Synergies between future neighbours AtLAST and APEX

In June 2022, the University of Oslo, on behalf of the AtLAST consortium, and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), signed a cooperation agreement to facilitate and promote the scientific and technical collaboration between the AtLAST design study and the APEX telescope projects.

group of 4 persons sat at a dining table with a view towards Oslo

Work dinner in Oslo on 8 May 2022. From left to right: Claudia Cicone, Sabrina Sartori, Carlos Durán, Marianne Zeyringer.

The basic principles of this agreement were discussed in May 2022, during the visit of APEX station manager Carlos Durán to the University of Oslo and a videocon with MPIfR scientists.

On that occasion, the AtLAST and MPIfR collaborators discussed at length the close ties and strategic synergies between APEX and AtLAST, such as, and not limited to: site testing activities, astronomical research, instrumentation development and testing, power and energy modeling.

photo of a group of people at a meeting
AtLAST scientists discuss the characteristics of the site on the Chajnantor Plateau and their implications for the renewable energy study (work package 5), University of Oslo, 9 May 2022. From the left: Guillermo Valenzuela, Sabrina Sartori, Isabelle Viole, Marianne Zeyringer, Carlos Durán. Photo by Claudia Cicone.

Among other things, the cooperation agreement will facilitate the training of scientific and technical staff engaged in AtLAST activities, by enabling visits to the APEX facilities in Chile.

In the coming weeks and months, early career researchers from the University of Oslo will travel to Chile and lodge in the APEX basecamp in Sequitor, near San Pedro de Atacama.

From here, they will explore the San Pedro de Atacama area, meet the local community, and learn about the APEX telescope.

Most importantly, they will experience first-hand the benefits and challenges of operating a sub-millimeter telescope at approximately 5100 meter elevation and from one of the driest places on Earth.

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The WP5 - Energy study

Experts on renewable energy systems from the University of Oslo will investigate and demonstrate technical challenges and opportunities of developing a fully renewable-energy powered AtLAST facility. The analysis will focus on the use of PV power and a hybrid energy storage system, combining batteries and hydrogen, to fulfil the demands of the telescope.

Contact information:

For more info on AtLAST- design study visit

Tags: AtLAST, APEX, WP5-Energy, Chile, energy systems By Claudia Cicone, Martina D'Angelo
Published June 30, 2022 12:35 PM - Last modified Aug. 9, 2022 4:51 PM