The purpose of this workshop is to help new ALMA users get started with their research, with a particular emphasis on proposal preparation for Cycle 8. The workshop will be conducted virtually using Zoom by staff from the UK ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) Node.  Although the workshop is aimed at UK researchers, participants from other countries are welcome to join.

The workshop will be scheduled as a series of half-day sessions running an entire week and will cover the following topics:

  • An introduction to ALMA and radio interferometry
  • ALMA proposal preparation
  • Using the ALMA Archive
  • Calibrating and imaging ALMA data

At the end of the workshop, UK ARC Node staff will be available to help with any questions related to participants' specific research or to provide further assistance with proposal preparation




Monday, 22 March

10:00 Welcome and Introductions
10:30 Introduction to ALMA
11:00 Introduction to Interferometry
11:30 Introduction to the Observing Support Tool (the online ALMA simulation tool)
12:00 Break
12:30 Introduction to the Observing Tool (the GUI used for preparing observing proposals)
13:30 After Proposal Submission
14:00 Optional Proposal Preparation Assistance
16:00 End


Tuesday, 23 March

10:00 Introduction to CASA
10:45 Introduction to the ALMA Archive
12:00 Break
12:30 Examining Downloaded Data (including an introduction to using ALMA's image viewers)
  Notes about Downloaded ALMA Data
  Reviewing The WebLog
14:00 End


Wednesday, 24 March

10:00 Examining Downloaded Data (continued)
  Image viewers for ALMA data
11:30 Science Talk (Ana Karla Diaz Rodriguez)
12:00 Break
12:30 Imaging
  Imaging Tutorial
14:00 End


Thursday, 25 March

10:00 Imaging (continued)
  Extra Imaging Notes
11:30 Science Talk (George Bendo)
12:00 Break
12:30 Imaging (continued)
14:00 End


Friday, 26 March

10:00 Optional Assistance with Imaging



Pre-Workshop Downloads

UK ARC Node staff are available to help with the installation of CASA and any other software needed for the workshop.  We will be contacting participants before the workshop to set up Zoom calls to help with the software installation.


CASA 5.6.1

To work on the data calibration, imaging, and analysis activities, participants will need access to a computer running CASA version 5.6.1.  (Although newer versions of CASA are available, they cannot be used to pipeline-calibrate ALMA data.)  This software is available for both Linux and Mac but unfortunately not for Windows.

Download Link


ALMA Observing Tool (OT)

One of the workshop sessions is based on using the ALMA Observing Tool, which is used to submit proposals but which is also useful for understanding how ALMA observations are configured.  This can be installed on either Windows, Mac, or Linux computers.

Download Link



CARTA is a new image viewer that will eventually replace the current image viewer in CASA.  It operates very smoothly, but because it is still under development, it is missing some functions.

Download Link


Example Datasets

While the workshop will be guiding people through downloading ALMA archive data, calibrating those data, and then imaging those data, participants may want to download data for the workshop early either because of concerns about slow download speeds or because of potential technical issues with creating some of the datasets.  These data can be downloaded from the links below.

Note that the total amount of disk space needed to do all of the data processing is about 70 GB. The calibrated and science only visibility data are optional downloads and are only necessary for situations where it is not possible to calibrate the archival data or perform some of the steps in the imaging script.

Archival Data

Product Files (archival images)

Auxiliary Files (calibration information, logs, quality assessment reports, and scripts)

Raw Visibility Data


Calibrated Visibility Data (optional)

Science Only Visibility Data (optional)

Continuum-Subtracted Science Only Visibility Data (optional)