• The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) is an international astronomy facility constructed and operated through scientific organizations and institutes located in North America, Europe, Japan and Taiwan.
  • In North America, ALMA development and construction activities are led by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) for the National Science Foundation.
  • The ALMA astronomical observatory will be a synthesis radio telescope operating in an interferometric mode and in a single dish total power observation mode.
  • ALMA is being constructed at a median elevation of 5000 meters above sea level on the Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.


  • The Array for Microwave Background Anisotropy (AMiBA) , also known as the Yuan-Tseh Lee Array for Microwave Background Anisotropy
  • This project :
  • led, designed, constructed, and operated by the Academic Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA)
  • major collaborations with National Taiwan University, Physics Department (NTUP), Electrical Engineering Department (NTUEE) and the Australian Telescope National Facility (ATNF).
  • Contributions also came from the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO).
  • AMiBA is a radio telescope designed to observe the cosmic microwave background and the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect in clusters of galaxies.
  • AMiBA is currently configured as a 7-element interferometer, using 0.576 m Cassegrain dishes mounted on a 6 m carbon fibre hexapod mount. It is located on Mauna Loa in Hawaii, at 3,396 m above sea, and observes at 3 mm (86–102 GHz) to minimize foregrounds.The telescope has a retractable shelter, made from seven steel trusses and PVC fabric.


  • FESV is a custom designed truck packed with the equipment required to transport and service ALMA’s temperature-sensitive astronomical equipment without removing a telescope from the working array at 16,500 feet.
  • The FESV is based on the familiar Volvo FH 6×4 chassis: It is 36 feet long, 8 feet wide, and weighs 26 tons. The truck’s built-in scissor lift is designed to push its cargo cabin 20 feet straight up to align with the receiver cabin of a telescope, similar to catering trucks that align with airplane doors, allowing personnel inside to replenish provisions directly at the airport gate.
  • The truck enables personnel to service million-dollar, state-of-the art hardware at one of the harshest locations on Earth, the Chajnantor Plain in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Working at an elevation of 16,500 feet, the FESVs will be at altitudes higher than even small aircraft can fly. To function in this extreme location, the FESV has insulated walls and a 440 HP turbo diesel engine.
  • Two FESVs were commissioned by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, with the help of one of their partners in ALMA, the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics. They were built by CoTech in association with Ke Chong Industries in Taiwan. The FEHV was designed and is currently being fabricated (respectively) by Chilean firms Prolaser Ltda. and Walper y Cía. Ltda.