The Advanced Technology Center (ATC) is the research and development center for advanced instrumentation and new technologies for both ground-based and space-borne astronomy in wavelengths ranging from radio through ultra-violet.
Advances in astronomy are made possible through state-of-the-art instrumentation. Advanced projects in the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) require the development of cutting-edge technologies that are not readily available elsewhere in the world. ATC designs, develops, manufactures, and tests critical components for advanced instrumentation as well as observation systems.
ATC also provides a platform to meet the current and future technological needs in astronomy for scientists and engineers inside and outside NAOJ. ATC owns world-class equipment such as high-quality clean rooms for the ALMA SIS mixers, clean rooms for space-borne astronomy instruments, space chambers, optical methodology instruments, an ion-beam sputtering machine for thin-film coating, and precision machinery.
The Advanced Technology Center(ATC) uses a matrix organizational structure to facilitate the systematic development of instruments through sharing technology across projects and the optimal allocation of personnel.
ATC consists of four groups: the Management and Administration Group, which is responsible for facility management, operation, and administrative support; the Advanced Mission Instrumentation Group, which is responsible for the research and development of observation instruments; the System Design Group, which is responsible for the engineering in the realization of instruments; and the Manufacturing Design Group, which is responsible for manufacturing components and parts.
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The Advanced Technology Center (ATC) was founded in 1993 to provide a much-needed platform for the development of the focal plane and first-generation adaptive optics instruments for the Subaru Telescope. These projects were followed by the successful development of the solar optical telescope onboard the Hinode satellite. With this diversification, the need to restructure ATC into a state-of-the-art research center was recognized by people inside and outside the organization. A new ATC was inaugurated in 2005 with a declared mission statement to pursue advanced instrument development. A major decision associated with this restructuring was that the new ATC absorbed excellent staff scientists from the ALMA receiver development group.