In the background in the picture are the high volcanoes south of ALMA, all of them above 5000 m altitude.

Credit:

ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

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About the Image

Id:alma-hh-07
Type:Photographic
Release date:14 June 2010, 17:55
Size:3809 x 2653 px

About the Object

Name:Chajnantor
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Facility
• X - ALMA

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