European ARC Announcements

European ARC Announcements are provided by ESO and the European ALMA Nodes that together make up the European ALMA Regional Centre Network.

I-TRAIN #3: UVMultiFit

Published: 21 Nov 2020

The European ARC Network is offering an online training on UVMultiFit on January 15, 2021, 11:00 CET [Zoom link]. The tool UVMultiFit is a versatile library for fitting models directly to visibility data. Visibility fitting can be a powerful method to analyze interferometric data and extract source information without the need to process image deconvolution. During this training session users will learn how to use this tool on real, publicly available ALMA data.

2020 November Status of the ALMA recovery process

Published: 20 Nov 2020

Dear colleagues,

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact our lives around the world, everyone at ALMA hopes that you and your families are staying safe and healthy. The pandemic situation in Chile is remaining stable and over the past few weeks ALMA staff have been moving forward with ALMA’s plan to recover the telescope array in the Atacama, as announced on October 1st, 2020.

The First 60000 ARI-L Images are Now Available in the ALMA Science Archive

Published: 14 Nov 2020

The first 60000 data cubes and continuum images generated by the Additional Representative Images for Legacy (ARI-L) ALMA development project are now available to download from the ALMA Science Archive (ASA). In addition to the primary-beam-corrected images, the released products also include the primary beams, and mask for all targets and calibrators of more than 1200 Cycle 3 and 4 datasets.

ALMA Operation Support Facility in Ramp-up phase

Published: 14 Nov 2020

ALMA started the ‘Operation Support Facility (OSF) Ramp-up phase’ on 21 October. During this phase, the focus of the recovery is on returning to normal services at the Operations Support Facility, including food service, opening of labs and offices, and the confirmation of the stability of critical services.

New Helpdesk system Deskpro

Published: 13 Nov 2020

On December 3 and 4 the ALMA Helpdesk will migrate to a new service provider, Deskpro. The new Helpdesk system will have the same functionality as the current system, but with a refreshed user experience for the ALMA user when creating tickets and interacting with the knowledgebase. We are confident that the new system will further improve the value of the Helpdesk in supporting exciting ALMA science!

Because of the migration to the new service provider the ALMA Helpdesk may be down during parts of December 3 and 4.

Summary of ALMA 2020 UK Virtual Workshop

Published: 13 Nov 2020

The UK ARC Node hosted its first virtual ALMA workshop for new postgraduate students during a series of half-days from the 9th to the 13th of November 2020.  This workshop covered the same topics that are featured in typical introductory ALMA workshops, including introductions to ALMA and interferometry, hands-on work with the Observing Tool and the ALMA Science Archive, and calibration and imaging in CASA. The difference was that this workshop was conducted entirely virtually, which presented some new challenges in terms of interactions with the participants, particularly in terms of troubleshooting problems. However, by the end, the participants succeeded in making their own ALMA images.

ALMA starts the process of recovering the telescope array

Published: 01 Oct 2020

Dear colleagues,

The past several months have been an extraordinary period as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. Everyone at ALMA hopes that you and your families are safe and healthy, and we extend our thoughts to those who have been directly affected by the pandemic.

For six months, almost the whole ALMA site has been shut down – power, water treatment, and running water - with only a single piece of key equipment (the hydrogen maser) still powered and checked daily as one of the tasks of the ALMA Caretaker Teams  - the teams who have ensured the safety and security of the ALMA Observatory through the shutdown.   

With the improving pandemic situation in Chile, ALMA is now scheduled to begin the long process of recovering the telescope array in the Atacama on October 1st, 2020, starting with preparation of the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF) at 2900 metres for the return of staff and contractors.

The road to recovery of operations, and ultimately science observations – a milestone that will not take place this year - has been carefully planned. It is difficult to predict the exact timeline since several aspects of the plan depend on prevailing conditions not under our control. However, the following describes the current plan of activities and schedule for the return of ALMA to science operations.

ALMA Regional Centre Community Assembly

Published: 01 Oct 2020

The European ALMA Regional Centre invites all European ALMA users to a short virtual community assembly on October 8 at 10:00 CEST. After a long period of suspended science observing, there is now a path towards getting back on sky and collecting science data with ALMA again. At this community meeting, we will update you on the time line for recovery and can answer any questions you may have on your ALMA projects and support from the European ARC network.

Reserve the date: 8 October at 10:00 CEST. The meeting can be accessed at this link. Looking forward to seeing you then!

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