ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) Database
The ALMA project, based at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in Harwell Oxfordshire, is an international collaboration between Europe, East Asia and North America in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. It’s one of the largest ground-based astronomy projects of the next decade and will be the major new facility for observations in the millimeter/submillimeter regime. The project is due to be completed in 2013.
ALMA required an inventory control database for tracking the progress of items provide by the project for integration into a Front End. The Front End assembly is a cryogenically cooled ten band receiver being built from various parts shipped from different suppliers after testing to South America. The software needed to be capable of running on a range of different systems via web browsers and cover several different stages.
The system will need to identify hardware by numerous methods like shipping notification, serial number, description and supplier. The hardware needs to be tested upon arrival at its destination and the system will need to provide hyperlinks to reports that have been generated from this testing process.
After being placed into storage, which will also need to be recorded into the database application, the hardware can be integrated into the front end and it will be vital that the exact build standard of each front end is recorded.
Alberon built a custom software application which meets the above requirements. The system is web based and runs on the local network at the ALMA project at the Rutherford laboratory.
The system went live in early 2010 and will be used for the duration of the project. Alberon continues to provide support and enhancements for the system as the project progresses.
The application is written in ASP.NET. The database is SQL Server.
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