The U.S. Committee on Radio Frequencies (CORF), a body of the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council, visited the ALMA site in August escorted by NRAO personnel. This visit occurred as an adjunct to a CORF conference in Santiago, bringing together scientists, engineers, spectrum managers, and civil servants interested in the scientific use of the electromagnetic spectrum.
CORF protects the spectrum interests of astronomers, remote-sensing researchers, and other scientific users at radio frequencies. CORF also coordinates radio-frequency allocation and brings together representatives from space science, astronomy, atmospheric science, oceanography, life science, and remote sensing. Since radio emissions cross borders, CORF is cognizant of spectrum policy developments and activities domestically and internationally.
CORF organized this conference in Chile to stimulate contact with members of the regional scientific, engineering, spectrum management, and government communities. The conference featured exhibitions from SUBTEL (Subsecretaría de Telecomunicaciones de Chile); Associated Universities, Inc. and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory; the Joint ALMA Observatory; and others. CORF members presented the results of several committee reports, including the Survey of the Scientific Uses of the Spectrum, the Handbook of Frequency Allocations and Spectrum Protection for Scientific Uses, and public comments it has filed with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Members also presented findings from their own research.
After the conference, several CORF members were able to visit the ALMA site, including: Jeffrey Piepmeier (Chair, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center); Michael Davis (consultant); Melinda Piket-May (Univ of Colorado-Boulder); Steven Reising (Colorado State Univ); Donald Shapero (Board on Physics and Astronomy, and National Research Council); and David Lang (Program Officer and National Research Council).