Welcome to the homepage of the German 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 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:

German ARC node newsletter

If you wish to stay informed about the latest ALMA developments, calls for proposals, data releases, conferences/workshops and other information relevant to the German ALMA community, please subscribe to the DARC newsletter or visit the archive of the newsletter. More information on the newsletter such as a short description and an alternative way of subscribing to it can be found here.

Recent News

ALMA Cycle 3 Proposal Review

A detailed report on the outcome of the ALMA Early Science Cycle 3 Proposal Review Process is now available. The report details the proposal review process, proposal statistics and regional distributions, the proposal distribution across science categories and receiver bands, as well as the anticipated observing pressure as a function of LST and configuration. The report can be downloaded as a pdf document. The high priority Cycle 3 projects are listed here.

ALMA Lunch Meeting - AG Tagung 2015

Representatives of the German ARC node will be present at the annual meeting of the German Astronomical Society in Kiel on September 14-18. We cordially invite all ALMA users and prospective ALMA users to our ALMA Lunch Meeting in room A of the Auditorim Maximum on Friday, September 18, 2015. The goals of this meeting are to update (prospective) ALMA users on the status and latest developments of ALMA, to foster the communication between the ARC node and the local (sub-)mm community, and in general to offer a platform for experienced and prospective ALMA users for discussion and networking. Pizza and softdrinks will be provided for the participants. For further information, please go to the homepage of our ALMA Lunch Meeting 2015.

New test data to be released on ~28 September 2015

A new installment of test data is planned for release on or after 28 September 2015: The Extension and Optimization of Capabilities (EOC) Team at the JAO anticipate the release of the ALMA commissioning test data taken towards Pluto in support of the NASA JPL New Horizons Mission. The data were taken in TDM mode in Band 7 over seven observing epochs.
The ASDM and data reduction scripts will be available no earlier than 28 September 2015 under the Commissioning Test Data section of Science Verification page on the ALMA Science Portal.
Please visit the above web page for more information and for contact details if you have any queries about these data.

Cycle 3 proposal review process completed

The review of the 1578 science proposals submitted for ALMA Early Science Cycle 3 has been completed. The Proposal Review meeting took place in Osaka, Japan, in June involving 97 science assessors from around the world, who evaluated the expected scientific value of these proposals. A total of 401 highly ranked projects were selected for observing in Cycle 3. The Principal Investigators have been notified of the outcome in mid-August. For more information, please go to this announcement.

ALMA status report: August 2015

An ALMA status report for August 2015 is available as a pdf document at the Science Portal. The report summarizes the status of Cycle 2 Early Science observations, including Cycle 1 Transfer projects, as of Aug 2015 including events since the last Status Update. It includes a summary of observing progress, Cycle 1 and 2 project completion statistics, a description of the actions that are being taken for project components that are no longer eligible to be scheduled, progress on data reduction and delivery, a summary of the Cycle 3 submitted proposals and user survey, the status of the commissioning effort called Extension and Optimization of Capabilities (EOC), and preparations for Cycle 4.

Results of the ALMA Cycle 3 user survey

The fourth ALMA user survey was conducted between the 01 May and 01 June 2015. A total of 536 users (representing 15% of the users who were sent the questionnaire and 44% of the Cycle 3 PIs) responded to the survey. This survey focused on topics related to proposal preparation and submission, including the interaction with the ARC/ARC nodes for ALMA proposal preparation or the usability of tools such as the ALMA science portal or the helpdesk.
Overall, the users showed a relatively high level of satisfaction. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being best and 5 being worst), the overall satisfaction across all ALMA regions was rated better than 2.5 for all the topics. The highest rate was given to the ARC/ARC nodes support for proposal preparation, with an average rate of 1.27, followed by the helpdesk response time and usability with rates of 1.75 and 1.77, respectively. On the other side, the lowest rate was given to the usefulness of the OT template library and the easiness to find information in the science portal, with average rates of 2.5. A summary of the average and median rates for each topic is shown below (note that the scale is 0.5 to 4.5 in the table for plotting purposes). A more extensive report of the results is available to interested users upon request.
In addition to the overall ratings the users provided numerous comments related to the tools used for proposal preparation and submission. These comments are currently undergoing analysis and will be taken into account to improve the tools and procedures in future cycles.
The ALMA observatory sincerely thanks all users that took the time to answer this survey and provide valuable comments.

Release of new Science Verification data

New Science Verification data are available since 28 July 2015 (see the DARC newsflash of 16 July 2015). This release contains data on the following Science Verification targets:
- M100 observations of the CO(1-0) line in Band 3 with the 7-m Array and Total Power (TP) Array, along with an update of previously released 12-m data, demonstrating ALMA's ACA (7-m and TP Arrays) and data combination capabilities. The data is accompanied by a CASA guide that describes how to combine data from the ACA with 12-m data.
- 3C 286 observations of continuum in Band 6, demonstrating ALMA's polarization capability. The data is accompanied by a CASA guide that describes the calibration and imaging of polarization data.
Details of these and other SV targets are listed on the Science Verification web page.