Minutes ANASAC telecon 7/14/2011 ============================

In attendance: 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 agenda website http://wikis.alma.cl/twiki/pub/ADO/Management/AsacTelecon13July2011/LN_ASAC_telecon_July13_2011.pdf

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).

4. NAASC 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 activities.

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.

-- AlWootten - 2011-07-29

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Topic revision: 2011-07-29, AlWootten
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