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Making the Ultimate Radio Telescope - The Japanese ALMA Antennas

11 April, 2014 / Read time: 1 minute

This video presents the design and assembly process for a 12-meter Japanese antenna at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The antennas provided by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan were designed by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO), and the video describes some of the specifications that the antennas had to meet for the observatory. 

The video also shows some innovative mechanisms that enable the antennas to perform their work for the 30 years projected for the project, carrying out their precise, constant movements without deterioration from use and adverse weather conditions in the Chajnantor plain in northern Chile. 

Finally, we can see part of the transfer and assembly process of the 7- and 12-meter antennas at the Operations Support Facility (OSF), where they are subjected to simulation tests to verify that they are working correctly before being sent to the Array Operations Site (AOS) at 5,000 meters above sea level.

Credits: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)