Minutes ANASAC telecon 7/14/2011
Debbie Padgett, Carol Lonsdale, John Hibbard, Crystal Brogan, Rachel
Osten, Mike Mumma, John Carpenter,Dick Crutcher, Andrew Baker,
Jonathan Williams, Darryl Emerson, Kelsey Johnson, Al Wootten, Tony
Remijan, Chris Wilson, Gerald Schieven, Mel Wright, Mark Lacy, Leslie
Looney, Sienny Shang.
1. Report on ALMA progress at Chile (Wootten)
Lots of snow. AOS lost power due to snow accumulation. The most snow
since records are kept (1994), so highly unusual. Delayed moving the
16th antenna to the high site. Additional antennas should go up next
week. Several more projects observed for SV (the Antennae, IRAS
16293, BR1202 and the Galactic Center). Aim is to have data reduced
and available by the end of the month. See full science report
by Richard Hills at agenda site.
20th vertex antenna delivered to contractor. First European antenna will go to he
high site 1 month from now. First 7m to the high site August or
September. Problems to cool down front ends after warm up due to loss
of power: the solution is to have a front end servicing vehicle on
site. Bought and shipped from Taiwan, should arrive in August. Still
digging out of snow.
Change request for the specs of the solar filter to guard against the
worst solar flares; transparency will be increased by x10 to allow
observations of QSOs for phase calibration through the filter. Very
little risk to receiver, mostly risk to calibration because of
saturation. Other requests for band 8 preproduction, which is a
Japanese deliverable (waiver for manufacturer to relax some of the
specs). When will band 8 be offered? Unlikely for cycle 1, although
maybe the ACA will have it. Realistic cycle 2 availability
2/3. Progress toward early science/
Proposal submission experience (John Hibbard)
The call for ES proposals was very succesful, with over 900 proposals
submitted. The oversuscription is approximately 10:1, with some
variation from region to region. There is a whole presentation at the
The system experienced a hiccup one hour before the deadline (which
was extended for 30 minutes). The problem did not come from the server
accepting proposals, but from the system used for retrieving
proposals. Apparently many people were requesting proposals in which
they were included, etc. Unclear whether this feature will be
available the next time. No proposals were lost. Strong submission
for ISM, which means that there will be 3 panels for cat 3, and only
one for cat 4 (solar system).
during ES (John Hibbard)
Given the number of proposals, there will be triage. About 1/3-1/4
will be not considered unless there is a request by a panel member,
based on their average low score and low standard deviation. Remainder
of proposals will be technically assessed. There will be a f2f meeting
of technical assessors at the JAO on the first week of August, to
discuss difficult cases. On the 5th of August the technical assessment
will be finalized. There will be one week afterwards for the referees
to write the consensus report, with panels meeting in August 15th. By
early September the results should be out.
John Hibbard will attend a SciOps
meeting August 1-5, and would like
input on what to change for cycle 1. Particular example: should coIs
be allowed to submit a proposal? A suggestion is that the PI does the
first submission and enables particular coIs to resubmit.
5. ASAC charges (John Hibbard, Kelsey Johnson, Andrew Baker)
A lively discussion ensues about what information should be made
public. The JAO is working on disseminating the results of the ES
call by region pending dissemination of this information to funding agencies.
The opinions expressed at the telecon were uniform in
expressing that those results will have to be made available sooner or
later. There is no drawback in putting them out sooner, and it makes
the project more transparent.
By contrast, it seems that the JAO is keen on disseminating the names
of the referees in the APR process sooner rather than later, and in
particular before the panels meet. The ANASAC reached a strong
consensus in that the referee names should not be revealed till after
the review process is complete.
Another lively discussion ensues about the importance of providing
technical assessment to proposals who have been triaged out. In the
present scheme, those proposals would not be assessed for technical
feasibility. The point is made that there are many reasons to triage
a proposal (weak science, unreasonable time request, etc) and it would
be important for a "general user" instrument such as ALMA to provide
everybody with a technical assessment. The proposal is to inform the
NA applicants who have not been technically assessed that it is
possible to obtain a technical assessment by contacting the NAASC
after the ES results are out. The ANASAC reaches reasonable agreement
on this, although the consensus is not complete (M. Mumma
abstains). This is unlikely to be onerous.
6. Astronomer Outreach (Sienny Shang)
Sienny reports on the Taipei workshop activities and the progress
of the plans for the NAASC
science workshop in March 2012. It seems
that there is good progress in planning it.
7. Other business
The ANASAC should think of presentations they'd like to see during f2f
meeting. An example (from last f2f meeting feedback) is EPO
Al Wootten would like suggestions for new ANASAC members to replace
the people who leave. Please email them to him.
Alberto Bolatto will be stepping down as chair after the f2f meeting,
and reminds the ANASAC that it is time to think about volunteering
or sending suggestions for the future chair.