The contracting authority is the Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor de Astronomie, NOVA, legally represented by the University of Leiden.
The billing address is the address of NOVA which is located in Leiden.
The delivery address to NOVA for the purpose of this contract is:
University of Groningen,
C/o Kapteyn Institute, Kapteynborg
Landleven 12 Entrance J1, Zernike Campus
9747 AD Groningen.
1. Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor de Astronomie, NOVA (English name: The Netherlands Research School for Astronomy)
NOVA, a top-research school, is a federation of the astronomical institutes at the universities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden and Nijmegen, legally represented by the University of Leiden. NOVA's mission is to carry out frontline astronomical research in the Netherlands, and to train young astronomers at the highest international level. As part of this mission, NOVA's instrumentation program aims to strengthen the technical expertise at the universities, and to develop and construct new instrumentation for world-class observatories. Development and production of the ALMA Band 5 Cartridge for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array project is an important part of this instrumentation program.
2. The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)
ALMA is an instrument, which, when completed in 2013, will consist of an array of sixty-six antennas, with baselines up to 16 km located on the Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert in the North of Chile, at 5.000m altitude. It will observe at wavelengths in the range 7.5-0.3 mm (40 to 950 GHz). The antennas can be moved around, in order to form arrays with different distributions of baseline lengths.
ALMA is an international astronomy facility. It is a partnership of Europe, Japan, and North America in cooperation with the Republic of Chile.
ALMA is funded in Europe by:
— The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) and Spain.
— In Japan by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) in cooperation with the Academia Sinica in Taiwan.
— In North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).
ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of Japan by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI).
3. In the past years, NOVA has developed and produced the ALMA Band 9 receivers.
NOVA is presently producing the ALMA Band 5 receivers. This is a cryogenic heterodyne receiver offering state-of-the-art sensitivities at signal frequencies from 163-211 GHz.
A consortium of two institutes executes the work:
— The ALMA/NOVA group within the Kapteyn Institute, the Astronomy department of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and
— GARD group within the University of Göteborg, Sweden.
NOVA leads in the project and performs this work under contract to ESO.
The aggressive science goals, large scope, and remote location of the ALMA project, combined with the cartridges' cryogenic operating temperatures (as low as 3 K or 270ºC), place high demands on the performance and reliability of the Band 5 Cartridges and their component parts.
4. GARD group at the Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
The Group for Advanced Receiver Development (GARD) is a research and engineering group working on Terahertz scientific instrumentation. GARD research focuses on superconducting electronics, material science and thin-film processing. The results and experience from these fields facilitate development and building of state-of-the-art instruments used in radio astronomy and environmental science.
During 2006- 2011, under EC FP6 ALMA Enhancement Project, GARD completed development, production and tests of six Band 5 Cartridge Pre-Production Assemblies. All produced Band 5 receiver cartridges demonstrate state-of-the-art performance (the noise temperature of about 5 times quantum noise hf/k). The first produced Band 5 receiver has been integrated with ALMA antenna s/n 01 and is on AOS since October 2011. The ALMA Band 5 covers the frequency range 163 GHz - 211 GHz. The para-H2O(313-220) line at 183 GHz lies in the middle of Band 5. It is one of a few H2O lines that can be observed from Earth (at the excellent ALMA site the transmission can approach 50% at the line peak). The GARD group employs about twelve people
5. The European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO)
ESO is the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere. Created in 1962, ESO provides state-of-the-art research facilities to European astronomers and astrophysicists and is supported by Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Preparing the future, ESO is currently engaged in design studies for an Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope for Europe's astronomers (E-ELT). ESO is a member of the EIROforum, the partnership of the seven European intergovernmental research organisations that operate major research infrastructures.
See also the selection guidelines. These selection guidelines can be applied for by e-mail at Het NIC BV, BU Noord in Zwolle, the Netherlands.