26 July 2016 The ALMA high speed optical communication link is here: an essential component for reliable present and future operations
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Abstract
Announced in 2012, started in 2013 and completed in 2015, the ALMA high bandwidth communication system has become a key factor to achieve the operational and scientific goals of ALMA. This paper summarizes the technical, organizational, and operational goals of the ALMA Optical Link Project, focused in the creation and operation of an effective and sustainable communication infrastructure to connect the ALMA Operations Support Facility and Array Operations Site, both located in the Atacama Desert in the Northern region of Chile, with the point of presence of REUNA in Antofagasta, about 400km away, and from there to the Santiago Central Office in the Chilean capital through the optical infrastructure created by the EC-funded EVALSO project and now an integral part of the REUNA backbone. This new infrastructure completed in 2014 and now operated on behalf of ALMA by REUNA, the Chilean National Research and Education Network, uses state of the art technologies, like dark fiber from newly built cables and DWDM transmission, allowing extending the reach of high capacity communication to the remote region where the Observatory is located. The paper also reports on the results obtained during the first year and a half testing and operation period, where different operational set ups have been experienced for data transfer, remote collaboration, etc. Finally, the authors will present a forward look of the impact of it to both the future scientific development of the Chajnantor Plateau, where many installations area are (and will be) located, as well as the potential Chilean scientific backbone long term development.
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G. Filippi, G. Filippi, J. Ibsen, J. Ibsen, S. Jaque, S. Jaque, F. Liello, F. Liello, N. Ovando, N. Ovando, A. Astudillo, A. Astudillo, J. Parra, J. Parra, Christian Saldias, Christian Saldias, } "The ALMA high speed optical communication link is here: an essential component for reliable present and future operations", Proc. SPIE 9913, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy IV, 991320 (26 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231990; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2231990
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