IRAM is a major partner in the international ALMA project, a giant radio observatory (64 antennas) in the Chilean Atacama desert.

The institute has been deeply involved in the preparation phase of ALMA and in its construction, both on the software and hardware sides. Leader in the field of high frequency and due to its scientifc and technical expertise, IRAM has been choosen to work on several different ALMA sub projects.

The activities going on at IRAM included the design and construction of receiver systems (Band 7 cartridges), the design of the receivers optics and calibration units, the design and construction of the backend digitizer clocks, the development of the real-time Telescope Calibration software, a deep involvement in the Scientific Software Requirements (SSR) group and in the antenna prototypes testing and evaluation.

In addition to these activities, the institute has established an ALMA user support center, which forms a node of the European ALMA Regional Center (ARC).