TK to calibrate the ALMA Telescope
Against full international competion, TK has been awarded a 1.25 Million Euro contract to manufacture 67
ambient and warm Calibration Loads for the ALMA telescope by ESO, the European Organisation for
Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere.
Operating in the Atacama desert in Chile the ALMA telescope will look at galaxy formation in the early
Universe and local star and planet formation in our local galaxy, by observing radiation in between 30 and
1000 GHz. ALMA's radiation receivers need to be continuously calibratedand TK's order is to provide the
accurately known thermal reference targets, from which any astronomical object's temperature can be
The Calibration Loads are based upon very low S11 reflectivity cones. The design - developed with
Dr Axel Murk at the IAP in Bern - has required the development of some precision mould for casting
the microwave absorbers to sub-100uM precision.
Exploded view of TK moulding technology, developed for the ESO project