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Phase 2

Phase 2 Generation for Cycle 7

All Projects approved for observations with ALMA need to go through the Phase 2 generation. PIs of approved ALMA Projects are responsible for submitting Phase 2 Science Goals (SGs).  The corresponding Scheduling Blocks (SBs) will be generated by the Observatory. Shortly after receiving the notification letters, PIs of approved projects are contacted by ALMA via a Helpdesk ticket. Any necessary communication between the PI and ALMA concerning the approved project should proceed by replying to this Helpdesk ticket. The only exception is for official change requests, which require an official change request ticket to be opened. The Project Helpdesk ticket is assigned to a Contact Scientist who will be happy to assist with any queries that may arise. However, it is in no way mandatory to reply to the Helpdesk ticket if the PI is able to submit the Phase 2 products to their satisfaction. Note that the PI can delegate the Phase 2 process to a colleague of choice.

PIs of approved Projects should consult the Phase 2 QuickStart Guide for full instructions.

Users may also reference the ALMA Proposer's Guide and the ALMA Technical Handbook for the present Cycle.

The ALMA Observing Tool (OT) is a Java application used for the preparation and submission of ALMA Phase 1 (observing proposal) and Phase 2 (telescope runfiles for accepted proposals) materials.

Download & Installation

The OT will run on most common operating systems, as long as you have Java 8 installed (see the troubleshooting page if you are experiencing Java problems). The ALMA OT is available in two flavors: Web Start and tarball.

The Web Start application is the recommended way of using the OT. It has the advantage that the OT is automatically downloaded and installed on your computer and it will also automatically detect and install updates. There are some issues with Web Start, particularly that it does not work with the Open JDK versions of Java such as the "Iced Tea" flavor common on many modern Linux installations. The Sun/Oracle variant of Java should therefore be installed instead. If this is not possible, then the tarball installation of the OT is available.

The tarball version must be installed manually and will not automatically update itself, however there should be no installation issues.



Extensive documentation is available to help you work with the OT and optimally prepare your proposal and SBs:

  • OT QuickStart Guide is a good starting point for novice OT users. The guide takes you through the basic steps of ALMA proposal preparation.
  • OT video tutorials provides audio-visual illustrations of different aspects of the OT. The video tutorials are recommended for novices and advanced users alike.
  • User Manual provides in-depth information on the OT.
  • Reference Manual provides more concise explanations of all fields and menu items in the OT. 
  • Phase 2 QuickStart Guide provides instructions for PIs of an approved ALMA observing proposal on reviewing and submitting Phase 2 Science Goals (SGs) using the ALMA Observing Tool. 



If you have problems with the installation and/or startup of the OT, please see the troubleshooting page. A list of currently known bugs, their status and possible workarounds can be found on the regularly updated known OT Issues page. A further source of information is the OT section of the ALMA Helpdesk Knowledgebase - this contains a number of articles that deal with frequently-asked questions. After exploring these resources, if confusion over some aspect of the OT remains, or if a previously unidentified bug has been uncovered, please file a Helpdesk ticket.