The Messenger

Upgrade Strategies for the ALMA Digital System

  • Quertier, Benjamin [LAB, University of Bordeaux, France]
  • Gauffre, St├ęphane [LAB, University of Bordeaux, France]
  • Randriamantena, Antsa [LAB, University of Bordeaux, France]
  • Studniarek, Marina [LAB, University of Bordeaux, France]
  • De Breuck, Carlos [European Southern Observatory (ESO)]
  • Mroczkowski, Tony [European Southern Observatory (ESO)]
  • Tan, Gie Han [European Southern Observatory (ESO)]
  • Kemper, Ciska [European Southern Observatory (ESO)]
  • Phillips, Neil [European Southern Observatory (ESO)]


The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) comprises 66 antennas working as a powerful interferometer. High-speed digitisation, signal transmission over several tens of kilometres from the receivers to the correlator, and complex data processing all require state-of-the-art technologies. The ALMA2030 Development Roadmap calls for an increase in the bandwidth by at least a factor of two, implying a major upgrade of the entire signal path. We present here the results of a detailed study looking at how to upgrade the ALMA digital system, including digitisation, data pre-processing, and data transmission to cope with bandwidths more than four times the current ones. At the same time, this system will contribute to increasing the nominal correlation efficiency from 88% to 99%, and prepare ALMA for longer baselines of up to 100 kilometres.

Created: 2021-09-01/2021-09-30
5 pages

Cite this article:

Quertier, B., Gauffre, S., Randriamantena, A., Studniarek, M., De Breuck, C., Mroczkowski, T., Tan, G., Kemper, C., Phillips, N.; Upgrade Strategies for the ALMA Digital System. The Messenger 184 (September 2021): 20–24.