Pierre Cox plenary: ALMA Update
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is transitioning from construction to operations. This connected element array currently operates from wavelengths of 3-mm to 350-microns with up to 66 array elements, 54 of 12-m diameter and 12 of 7-m diameter. While the antennas and most of the hardware for the receivers are on site in Chile, array capabilities are still expanding rapidly. In parallel with construction activities, early science observations have been going on since October 2011.
This plenary session presents the current status of the project and gives an overview of the trailblazing science results obtained so far. The potential of the fully operational ALMA is outlined as well as some of the development projects that are being considered.
Pierre Cox, Director of ALMA, is well known scientifically in the area of millimeter and infrared observations of star-forming regions, evolved stars, and high-redshift galaxies. He was previously Director of IRAM (Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique). In the late 1990s, Cox was one of the founding ALMA Scientific Advisory Committee and European Scientific Advisory Committee members, who supported and promoted the project both with scientists and funding agencies. Since then he has stayed in close contact with ALMA through various committees. In 2007, he chaired the review committee of the ALMA operations plan.