Ten years of ALMA – The Italian ALMA Regional Centre


Ten years of ALMA

The Italian ALMA Regional Centre

Download document here: Italian-ARC-status-2023

ALMA was officially inaugurated ten years ago, in March 2013. Our previous report, “Five years of
Early Science and the Activities of the Italian ARC”, in October 2015, presented the activities of the
Italian node of the European ALMA Regional Centre during first 5 years of observations of ALMA.
It seems appropriate now to give a status report on the Italian node’s progress made since then.
ALMA has gone through a rapid evolution in the past 10 years in terms of number of antennas,
configurations, frequency bands, and amount of hours available for scientific research, number of
proposers and proposals submitted. Likewise the Italian node has evolved considerably, as has the
community it serves. In this document we describe our activities over the past decade, undertaken
towards supporting, expanding and educating the astronomical community, as well as towards the
ALMA project, and the results obtained.
ALMA is continuously being upgraded and improved. Recently, a new development path has
been defined in the ’ALMA2030 Development Roadmap’, to identify the new science drivers for the
coming years. In this framework, exciting new possibilities are opened up. In the last call, issued
in April 2023, for the first time the possibility was offered to submit joint proposals with JWST,
VLA and/or the VLT. Also in the next observing Cycle (number 10), Band 1 (35–50 GHz) becomes
available, while in the near future we shall see the arrival of the new Band 2+3 combination (67–
116 GHz). By 2030, the so-called wideband sensitivity upgrade (WSU) will revolutionise ALMA in
many ways by upgrading many technical components (including receivers and correlator), modifying
the data handling procedures, the pipelines and tools to improve the offered capabilities. All these
developments will lead to exciting new possibilities for ALMA users. The Italian ARC will be
prepared to continue its support and educational tasks with enthusiasm!

Jan Brand & Marcella Massardi