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Making the Ultimate Radio Telescope -The ALMA Antenna (Main Reflector- Part 2)

4 June, 2012 / Read time: 1 minute

This video is the second part of the documentary on the production of the reflectors of the Japanese 12-meter and 7-meter antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). These instruments were designed by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) and provided by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). 

Here we can see how the antennas’ reflector backing structure enables it to maintain its shape and not collapse during operation. We can also observe the process of creating and welding the central axis of the reflector, which connects it to the rest of the structure. Finally, we can see the temperature control system of a 7-meter antenna, which has 24 fans inside the reflector. 

Finally, the video shows testimonies from some of the workers who participated in the creation of these antennas, who share their feelings of pride in the high performance of these engineering feats, positioning ALMA as one of the best radio telescopes in the world. 

To see the first part of this documentary click here.

Credits: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan