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Proceedings Paper

The ALMA assembly, integration, and verification project: a retrospective analysis
Author(s): B. Lopez; L. B. G. Knee; H. Jager; N. Whyborn; J. McMullin; R. Murowinski; A. Peck; S. Corder
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Paper Abstract

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a joint project between astronomical organizations in Europe, North America, and East Asia, in collaboration with the Republic of Chile. ALMA consists of 54 twelve-meter antennas and 12 seven-meter antennas operating as an aperture synthesis array in the (sub)millimeter wavelength range. Assembly, Integration, and Verification (AIV) of the antennas was completed at the end of the year 2013, while the final optimization and complete expansion to validate all planned observing modes will continue. This paper compares the actually obtained results of the period 2008-2013 with the baselines that had been laid out in the early project-planning phase (2005-2007). First plans made for ALMA AIV had already established a two-phased project life-cycle: phase 1 for setting up necessary infrastructure and common facilities, and taking the first three antennas to the start of commissioning; and phase 2 focused on the steady state processing of the remaining units. Throughout the execution of the project this lifecycle was refined and two additional phases were added, namely a transition phase between phases 1 and 2, and a closing phase to address the project ramp-down. A sub-project called Accelerated Commissioning and Science Verification (ACSV) was carried out during the year 2009 in order to provide focus to the whole ALMA organization, and to accomplish the start-of-commissioning milestone. Early phases of CSV focused on validating the basic performance and calibration. Over time additional observing modes have been validated as capabilities expanded both in hardware and software. This retrospective analysis describes the originally presented project staffing plans and schedules, the underlying assumptions, identified risks and operational models, among others. For comparison actual data on staffing levels, the resultant schedule, additional risks identified and those that actually materialized, are presented. The observed similarities and differences are then analyzed and explained, and corresponding lessons learned are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 August 2014
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9150, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VI, 91500B (4 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056310
Show Author Affiliations
B. Lopez, ALMA (Chile)
L. B. G. Knee, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
H. Jager, ALMA (Chile)
N. Whyborn, ALMA (Chile)
J. McMullin, National Solar Observatory (United States)
R. Murowinski, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
A. Peck, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)
S. Corder, ALMA (Chile)
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9150:
Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VI
George Z. Angeli; Philippe Dierickx, Editor(s)

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