Atacama Large Millimeter Array
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a forefront astronomy facility in northern Chile now entering its operations in phase. ALMA is at an altitude of 5,050 meters and consists of an 11-mile-wide interferometric imaging array of 54 12-meter dish antennas and a compact array of 12 7-meter antennas. ALMA began early science operations in September 2011. ALMA explores the Universe in millimeter and submillimeter-wavelengths with unprecedented sensitivity, resolution, and imaging capability. In cooperation with the Republic of Chile, ALMA is a major international partnership of North America, Europe, and East Asia.
The North American ALMA Science Center
North American ALMA Science Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, is the ALMA headquarters for North America. The NAASC supports ALMA science operations in Chile and provides user support for the North American community, including user website and proposal guides, proposal preparation, post-observation user support, data reduction “cookbooks,” and organization of ALMA meetings/workshops.
The Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array
The Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), located on the Plains of San Agustin, New Mexico, is an exceedingly powerful scientific instrument which has transformed many areas of astronomy. Dedicated in 1980, the VLA consists of 27 antennas arranged in a “Y” pattern. To date, the VLA has been used by more astronomers producing more scientific papers than any other radio telescope in the world. The VLA exceeds all other radio astronomy facilities with its combination of sensitivity, flexibility, speed, and overall imaging quality. Among the observations at the VLA are: black holes and protoplanetary disks around young stars, the discovery of magnetic filaments and traced complex gas motions at the Milky Way’s center, probing the Universe’s cosmological parameters, and providing new knowledge about the physical mechanisms that produce radio emission.
Central Development Laboratory
The mission of the CDL, headquartered in in Charlottesville, Virginia, is to support the evolution of NRAO’s existing facilities and provide the technology and expertise needed to build the next generation of radio astronomy instruments. This is accomplished through development of the enabling technologies: low noise amplifiers, millimeter and sub-millimeter detectors, optics and electromagnetic components including feeds and phased arrays, digital signal processing, and new receiver architectures. CDL staff have developed and produced these critical components and subsystems not only for NRAO’s telescopes, but also for the worldwide astronomical community for ground and space-based instruments. Technical innovations developed or enhanced at the CDL have contributed to improvements in communications antennas, transistors, cryogenic coolers, medical and scientific imaging, time and frequency standards, atomic clocks, GPS navigation, 911 emergency call location, and precision spacecraft navigation. NRAO technology increases our understanding of the Universe and contributes to American competitiveness.
PING 2016: Exploring the Cosmos with NRAO
The Physicists Inspiring the Next Generation (PING) 2016:
Exploring the Cosmos with NRAO is a collaboration between the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) to expose traditionally underrepresented minorities (URM) to science and engineering with a focus on physics and radio-astronomy.
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