ALMA ALMA North American Science Advisory Committee Telecon Face to Face meeting September 12, 2008

Contact Information for those calling in.

  • Call date: 2008-09-12 08:30 EDT or 14:30 UT (Friday)
  • Duration: 8 hr
  • USA Number: 1-866-675-5385
  • Outside USA Number: +1 517 444 6916
  • Passcode: 8445333#
  • Leaders: A. Baker, C. Carilli

OSF TB Complex The Operations Support Facility Technical Complex. Photo by A. Beelen.

Antennas get tested Two Vertex antennas (no 1 and no 2) outside the Site Erection Facility.

Transporter over Melco Antenna A Transporter appears to run over an antenna. Photo by A. Beelen. See other images and animations. See other images.


ANASAC Members (Attendees in RED):
  • Andrew Baker (Rutgers) (2008) [Chair]
  • John Bally (U. Colorado) (2008)
  • Andrew Blain (Caltech) (2008) (ASAC Vice Chair, NA)
  • Mike Fall (Space Telescope Science Institute) (2010)
  • Tim Heckman (Johns Hopkins) (2010)
  • Shardha Jogee (U. Texas) (2010)
  • *Kelsey Johnson* (U. Virginia) (2009)
  • Doug Johnstone (HIA/DAO, Victoria) (2008)
  • J. Xavier Prochaska (Lick Observatory) (2010)
  • Hsien Shang (ASIAA) (2011)
  • Gordon Stacey (Cornell) (2009)
  • Alycia Weinberger (DTM) (2009)
  • Jonathan Williams (U. Hawaii) (2008)
  • Mel Wright (UC Berkeley) (2008)
(Bold = Member of ASAC)

  • J. Hibbard
  • A. Wootten
  • C. Carilli
  • C. Brogan
  • A. Russell
  • F. Lo
  • A. Evans
  • C. Lonsdale
  • J. Stoke

Other Attendees
  • P. Puxley (NSF)


1) 08:30 - 08:45 Closed Session

2) 08:45 - 09:15 Welcome from NRAO Director and discussion of role of ANASAC in global context (F. Lo)

3) 09:15 - 09:40 Project Status - construction (Russell/Wootten)

3) 09:40 - 10:00 ALMA operations and the NAASC (Carilli/Hibbard)

4) 10:00 - 10:15 Break

5) 10:15 - 11:00 (other) ASAC Charges (ASAC members; Wootten)

7) 11:00 - 11:15 Update on 2008 NAASC workshop and planning for 2009 (Evans)

8) 11:15 - 12:00 ANASAC Charge 1 (Subcommittee/Baker)

ASAC Charge on science input into development plan

See supplemental material below

9) 12:00 - 13:00 Lunch

10) 13:00 - 13:40 Other ANASAC concerns (large programs, coordination with JWST, etc.)

11) 13:40 - 14:20 ANASAC Charge 3 (Baker/subcommittee)

NSF PI grants program and pre-ALMA science support

See supplemental material below

11) 14:20 - 15:00 ANASAC Charge 4 (Baker/subcommittee/Russell)

Future of ATF antenna

See supplemental material below

12) 15:00 - 15:15 Break

13) 15:15 - 16:45 Closed session

Membership: Select new ANASAC Chair (Baker/subcommittee)

Draft Report

14) 16:45 - 17:00 Summary of draft report to NRAO (Baker)

Supplemental Material

ANASAC Charges for Sept 12, 2008 Face to Face

  • Charge 1. The ANASAC has a standing charge to review the latest ASAC charges, and provide input to the ASAC members. We ask that the ANASAC pay particular to attention to the charge in which the JAO is asking the ASAC to take a prominent role in defining the scientific priorities for the ALMA development plan. Please discuss and recommend how the ANASAC can facilitate a mechanism to solicit the inputs and interests of the North American community and make sure the ASAC deliberations encompass the needs of the NA community.

Ten people have been invited to serve on this committee, balanced by partner and scientific interest; still waiting for responses. Formal charge is to provide a progress report to Board in November with a final report to be delivered in 2009. Because urgency is higher on the U.S. side, based on the desire to feed a development science case to the Decadal Review before the end of 2008 (a la SOFIA), plan is to kick off a series of telecons that culminate in a F2F meeting in October. Development discussion at NAASC workshop may thus be helpful. Wootten is actively brainstorming science drivers for the development case.

Volunteers for F2F preparation:
Baker, Blain, Weinberger

  • Charge 2. Please organize the NAASC science workshop for 2009.

2008 workshop:

2009 workshop: Distant galaxies (MORE HERE -- SOC, TITLE)

  • Charge 3. Continuation of interim charge II from January: "The NRAO asks the ANASAC to consider the issue of stimulating research in preparation for the use of ALMA, e.g., wide-field surveys to identify interesting targets, laboratory work on astro-chemistry, or theoretical work on star and galaxy formation, and how such preparatory research before ALMA is operational can be funded, as well as recommending avenues by which the NRAO or other organizations could promote such efforts." In light of the recent suggestion from the NSF/AST Division to convene a dedicated panel to review PI proposals on ALMA-preparatory work, we would like to separate this charge into 2 parts:
    • 3A. Finalize the current ANASAC response to the charge: "The NRAO asks the ANASAC to consider the issue of stimulating research in preparation for the use of ALMA, e.g., wide-field surveys to identify interesting targets, laboratory work on astro-chemistry, or theoretical work on star and galaxy formation, etc." Existing draft by Blain will probably require modest changes if any.
    • 3B. In the context of the recent NSF/AST suggestion of dealing with ALMA-preparatory PI proposals, consider potential ways to inform the community and to stimulate the submission of ALMA-preparatory proposals in the upcoming round of NSF/AST call for PI Proposals in November 2008. Also consider whether this suggested approach would be a reasonable long-term method of instituting an ALMA User Grants program. Volunteers for F2F preparation: Heckman, Johnson, Prochaska, Williams. Carilli will check with NSF about official stand on separate ALMA-related review panels.


  • Charge 4: The NRAO asks the ANASAC for considerations and suggestions on the potential use of the NA ALMA prototype antenna, once activities at the ATF terminate in Q3 2008. Three options have been proposed to date:
    • A) Incorporate into the ALMA array: This is possible, but not easy. The antenna cannot be transported with the transporter nor can it sit on a standard foundation. It would in effect be a fixed antenna that must be maintained in situ at the high site, and hence be expensive to maintain. Likewise, it would require a major (costly) retrofit, on top of the cost of taking it apart, transporting, and reassembling in Chile.
    • B) Sell it, and recycle the money back to ALMA, if a buyer can be found.
    • C) Use it for ALMA-related science, ie. give it away to an institution that can ensure good science comes out, with access by all of the NA community. The two mm/submm arrays come to mind, but it is also a superb single dish and, on a superb sight, could do interesting science as well. The question is: how to be transparent and fair in deciding who gets it? The cost of transport and reassembly would be the responsibility of the receiving party. Volunteers for F2F preparation: Bally, Johnstone, Wright. Bally: more details are needed here-- costs of moving? operating? Precdent of 12m (sold for a token price to an institution that would continue to give access to U.S. scientific community) may be instructive. ESO antenna is being disposed of separately. This charge is coming in part due to queries from NSF.

Charge 3b: clarification email on NSF position on pre-ALMA PI grant proposals

Latest input from Phil Puxley at NSF:

Dear Fred

Sorry for the delay in replying, it took me a little while to pull together comments for various interested parties.

Any 'ALMA preparatory' proposals should be submitted to AST's individual investigator grants (AAG & ATI) competitions by the November deadlines and will be considered in the broader context of the AAG and AST program along with everything else we receive. The proposals can include any technique e.g. observations, theory, laboratory, instrumentation. They should be clearly identified as research in preparation for ALMA. They will be evaluated on NSF's two review criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. In all these regards they do not deviate from our normal procedures and so this process does not need "formal adoption".

We will, however, tag and track these proposals, in part to assess the level of interest and demand.

AST is not planning to make any specific announcement although at the AAS town hall, this past June, Eileen did remind people that we received proposals on any topic, including preparatory work for future facilities, and used 'theory' and 'laboratory astrophysics for ALMA' as examples. It is the responsibility of NRAO (and ANASAC) to get the word out to the community.

Nothing has been decided with respect to ALMA observing proposals. The "approach" we have been discussing applies only to ALMA preparatory proposals at this time.

Regards Phil

Some initial estimates of costs of retrofitting or moving ATF antennas


-- ChrisCarilli - 03 Sep 2008 * Sep08newsltr.pdf: Recent ALMA Construction News

* Sep08newsltr.pdf: Recent ALMA Construction News

* ANASACSep08.ppt: ALMA Construction Status
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
ANASAC-2008f2f.pdfpdf ANASAC-2008f2f.pdf manage 2 MB 2008-09-05 - 16:05 JohnHibbard supporting material - FY08 PR, FY09 PP, 09-13 LRP, CASA
ANASAC08_carilli.pdfpdf ANASAC08_carilli.pdf manage 6 MB 2008-09-12 - 08:37 ChrisCarilli Carilli ANASAC -- NAASC/ALMA Ops presentation
ANASACSep08.pptppt ANASACSep08.ppt manage 20 MB 2008-09-12 - 10:48 AlWootten ALMA Construction Status
Sep08newsltr.pdfpdf Sep08newsltr.pdf manage 16 MB 2008-09-05 - 16:22 AlWootten Recent ALMA Construction News
Topic revision: r11 - 2009-01-15, AlWootten
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