Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) - Taiwan
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is the largest ground based astronomical telescope to be built. It consists of 66 telescopes operating as an interferometer at mm and submm wavelengths. Located in the Atacama desert in Chile, this scaled-up version of the Submillimeter Array is now officially online with the inauguration ceremony held on March 13, 2013 in Chile. Its large collecting area in combination with its location in a high dry region will permit sensitive observations leading to transformative science of the cool Universe. This instrument will be the preeminent instrument for studies of the relic radiation from the early Universe and of the formation and evolution of stars, planetary systems, galaxies and even the origin of life itself.
ALMA has three main partners: North America, Europe, and East Asia. Taiwan has been invited to participate both by ALMA-Japan and ALMA-North America. In 2005, ASIAA joined the ALMA-Japan project. In 2007, Taiwan joined the ALMA-NA project, with ASIAA as the lead agency for Taiwan. In close collaboration with Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, ASIAA has constructed the East Asia Front End Integration Center (EA FEIC) in Taichung. The center not only assembled and tested the 17 Front End systems to be installed in the ALMA-Japan antennas but had also delivered additionally 5 systems for ALMA-North America, and 4 systems for ALMA-Europe.
ALMA was opened for use by astronomers on September 30, 2011 at its first round of scientific operations, namely, ALMA Cycle 0 Early Science. Out of around 900 applications from astronomers around the world, we have succeeded in leading 8 of the 112 projects accepted. Later in January of 2013, ALMA started its Cycle 1 Early Science operation. 1133 proposals were submitted. 196 proposals were accepted, with 14 of them led by us.