Science and Technology in Italy for the upgraded alma observatory ialma

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Science and Technology in Italy for the upgraded ALMA Observatory - iALMA

Science and Technology in Italy for the upgraded ALMA Observatory

  • iALMA

Linea di intervento:

N.3: Programmi e/o progetti legati al potenziamento delle infrastrutture di ricerca esistenti che abbiano una valenza europea ed internazionale, anche in termini di impatto e che permettano di consentire la migliore partecipazione italiana ai programmi europei congiunti. Sono pertanto favorite quelle infrastrutture che: si autofinanziano almeno in parte attraverso servizi o altri progetti di ricerca; fanno parte di una rete europea; fanno parte di un ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) o sono in procinto di divenirlo; coinvolgono altre organizzazioni pubbliche o private distribuite sul territorio nazionale; non hanno già altre fonti di finanziamento in corso del MIUR per la stessa annualità e tipologia di spesa o siano ad esse complementari.


Science and Technology in Italy for the upgraded ALMA Observatory 1


1]Coordinator 2

2]Areas of the proposed activities 2

3]Personnel 2

INAF Participants 2

External participants 9

Letters of commitments of external participants 13

Training 17

Governance 17

4]Proposed keywords 18

5]Objectives 18

6]Preparatory Activities 23

7]Project detailed description 23

WP0. Project Management. 26

WP1. Science Working Group – Science Cases and Simulations 28

WP2. Advanced Training 32

WP3. The evolution and development of the Italian ARC node 34

WP4. ALMA Band 2 passive components prototypes and testing 37

WP5. Band 2 cartridge prototyping and testing 39

WP6. Laboratory Astrophysics 42

WP7. Options for a Green-ALMA 47

WP8. iALMA Outreach 48

8]Project expences 49

Financial return 51

9]State of the art and expected results 52

State of the art 52

Expected results 56

10]Products and evaluation criteria of project achievements 60

11]List of scientific publications of the participants 63


Dr. Leonardo Testi – INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri

2]Areas of the proposed activities


A small, but important part of this project is a feasibility study for the possible production of green energy at the ALMA site to partially substitute the current production, based on fossil fuel consumption. We plan to contract an Italian consulting firm to execute this study.


iALMA is closely connected with Italian industries and the development of the capabilities of producing new and advanced technology. We especially forcus on the development and production of high technology components for microwave devices. iALMA will also engage the Italian green energy industry.


A key part of the iALMA project is to develop and produce prototype of microwave receiver technologies.


The project is mainly focused to develop the scientific, technological and industrial competences and capabilities to make the best possible use in Italy of the scientific opportunities of our participation in ESO and the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA).


INAF Participants

Leonardo Testi

INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri

Coordinator of the project. LT has been working on the ALMA project since the early 2000s, first as an expert for the Science Software Requirements group, then, since 2003 as member and then chairman of both the European ALMA Science Advisory Committee (ESAC) and the global ALMA Science Advisory Committee (ASAC). Since 2007 he has been assigned by INAF in Munich at ESO to serve as European ALMA Programme Scientist. In this capacity he is responsible in Europe for the overall ALMA Science Requirements and the development of the long term scientific strategy for the observatory.

LEONARDO TESTI graduated in Physics at the University of Florence in 1993, then he obtained the PhD in Astronomy from the same University in 1997. In his years as Laurea and then Dottorato student he spent several long stints in important european institutes: ASTRON (Dwingeloo, NL), Max Planck Institut fuer Radioastronomie (Bonn, D), and Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris (Paris, F). From 1997 through 1999 he has been Postoctoral Scholar at the California Institute of Technology (California, USA), where he was working with the Owens Valley Millimeter Array group. In 1999 he moved back to Italy as Ricercatore Astronomo at the Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, where he now holds the position of Astronomo Associato since 2003. Since 2007 he has been assigned by INAF to work at the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) as Full Astronomer and European ALMA Programme Scientist. The research activities of LT are primarily based on observations at wavelengths from the optical through the radio of star forming regions. His interests include the formation of massive stars and stellar clusters in our own Galaxy and in the Local Universe, the formation of Brown Dwarfs, the formation and evolution of protoplanetary disks and the process of planets formation. LT is coauthor of over 200 refereed publications, his h-index is 47. He regularly serve as referee for some of the most important journals for astrophysics (A&A, ApJ, AJ, MNRAS, Nature). He has been Coordinatore Nazionale of a PRIN-INAF on Planet Formation, responsible for the Arcetri participation to the PACS and SPIRE Herschel guaranteed programmes on star formation and the connected funding from ASI, he is currently responsible for the participation of ESO in the EC-FP7 Radionet3 project, for which he serves as Board Member for ESO. He has been member or external expert of several international science policy committees, for the distribution of competitive research and infrastructure grants (NASA Origins in USA, ERC grants for EC, NWO grants for the Netherlands, ASI grants in Italy, DFG grants in Germany, and FONDECYT grants in Chile), and for the allocation of observing time at major facilities (eg. NRAO, HST, Spitzer, ESO, Subaru). He served as Italian representative in the ESO Scientific and Technical Committee and member and chairman of the ALMA Science Advisory Committee. He participated in developing the Astronet Science Vision for European Astronomy and is currently working on its update as member of the Astronet Science Vision Working Group and Chair of Panel C. LT has served as member of the INAF Scientific Council for two terms (2005-2007; 2008-2011).
The list of the main scientific publications in the period 2010-2013 is reported in section 11.

Fabrizio Villa


Deputy coordinator of the project and responsible of the receiver development and of WP5.

FV is involved in the most important national and international projects devoted to the development of radioastronomy receivers for space and ground experiments. At the moment is responsible of the Italian partitipation to the international consortium for the study of ALMA band 2. Moreover is responsible of the MI-ALMA project.

FABRIZIO VILLA was graduated in Physics on 1994 at the Università degli Studi di Milano. From 1994 to 1997 he obtained a fellowship with CIFS (Consorzio Interuniversitario di Fisica Spaziale) and he worked as responsible of the laboratory in a Italian company for the development of microwave telecommunication systems. In 1997 he obtained a research contract at the TESRE institute (now IASF) of the National Research Council (CNR). In 2001 FV became staff of the same institute as researcher and in 2006 as senior researcher at the IASF (Institute of Space Astrophysics and Cosmic Physics) of the national wide Institute of Astrophysics (INAF). From 1997 has worked as microwave engineer in several experiments devoted to the measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background anisotropies such as BEAST, COSMOSOMAS, and the Planck Satellite. For Planck FV worked at the development of the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) being member of the Project System Team. Moreover within the Planck collaboration FV has been member of the Telescope Working Group, responsible of the Optical Interfaces of LFI, scientific responsible of the Planck/LFI Radiometer Chain Assembly calibration on ground. During the in-flight calibration of Planck, launched on May 2009, FV was responsible of the phase switches calibration of the LFI radiometers. Now, as member of the Planck core team, is responsible of the LFI detector pointing. In the framework of the INAF innovation programme, FV was Principal Investigator of a technology transfer funded proposal dedicated to the development of mm-wave passive imaging for civil applications. From 2004 to 2006 was member of the technical and scientific committee of the Consortium for Innovation and Technology Transfer in Emilia-Romagna. Now is responsible of the Italian partecipation to the international consortium for the development of the ALMA band 2+3 radiometer ad PI of the MI-ALMA study focussed to the development of multi-feed systems for ALMA. In addition to Planck activity, FV is involved in the development of an Italian balloon experiment (Large Scale Polarization Experiment) for the measurement of the polarization of the CMB. In particular FV is manager of the development of the telescope and antennas of the STRIP experiment (Stratospheric Italian Polarimeter). From 2001 FV is teaching at the University of Milano, Dept. of Physics in the framework of the “Space Insrumentation Laboratory” course. The H-index of FV, based on Citation Report is 28. In addition FV is involved in several outreach projects, public conferences, events and exhibitions.
The list of the main scientific publications in the period 2010-2013 is reported in section 11.

Maria Elisabetta Palumbo

INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania

Deputy-Coordinator and Responsible for the Laboratory Astrophysics (WP6). MEP is an international expert in the laboratory studies of the effects of irradiation on the chemistry of ices and the related production of complex organic molecules.

MARIA ELISABETTA PALUMBO obtained her Master Degree in Physics in 1992 at the University of Catania. She obtained her PhD award in 1998. Since July 1995 she is research astronomer at Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania. She has been working in the Laboratory for Experimental Astrophysics, at Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, since April 1991. In her research activity, she has studied experimentally, mainly by infrared absorption spectroscopy and by Raman spectroscopy, the effects of fast ions (3-400 keV) impinging on frozen gases (ices) at low temperature (10-100 K). This is an interdisciplinary study relevant to the understanding of the physical and chemical properties of ices in the interstellar medium and outer Solar System objects including comets. In particular she has studied the role of ion irradiation in the evolution of icy grain mantles and in the formation of molecules observed in dense interstellar molecular clouds. The main results she obtained focus on solid carbon monoxide and carbonyl sulfide, on the origin of carbon dioxide in interstellar icy grain mantles and on the structure (amorphous vs crystalline and porous vs compact) of solid water. She is co-author of more of 75 articles published on refereed international journals with more than 1640 citations, without self-citations, and h-index 23 (Source: ISI Web of Science). MEP is PI of several experimental and observational projects accepted at international facilities; she is member of the Management Committee and coordinator of Working Group 2 (Heterogeneous Chemistry) in COST Action CM0805 “The Chemical Cosmos: Understanding Chemistry in Astronomical Environments (April 2009 - April 2013); she is PI of INAF as partner of ITN Marie Curie Network LASSIE (Laboratory Analysis for Surface Science in Europe). She has been member of the Scientific Organizing Committee of international meetings and summer schools. Furthermore she has given lectures to undergraduate and PhD students at the University of Catania on “Laboratory Astrophysics” and “Infrared spectroscopy” and has given lectures on “Infrared spectroscopy of solid state molecules” and “Energetic processing of solid state molecules” at the international Summer School held in Cuijk, The Netherlands (4-8 June 2012). She has been co-tutor of the thesis of 10 undergraduate students at the University of Catania, required for their master degree, and co-tutor of a PhD thesis. Presently she is co-tutor of a PhD student at University of Catania and supervisor of a FP7-Marie Curie ITN experienced researcher at INAF. She is referee for the following international journals: Astronomy and Astrophysics (since 1999); The Astrophysical Journal (since 2001); Icarus (since 2002); Meteoritics and Planetary Science (since 2005); Astrophysics and Space Science (since 2007); Surface Science (since 2008); The Journal of Physical Chemistry (since 2009).
The list of the main scientific publications in the period 2010-2013 is reported in section 11.

Maria Teresa Beltran

INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri

Responsible for WP1. MB is an expert at international level of observational studies of complex molecules in high-mass star-forming regions carried out with millimeter facilities. She is a member of the Time Allocation Committee of ALMA.

MARIA TERESA BELTRÁN got her Physics Degree from the Universitat de Barcelona in 1996. In 1998 she got her Master Dissertation. From 1998 to 2002, has been a Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory predoctoral

fellow working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge (US). In 2002 she got her PhD in Astrophysics from the Universitat de Barcelona and in 2003 she was awarded with the Extraordinary Prize for Doctorate by the Universitat de Barcelona. From 2002 to 2008 she has been a postodoctoral fellow at the Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Florence, Italy), researcher "Juan de la Cierva" at the Departament d’Astronomia i Meteorologia of the Universitat de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain), and researcher "JAE" at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Barcelona, Spain). From 2005 to 2008 she has also been teaching at the Physics Faculty of the Universitat de Barcelona (Spain). Since 2003 she is an INAF Ricercatore III livello working at the Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri. In 2006 she got the Research Accreditation in the Science Field of the Quality Assurance Agency for the University System in Catalunya (AQU). Her research is focused on the study of the first stages of the formation of intermediate- and high-mass stars, at centimeter, millimeter, submillimeter, and infrared wavelengths. She is involved in several international projects and collaborations, most of them linked to high-mass star-formation. In these years she has published a total of 48 papers in refereed international journals of high impact. Her so-called H index is 17 according to the Astrophysical Data System. She has also published studies in other indexed journals such as the Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica, or IAU Proceedings. The results of her research have been presented in important international conferences of star formation, many of them as invited or contributed oral presentations. She is referee for important scientific and astrophysical journals (A&A, ApJ, Science). She has been/is a member of the Time Allocation Committee of the most important space and ground observatories (including ESO, Herschel and ALMA), and she has been referee for grant applications (Agència de Gestió d’Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca, AGAUR, de la Generalitat de Catalunya).

The list of the main scientific publications in the period 2010-2013 is reported in section 11.

Marcella Massardi

INAF-Istituto di Radioastronomia

Responsible for WP3. She became a member of the Italian node for the ALMA Regional Center in 2010. Since then, in addition to her research activities in the millimetric extragalactic astronomy that is documented by several pubblication and participations in international collaborations (AT20G survey, Planck, Herschel), she is involved in coordinating the activities of support for the ALMA users. She collaborates to the development of new CASA tasks for data reduction. She contributes to the organization of outreach activities and seminars useful to join the Italian scientific community that observes in the millimetric and submillimetric bands. She investigated the properties of extragalactic radiosources in millimetric and submillimetric wavelength also in polarization.

MARCELLA MASSARDI got her PhD in Astrophysics from SISSA-ISAS (Trieste) in 2008 with a thesis on "The extragalactic sources at mm wavelengths and their role as CMB foregrounds". Since then she is a member of the international collaboration for the Australia Telescope 20 GHz (AT20G) Survey, that surveyed the whole Southern sky down to few mJy to investigate in total intensity and polarization properties of sources at mm wavelength. She is an expert observer at the ATCA. Since 2004 she is member of the ESA's Planck satellite consortium, since 2008 she participates to the Planck Core Team and since 2011 she is a Planck Scientist. She contributed to the development of numerous tools of use for the investigation of the CMB compact foregrounds. She contributed to the validation of the Early Release Compact Source Catalogue (ERCSC) and she is collaborating to the develpement of the Planck Legacy Catalogue. She was the PI of an ATCA observing program to collect observations of radio sources simultaneously with the Planck satellite over more than one year of its observations, to study their properties in the frequency range 4-857 GHz. She studied the observability of the early stages of galactic formation with telescopes as EVLA, ALMA and SKA. In particular, she investigated the observability of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect in cluster of galaxies and in the early stages of galactic formation. She investigated the contamination to the SZ effect signal due to the radio sources in the galaxy clusters. She was also PI for a project for observations of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect in a high redshift massive galaxy cluster with the ATCA at 20 GHz. Since 2008 she is a member of the Herschel satellite consortium to which she contributes working on lensed galaxies and high-redshift galaxy formation and on techniques for the identification of source population in submillimetric surveys. Since 2009 she is a member of the collaboration for the Evolutionary Map of the Universe survey that will be carried out with ASKAP at 1.4 GHz. In 2010 she won a permanent position at the INAF-IRA to work for the Italian node of the European ALMA Regional Center. Since then, in addition to her research activities, she is involved in coordinating the activities of support for the ALMA users. She collaborates to the develpement of new CASA tasks for data reduction. She contributes to the organization of outreach activities and seminars useful to join the Italian scientific community that observes in the millimetric and submillimetric bands. She is coauthor or first author of

more than 50 papers on international journals and of review papers. She contributed as first author to publish some fundamental (and frequently cited) results for the collaborations she were involved with. She operates as referee for international journals (MNRAS, A&A, ApJ). She is currently involved in several observing programs that got time at Medicina radiotelescope, ATCA and ALMA.

The list of the main scientific publications in the period 2010-2013 is reported in section 11.

Renzo Nesti

INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri

Responsible of WP4. Since 1999 at the Arcetri Observatory, he has been a designer of microwave passive devices mainly for radio astronomy applications, particularly front-end receiver devices for both ground and satellite instrumentation.

RENZO NESTI got the Laurea Degree in Electronic Engineering in 1996 and the PhD in Telecommunications and Information Technology in 2000 at the University of Florence.

At the University of Florence he was a grant holder to develop numerical models in the design of microwave devices and held seminars about devices and methods for applied electromagnetics in some courses at the Faculty of Engineering. He was supervisor of several (>30) Laurea Degree Thesis in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering.

R. Nesti research area is mainly the development of analysis and optimization numerical techniques in the field of electromagnetic engineering aimed at the study and the design of passive microwave devices of radio receivers, like horns, orthomode transducers, polarizers and directional couplers. Such an activity, together with both industry and research institutions, deals mainly with ground and satellite systems in the field of radio astronomy and telecommunications.

He developed researches funded by: agreements with industry and research institutions (mainly Alenia Aerospazio Roma, Space Enginering Roma, ASI, Laben Milano, Oerlikon Contraves Roma); contributions and finalized projects of CNR and INAF; funds by MURST-MIUR.

At the Arcetri Observatory he has been participating or still is in radio astronomy projects (Planck/LFI, ALMA, FP5/Faraday, SRT, BarSPOrt, FP6/PHAROS, FP7/APRICOT) of international interest, taking care at the development of passive components for radio receivers. He has been named responsible of several work packages in the field of radio astronomy instrumentation and technological innovation projects.

Already involved in the ALMA project, R. Nesti collaborated with an international group developing the first feasibility studies of the ALMA receiver, and giving a relevant contribution in the electromagnetic design of parts of the front-end optics of some cartridges, namely in band 1, 2, 3 and 4 (ref. M.Carter et al., “ALMA Front-end Optics” Proc. SPIE Int. Soc. Opt,, Volume 5489, pp. 1074-1084, Bellingham (WA), 2004), and has therefore been able to extend his knowledge of the ALMA instrument, assimilating its technological problems.

The list of the main scientific publications in the period 2010-2013 is reported in section 11.

Francesco Rea

INAF-Sede Centrale

Responsible for WP8. Journalist since 1988, he collaborated with several important Italian national newspapers. Since 2009 he is at the head of the INAF Office for Communication with Public and Press.

FRANCESCO REA has a degree in contemporary literature and history with a thesis on “Per una storia istituzionale del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche”. FR is a professional journalist since 1994. Since November 2009 is Head for Media, Public and Institutional relations at INAF. From September 2005 to May 2008, is Lecturer in Communication Sociology at the Università della Calabria (Unical), Cosenza. From July 2007 to November 2009, is Head of Media Relations at the Italian Space Agency. From January 2007 to July 2007 is Spokesperson and Chief Press Officer of the Italian Minister Vannino Chiti, Relation with the Parliament and for the Institutional Reforms. From June 2006 to December 2006 is Chief Press Officer of the Minister Linda Lanzillotta, Regional Affairs. From September 1998 to May 2006 is Head of Media Relations at Italian Space Agency. From March 1997 to June 2001 is responsible of the editorial team of the RAI programme (Public Broadcast Tv) e “Dalle Venti alle Venti, after Mille & Una Italia”. From 1988 to 1997 works for several media: Italia Radio, l’Unità, La Repubblica, ASCA, Diario della Settimana, RAI, il manifesto, Paese Sera, Rinascita, Capitale Sud, Rassegna Sindacale. In the same period collaborates with different structure as Legambiente, Unipol. In his presently activity he collaborates with other media as Specchio Economico and the Radio Agency AREA.

PUBBLICATIONS. Gli anni della Repubblica, author Giorgio Rocca with Roberto Roscani and the collaboration of Francesco Rea, l’Unità Publishing House. Viaggio nel cuore del PCI: Rinascita Publishing House. One of the various authors. Storia dello Spazio Italiano: Storia in Rete Publishing House.

The list of the main scientific publications in the period 2010-2013 is reported in section 11.

Goals of this project
Villa fabrizio – refereed journals publication list 2010-2012
Nesti renzo – refereed journals publication list 2010-2013

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