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 a recent 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

Upcoming remote proposal training events

In preparation for the Cycle 6 proposal deadline, the German ARC node offers the following ALMA remote training opportunities via zoom:

15 March 2018


Introduction to Radio Interferometry

20 March 2018


Introduction to ALMA

26 March 2018


Introduction to Radio Interferometry

27 March 2018


What is new in ALMA Cycle 6?

04 April 2018


Introduction to ALMA

10 April 2018


What is new in ALMA Cycle 6?

In addition, we organize the traditional German ALMA Community Day in Bonn on 05 April 2018 for (prospective) ALMA users of all levels of expertise. To participate, please register at the remote training page and/or at the Community Day page, respectively. Only registered participants will receive all the necessary contact information.

Cycle 6 Call for Proposals

The ALMA Director, on behalf of the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) and the partner organizations in East Asia, Europe, and North America, is pleased to announce the ALMA Cycle 6 Call for Proposals. It is anticipated that 4000 hours of the 12-m Array time and 3000 hours of the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) time, also known as the Morita Array, will be available for successful proposals from Principal Investigators (PIs) in Cycle 6.

ALMA Cycle 6 proposal submission will open at 15:00 UT on Tuesday, 20 March 2018.
The Cycle 6 proposal submission deadline is 15:00 UT on Thursday, 19 April 2018.

More information on the Call for Proposals and links to the corresponding documentation can be found here.

Registration now open: Remote proposal training and German ALMA Community Days

The next Call for Proposals for observing time with ALMA (Cycle 6) will be issued on 20 March 2018. The deadline for proposals is expected to be on 19 April 2018, with observations starting in October 2018. More details can be found in the ALMA Cycle 6 Pre-announcement and the Additional Information for Cycle 6 Proposals. To prepare the local astronomical community for the Cycle 6 proposal deadline, the German ARC node offers a number of ALMA Community Events:

Proposal Preparation Support and Outreach

Enjoy ALMA outreach and proposal preparation support conveniently at your home institution! As a service to the local astronomical community, the German ARC node organizes several ALMA proposal preparation and outreach sessions as video sessions using zoom, which the participants can join without charge. Participants in the sessions are very welcome to come to Bonn for further face-to-face interaction and one-on-one help with their proposals during the ALMA Community Day on 05 April 2018. Further details and the registration form can be found here.

ALMA Community Day

The ALMA Community Day in Bonn on 05 April 2018 offers proposal preparation support as well as face-to-face interaction with ARC node staff and other (prospective) ALMA users. The programme will start with an introduction to the basic radio astronomical concepts and terminology, followed by practical current information on ALMA, its capabilities and procedures. In the afternoon, there will be a proposal clinic, where participants will be able to work on their ALMA proposals with one-on-one advice by ARC node staff. Further details and the registration form can be found here.

Additional Information for Cycle 6 Proposals

On 01 February 2018 additional information for Cycle 6 proposals has been released at the ALMA Science Portals. The new information pertains to the Cycle 6 configuration schedule, planning Large Programs and circular polarization.

New Science Verification data released

A new installment of Science Verification data has been released on 22 January 2018. The data have been taken towards the Science Verification target HL Tau in continuum mode in Band 4 at high-angular resolution (50 mas) with the 12-m Array. The target is listed as source no. 15 on the Science Verification data page.

mmVLBI at 3mm: First deadline already on 01 Feb. 2018!

ALMA is expected to participate in some mmVLBI observations during ALMA Cycle 6. Our guidelines for mmVLBI with ALMA provide concise general information about this special observing mode.

Please note that in addition to submitting an ALMA proposal, proposers of 3-mm VLBI observations must also submit a proposal to the GMVA by its 1 February 2018 deadline. Please refer to the GMVA Call for Proposals and the GMVA webpages for the latest news concerning Cycle 6. Additional information about proposing with ALMA using the EHTC will appear in the ALMA Call for Proposals.

ALMA Cycle 6 Pre-announcement

ALMA Cycle 6 will start in early October 2018 and span 12 months. A Call for Proposals with detailed information on Cycle 6 will be issued in March 2018, with a deadline for proposal submission in April 2018. The anticipated new capabilities for Cycle 6 include circular polarization, band 8 on the ACA in standalone mode, and an extended band 6 IF bandwidth. In addition, band 8 will be considered a standard mode.

See here for more details on the timeline and anticipated capabilities.

Remote proposal training and German ALMA Community Days

In preparation for the Cycle 6 Proposal deadline in April 2018, the German ARC node organizes several remote training sessions in February and March 2018, culminating in the German ALMA Community Day in early April 2018. The remote 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 in Cycle 6 for experienced ALMA users. The German ALMA Community Day in Bonn will offer an opportunity to discuss face-to-face with ARC node staff and to get technical advice for individual proposals.

Registration for the remote training sessions and the German ALMA Community Day will open in January 2018 and will be announced on this web page and by a newsflash to the DARC mailing list. Please note that a minimum number of registrations are required for any each session to take place.

Training opportunity "Radio Interferometry: Methods and Science"

The course "Radio Interferometry: Methods and Science" is organized by the German ARC node and offers a hands-on overview of major aspects of radio/mm/submm interferometry for master students, PhD students and senior astronomers. After a brief review of the basics of radio interferometry, the lectures focus on the theory and practical aspects of data reduction and analysis, including special observing modes. In addition, hot topics at the forefront of (radio) astronomical research and the latest developments of selected world-leading radio/mm/submm interferometers will be presented by experts of the respective fields.

The lectures are complemented by a hands-on tutorial, where participants discuss how to reduce interferometric data with the Common Astronomy Software Applications (CASA) package.

The German ARC node offers remote access to the lectures and tutorials on a best-efforts basis via zoom or a similar platform. If you would like to follow the course at your home institution, please contact us before 15 March 2018. For more information, please go to the course homepage.

Start of Cycle 5 and updated ALMA configuration schedule for Cycle 5

ALMA Cycle 5 successfully started on 1 October 2017 with observations in the longest configuration (~16 km). Since then, the array has been and will be reconfigured continuously until it will reach the most compact baselines in July 2018.

Please note that the configuration schedule for Cycle 5 has been modified from that posted in the Proposer's Guide in response to the pressure from the top-rated proposals in Cycle 5 and the adverse weather at the ALMA site, which affected the configuration schedule at the end of Cycle 4. The updated configuration schedule is available here. The current status of ALMA can be found here..

ALMA Cycle 5 proposal review: detailed report

A detailed report on the outcome of the ALMA Cycle 5 Proposal Review Process is now available as a pdf-document. The report details the proposal review process, proposal statistics and regional distributions, as well as the proposal distribution across science categories and receiver bands.