posted on Oct, 9 2007 @ 08:40 AM
Oh ALMA, your taxi "Otto" is on it's way Ma 'am... an
external link to a pic of "Otto".
ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) is proceeding with a start-up of 2012. Otto and it's twin assure precision placement of each of the 66 antennae
facets and the 66 can be arranged on a selection of 192 antennae pads using "Otto" to "move the dish" by actually physically moving the
interchangeable antennae units into different configurations.
The international collaborative project is moving along well and Chile does seem to be the most advantageous site. I'd not be surprised to see other
telescope types locate nearby as the transport and support infrastructure will already exist and have been proven by then. Given a decade or so and
the correct incentives Chile could be "the" place for terrestrial-based data collection observatory facilities.
The Magellan installation at Cerro Las Campanas, Chile has also been given the green-light. This unit is "big", really, really big even for a GMT...
it is supposed to online in 2016 and it's mega-mirrors are being polished now... 'er have been since 2005 with polishing finishing in 2009 or so.
A link to a recent SpaceRef.com article on the "Otto" transporter, here.
The link to the photo of "Otto" doesn't seem to work 100% of the time (sorry).
[edit on 9-10-2007 by V Kaminski]