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North American ALMA Science Center

Charlottesville, Virginia

ALMA antennas at twilight

The NAASC supports ALMA science operations in Chile and provides user support for the North American ALMA  community. Operating out of Charlottesville, Virginia, NAASC supports ALMA science operations in Chile and provides ALMA related user support in North America. This includes user website and proposal guides, proposal preparation, post-observation user support, data reduction “cookbooks,” and the organization of ALMA meetings and workshops.

AUI proposed the creation of ALMA and led efforts in the design, construction, management and operation of the resulting facilities. AUI maintains offices in Chile and the U.S. dedicated to our continued support and management.

North American ALMA Regional Center

Cerro Paranal ESO Observatory

The North American ALMA Regional Center (NAARC) is a subset of the NAASC, concentrating on the internationally agreed ALMA core functions.

The ALMA international partners in East Asia and Europe support similar ALMA Regional Centers. In North America, the ARC is a partnership between NRAO, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), supported by the Millimeter Astronomy Group at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC).


North America’s contributions to ALMA include:

  • The North American ALMA Science Center, ALMA “headquarters” for North America Receiver cartridges for ALMA bands 3 and 6
  • An ALMA “Front End Integration Center” where receiver cartridges from around the world are integrated into large cabinets that are then shipped to Chile for installation into antennas
  • At least 25 12-meter antennas
  • ALMA’s photonic local oscillator
  • Digital electronics for transmitting signals from the antennas
  • The correlator for the 12-meter array
  • The Array Operations Site (AOS) technical building, second highest steel frame building in the world
  • Road and power distribution to the AOS
  • A variety of tools, including the Common Astronomy Software Applications (CASA) tool, Simdata and Splatalogue

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