German ALMA Regional Center (ARC) Node

The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a revolutionary interferometer for mm and submm astronomy in the Atacama desert in Northern Chile. It is operated by a global collaboration between Europe (ESO), North America (NRAO) and East Asia (NAOJ), in cooperation with Chile. The interface between ALMA and the user communities is provided by three ALMA Regional Centres (ARCs) in Europe, North America and East Asia.

The European ARC (EU ARC) is organized as a coordinated network with a central node at ESO Headquarters in Garching bei München and regional nodes located in Bologna(I), Bonn/Cologne(D), Grenoble(F), Leiden(NL), Manchester(GB), Ondrejov(CZ), and Onsala(S). The concept and the implementation of the EU ARC network has been described in an article in the ESO Messenger (Hatziminaoglou et al. 2015, Msngr. 162, 24).

The German ARC node is a collaboration of the universities of Bonn and Cologne. Its headquarters are located at the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie in Bonn. The German ARC node provides services to ALMA operations, the local astronomical community and the general public:

Newsletters and Announcements

If you wish to stay informed about the latest ALMA developments, calls for proposals, data releases, conferences/workshops and other information, please check our announcements and/or subscribe to our newsletters.
  • European ARC Announcements are provided by ESO and the European ALMA Nodes that together make up the European ALMA Regional Centre Network. With their very short turn-around time, they complement the regularly published newsletters. The European ARC Announcements can be found here
  • The European ARC Newsletter is a compilation of recent European ALMA Regional Centre Announcement items. In addition, the Newsletter informs you about various developments in the ALMA Programme, as well as about ALMA or ALMA-related meetings. More information on the newsletter can be found here. To start receiving the European ARC Newsletter, please send an email to the Editor.
  • In addition, the DARC newsletter features announcements and news particularly relevant to the German ALMA community. If interested, please subscribe here. More information on the newsletter including an alternative way of subscribing to it can be found here.

Recent News

Interactive Proposal Preparation Support

  • As a service to the local astronomical community, the German ARC node organizes a series of ALMA proposal preparation and outreach tutorials as video sessions using zoom, which the participants can join without charge and from a variety of platforms. The training sessions will cater to astronomers with different levels of expertise, ranging from an introduction to the necessary terminology for non-radio astronomers to a concise update of ALMA's capabilities in Cycle 7 for experienced ALMA users. Participants in the sessions and other prospective ALMA users are very welcome to follow up their training in one-on-one chats with experienced ARC node staff and/or by visiting the node for further face-to-face interaction and one-on-one help with their proposals.

  • The tutorials will be held in late March and early April 2019. The exact dates will be announced shortly after the Call for Proposals. Notices of intent to particpate are much appreciated and will be taken into account in the scheduling. For informal inquiries and/or notices of intent, please contact arc[at]

Training opportunity for Radio Interferometry: Methods and Science

  • Now in its eighth year of operations, ALMA produces on average about 700 GB/night of high-quality astronomical data. While the investigative teams of successful ALMA projects are busy with the primary goals of their proposals, the ALMA archive turns into a goldmine for those knowledgeable in the art and craft of radio interferometry.
  • The Master-level course "Radio Interferometry: Methods and Science", organized and conducted by the German ARC node, offers hands-on training in the data reduction and analysis of interferometric data for Master students, PhD students and senior astronomers. The course starts with a brief review of the basic concepts of radio interferometry including calibration and imaging. Then the various steps necessary to create fully calibrated data cubes from interferometric raw data are discussed. Already during the lectures, the participants can practice the individual steps on their copy of an ALMA data set, using powerful compute servers and the versatile Common Astronomy Software Applications (CASA) package. In the final sessions, the participants learn how to analyze their interferometric data and what additional considerations are required for special research topics like polarization studies.
  • The German ARC node offers remote access to the course via a dedicated zoom video session, which the participants can join without charge and from a variety of platforms. If you would like to follow the course at your home institution, please contact us before 15 March 2019 at arc[at] For more information, please see the course homepage and/or contact arc[at]

CASA Imaging Issues Affecting Some ALMA Products

  • Over the course of the last several months an issue in CASA mosaic imaging was recognized. The ALMA observatory decided to characterize the issue first before informing the user community. The CASA team has now identified a couple of issues using both the 7-m and 12-m arrays over the course of the past few cycles and CASA releases. The full extent of the data affected is still being investigated. A review of the mosaicing issues in CASA can be found here.
  • PIs experiencing problems in accessing their data as a result of these investigations are welcome to contact their supporting ARC node.

ALMA Cycle 6: Proposal Submission Statistics and Review Results

  • A detailed report of the Cycle 6 Proposal Submission Statistics is now available as a pdf-document. The report summarizes among others the number of submitted proposals and time requested, subscription rates, and comparisons with the number of hours requested in previous Cycles.
  • The outcome of the ALMA Cycle 6 Proposal Review Process is now available as a pdf-document. The report describes the proposal review process, proposal statistics and regional distributions, as well as the proposal distribution across science categories and receiver bands.
  • A list of the highest priority projects in Cycle 6 can be found here.

Radio 2018 Symposium: Jena, 24 - 26 October 2018

  • This fall, the German ARC node invited the German radio astronomical community to gather at the Radio 2018 meeting in Jena on 24-27 October 2018. The meeting was jointly organized by the GLOW consortium and the German ARC node. On Wednesday 24 October the ALMA town hall meeting took place, in addition to the GLOW LOFAR Working Group meeting and the GLOW consortium meeting.