ESO

ALMA Band5 Receivers

Chalmers University of Technology,

Project description

The ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/ SubMillimeter Array) Observatory is the world’s largest radio-astronomy observatory consisting of 66 radio telescopes, with a 12-metre diameter, working as an interferometer with largest baseline of 16 km. All telescopes are placed at approximately 5000 m altitude, at Chajnanto Plato in the Chilean Andes. For optimal performance of the observatory, each telescope is equipped with an identical receiver system with ultimate sensitivity. To meet the expectations of the astronomers, especially in their search for water in the universe and understanding of the origins of life in the Solar system, the consortium led by the Chalmers Group of Advanced Receiver Development, developed and deployed the most sensitive radio-astronomy receiver system operating between 158 and 211 GHz also known as ALMA Band 5. The Band 5 receivers operate at cryogenic temperatures of around 4 K using superconducting components as well as advanced circuits and systems, resulting in a sensitivity close to the quantum limit (35 K, SSB noise temperature). The Band 5 receiver has the lowest noise temperature out of all other ALMA bands to date.

Team

Chalmers University of Technology, GARD, Onsala Space Observatory:

  • V. Belitsky, Professor, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, advanced receiver development
  • V. Desmaris, Associate Professor, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, advanced receiver development
  • A.Pavolotsky, Senior Research Engineer, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, advanced receiver development

Core deliverables

  • 6 prototype receivers after Phase I (2012)
  • 70 receivers + 10 spares after Phase II (2018)

Year

2006-2018

Total budget

EUR 10,7 million

Collaborations

  • Chalmers University of Technology
  • Netherlands Research School for Astronomy, (NOVA)
  • National Radio Astronomy Observatory
  • European Southern Observatory (ESO)

Hyperlink

Procurement codes

Electronics and radio frequency