ALMA Gets Its First Antenna
On September 23, 2009, the first ALMA antenna was installed on Pad 106 at the 5,050-meter elevation Llano Chajnantor high site in northern Chile. It was a Japanese-built 12-meter, the prototype that was tested at the Very Large Array. To its left in the distance is the Array Operations Site Technical Building that houses the Correlator supercomputer, the central local oscillator, and other equipment beneath the site’s spectacularly clear skies. The antenna is controlled entirely from the lower elevation Operations Support Facility, a few dozen kilometers away.