Kavli Institute for Cosmology

University of Cambridge

Cambridge, United Kingdom



This workshop is primarily intended for students and staff at Cambridge University.  The workshop will provide an introduction to ALMA and instructions on how to work with data from the observatory and will include sessions on using the ALMA archive and imaging ALMA data.

This workshop is aimed primarily at novice ALMA users, but other users with higher levels of experience or from other locations are also welcome to attend.





Wednesday, 08 May

10:00 Pre-meeting assistance with software download and installation
11:00 Introductory coffee
11:30 Introduction to ALMA
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Introduction to Interferometry
15:00 Introduction to CASA
15:30 Break
16:00 The Observing Support Tool (the online ALMA simulation tool)
17:00 End


Thursday, 09 May

10:00 The ALMA Science Archive
11:00 Break
11:30 Notes about Downloaded Data
12:00 CARTA
12:30 Lunch
14:00 ALMA WebLog Review
15:00 Imaging Tutorial: Preparation
15:30 Break
16:00 Imaging Tutorial: Continuum Imaging
17:00 End


Friday, 10 May

10:00 Imaging Tutorial: Spectral Line Imaging
11:00 Break
11:30 Imaging Tutorial: Spectral Line Imaging (continued)
12:30 Lunch
14:00 [optional] Advanced Imaging Techniques or One-On-One Support
15:30 Break
16:00 [optional] Advanced Imaging Techniques or One-On-One Support (continued)
17:00 End



Pre-Workshop Downloads

Participants should try to download and install the software described below as well as one of the example datasets that will be used in this workshop.  Note that UK ARC Node staff are available to help with the installation of CASA and any other software needed for the workshop, and part of the first day of the workshop will be set aside for assisting participants with help with software installation.  Please contact us before the workshop if you think you need help.


CASA (ALMA Pipeline Version)

To work on the data calibration, imaging, and analysis activities, participants will need access to a computer running CASA version 6.5.4 or later (ALMA Pipeline Version).  This software is available for both Linux and Mac but unfortunately not for Windows. Please note that you should download the pipeline version of CASA, as this is required for restoring the pipeline calibration to the data. You can find the download link below.

Participants can ensure that they have the correct version installed by running casa --version. Participants should also ensure that they can successfully run CASA in pipeline mode by executing casa --pipeline.  (Note that participants will need to provide the complete path to the CASA installation unless they have either set up an alias or have set up the PATH system variable in their system.)

Download Link



CARTA is a new image viewer that will eventually replace the current image viewer in CASA.  It operates very smoothly, although it is still under development and its use over VPN is complicated.

Download Link


Primary Example Datasets

The data that will be used as the primary example when demonstrating how to restore the calibrated data and how to image the data can be downloaded using 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, 23 GB)

Science Target Only Calibrated Visibility Data (optional, 6.2 GB)

Continuum-Subtracted CO Visibility Data (optional, 3.1 GB)

continuum_imaging_script.py (For continuum imaging)

CO_imaging_script.py (For continuum imaging)


Alternate Datasets

These alternate datasets (which are fully calibrated) could optionally be used for the imaging part of the workshop, although no specific scripts or instructions have been prepared for these datasets.

2017.1.00478.S Datasets

SDSS J123241.73+091209.3
SDSS J131628.32+045316.2
SDSS J134254.45+093059.3

These small datasets, which will be 15 GB when unpacked and which should be easy to image on most computers, contain high-redshift galaxies with line emission detected in at least one spectral window. However, the sources are unresolved and therefore may not be suitable for moment mapping.

2017.1.00908.S Dataset

This dataset, which is for the Hot Dust Obscured Galaxy (HotDOG) W0410-0913, includes extended continuum and line emission, but the calibrated data will be 66 GB when unpacked and may require more computing power to image.


Personal Datasets

Participants may bring their own datasets to the workshop. However, please download the data before the workshop, and please contact the organizers beforehand about this.