ATACAMA LARGE MILLIMETER ARRAY (ALMA)
Unlike the other observatories in this list, the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) observes at radio wavelengths (at wavelengths of around one millimeter, hence the 'M' in the observatory's title). The observatory consists of an array of 63 radio dish antennae; 34 of these are 12 metres in diameter and the rest are 7 metres in diameter.
The large number of dishes gives ALMA high sensitivity; the separation of these dishes by up to to 16 km gives ALMA the capability of achieving spatial resolution equivalent to that of a 16 km wide observatory – for comparison, this spatial resolution is 5x better than that of Hubble Space Telescope images.
The interest of ALMA for the EuroVenus consortium lies in it can observe, with high spectral resolution, trace constituents of the Venus upper atmosphere, in particular, water, carbon and sulphur species, and hydrogen/Deuterium isotopic ratio.
ALMA is a brand-new facility; the last of its dish antennae was only erected in late 2013. ALMA obtained some preliminary observations of Venus before it was completed; during the EuroVenus consortium's activities we are looking forward to complete the first observations of Venus using the full ALMA array.