The Atacama Large Millimeter Array
ALMA Median Sensitivity
Antennas: 64 (1 minute; AM=1.3; PWV= 1.5mm)
<25 m rss Freq Continuum Line 1 km s-1 Line 1 km s-1
ALMA Timeline <0”.6 pointing (GHz) (mJy) (mJy) (mJy)
Design and Development Phase Jun 1998 - Dec 2001 Collecting Area: >7000 m2 35 0.015 3.9 0.77
Resolution: 0”.02 (mm)
International partnership established 1999 Receivers: 10 bands, 110 0.026 3.9 0.78
Prototype antenna contract Dec 99 Trx 20-50K mm
ALMA/NA delivered to VLA site Q2 2002 Trx 3*h/k mm to 0.6mm
230 0.042 4.3 0.86
ALMA/EU delivery Q2 2003 Trx 4-6h/k mm to 0.3mm 345 0.11 9.3 1.9
Construction 2002-2010 Correlator: 2016 Baselines 675 3.0 180. 36.
Production antenna contract Q4 2004 Bandwidth: 16 GHz per baseline
Spectral channels: 4096 per IF
Production antenna in Chile Q4 2005
Interim operations fourth quarter 2007
Construction ends 2010
Formation of Stars
•Paradigm: material falls through a rotating circumstellar disk
onto a forming star from more extensive envelope, fuelling a
bipolar flow which allows loss of angular momentum (see
HH30 disk, far right at best current resolution).
•Without sufficient resolution, separation of these motions is
•A key observation, not currently achievable, would be to
observe the infalling gas in absorption against the background
protostar. As molecular depletion may occur in the densest
regions (c.f. NH3 in IRAM04191 at left) sensitivity is critical to
detection; ALMA will easily provide the sensitivity for this.
•In the bipolar flow, shock waves process envelope molecules, HH 30: Overlay of the integrated 13CO 2-1 emission (contours) on the
HST/WFPC2 image (color). A cross marks the position of the 1.3 mm continuum
CO(2-1) contours superimposed on an HST image of HH 30. The HST
providing a rich chemistry--ALMA will be able to observe the observations in false colors (from Burrows et al. 1996) show the source. Stapelfeldt and Padgett (2001) inWootten, A., ASP Conf. Ser. 235: Science
with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, 163.
optical continuum emission tracing the reflected light in the flared
progress of these shocks in real time and study how their circumstellar disk, together with the emission of bright atomic lines
([SII], Ha, [OI]), tracing a highly collimated jet, perpendicular to the
composition changes. disk. The contours represent the CO(2-1) emission, as observed with
the IRAM Plateau de Bure interferometer with an angular resolution
of 1.2”×0.7” by Gueth et al. in prep. Only the channel map at a
velocity of 11 km/s is plotted (contours are 80 mJy/beam). It shows
the conical molecular outflow emanating out of the disk and
IRAM04191. Green: NH3 (1,1) VLA; Red/Blud: 12CO 2-1 NRAO 12m surrounding the jet. The cross indicates the position of the peak of the
1.3 mm continuum emission.
Debris Disks Protoplanetary Disks
•Tdust at 1 AU = 350 K
•Tdust power law index q = 0.45
•Surface density power law index = 1.3
•Inclination = 45 degrees
Feature Amplitude Radius (AU) Width (AU) PA (deg)
Dark Ring 1.0 7 2
Dark Ring 2.0 16 4
Planet Debris 1.5 40 5 45
Planet Debris 3.0 60 9 155
The model is a simulated modestly-bright debris disk at a distance of 12 pc located around a Sun-like star. The
observing frequency is 345 GHz, at which the total emission is 10 mJy. The disk has an inner radius at 3 AU and
an outer radius at 125 AU, with a mass of roughly 0.4 lunar masses of dust. This is a fairly dusty system, of
which perhaps a dozen might be available.
Modeling: Lee Mundy
ALMA will be able to trace the chemical evolution of star-forming regions over an
unprecedented scale from cloud cores to the inner circumstellar disk. At spatial
resolution of 5 AU, it will determine the nature of dust-gas interactions the extent of
ALMA Simulation of Debris Disk Image: Fidelity the resulting molecular complexity, and the major reservoirs of the biogenic
elements. Angular resolution will exceed that of the HST. On the right above, a
model image; on the left a simulation of how ALMA will image the model.
Simulation: Structural Details
Simulations of an ALMA observation of the debris disk using multi-scale CLEAN in the
aips++ package. On the left, an observation with the compact array, stretched to show the
structures in the disk in a four hour integration. On the right, a 4 hour observation with the
ALMA Memo No. 386 & 387
450m array, which achieves higher resolution. Thermal noise limits sensitivity. A
The debris disk model is spread over several primary beamwidths of the ALMA antenna. Imaging the disk would pose a problem for combination of these two observations would afford the best representation of the original
current interferometers, which do not recover short spacing data from the antennas operating as single units. ALMA will incorporate image. Clearly, in one transit ALMA would be able to constrain 1) the photospheric flux of
this data to provide high fidelity images. The simulation results shown above use software developed at IRAM with image the central star (not resolved from inner dust in these compact configurations), 2) the general
reconstruction using a CLEAN technique. The simulations is done for a frequency of 230 GHz with ALMA in its most compact
structure of the disk—suggesting the presence of planets and 3) the total dust mass of the
configuration, so the resolution provided is a bit over one arcsecond, insufficient to show the fine detail in the model. Thermal noise
has not been included in this simulation. Image fidelity is the ratio of the model to the difference (model – simulated) image, so disk, as all of the flux is recovered in the image.
higher numbers reflect more accurate quality. On the right, cumulative fidelity is plotted and evaluated for four fidelity medians.
For a wide range of medians, the fidelity measure lies near 100, showing that ALMA images will be of quite high quality indeed.
Further improvement of the images is possible by the addition to ALMA of a small (~12) array of smaller (7-8m) antennas, outside
the scope of the current project but a likely enhancement should a third partner join ALMA.