About the IRAM ARC Node

IRAM has established an ALMA user support center, which forms a node of the European ALMA Regional Center (ARC). The role of the ARC nodes is to provide direct user support, including training and schools, help for the preparation of observing proposals, support for Phase 2, and face-to-face support for data reduction. The IRAM ARC node is based on the existing support center for the Plateau de Bure interferometer and on the involvement of the institute in the ALMA construction

IRAM has been deeply involved in the preparation phase of ALMA and in its construction. The activities at IRAM included the design and construction of the Band 7 cartridges; the design of the receivers optics and calibration units; the design and construction of the backend digitizer clocks; the development of the real-time Telescope Calibration software; a deep involvement in the Scientific Software Requirements (SSR) group and in the antenna prototypes testing and evaluation. IRAM astronomers have also participated to the ALMA commissioning.

Audience of the IRAM ARC Node

IRAM is an international institute funded by Germany (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, MPG), France (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS), and Spain (Instituto Geográfico Nacional, IGN). The IRAM telescopes are open to the whole astronomical community. The ARC node is a new service provided by IRAM which is open to all interested scientists, with special emphasis on the German, French, and Spanish communities.

About the European ARC

The ALMA Regional Centers (ARCs) are the main contact point between the ALMA observatory and the users throughout the lifetime of a project. Each ALMA partner (Europe, North-America, and Eastern-Asia) has established an ARC to serve its community. The European ARC is organized as a network, consisting of:


ESO is responsible for the "core" tasks: the call for proposals ("Phase 1"), the preparation of the scheduling blocks for the accepted projects, the operation of a mirror of the ALMA archive, the data product support (i.e. data and software delivery).

The ARC nodes provide "additional" tasks: user support for Phase 2 and for the data reduction, advanced user support (as, e.g., re-processing of large/complex datasets using modified pipeline versions, support for special projects), advanced software development, science community development (e.g., training for new users, schools, ALMA-related specific workshops).

More details can be found in the Guide to the European ARC.