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Contact Information

  • 2005-6-14 14:30 UT
  • Duration: 1 hr
  • USA Toll Free Number: 877-874-1919
  • Toll Number: +1-203-320-9891
  • Passcode: 185064
  • Leader: Al Wootten


  1. Old Business The enhanced Agenda from last month's meeting is available. Science IPT notes from last month's telecon are available.

DUSTY04 collection of papers relevant to ALMA.

  1. New Business--Project news/updates (Wootten, Wilson, Kawabe)
  2. Milestones
  3. Subarrays--ASAC by frequency, four for ALMA, two for ACA independently tuned
  4. Frequency Switching -- See document: Frequency Switching on ALMA SCID- which is open for discussion at almaedm.
  5. New personnel: Angel Otarola has joined the Science IPT part-time.
  6. Early Science Modes: Originally the plan was to implement only modes which were available on the single baseline correlator at the ATF on the ALMA correlator in Chile. However, the tunable filter bank will almost certainly be implemented on the Chilean correlator, though not at the ATF. Therefore we need to define modes which we would like to have available both for testing and for observing in the early phases of Chilean operations. Please see the document Baseline Correlator + TFB Specs for details. One possibility is a wideband mode for e.g. continuum simultaneous with a narrowband mode for e.g. a spectral line. Please comment; we don't have to be limited to one but without a specific group there could be nearly an infinite number. See ALMA Early Science Modes SCID-
  7. ACA correlator PDR -- ALMA held the ACA correlator PDR on 30-31 May. Robert Laing represented the Science IPT.
  8. Nutator Science Requirements has begun. Comments please.
  9. Group Activities (all)
  10. Next meeting is on July 19th (14:30 UT)

Science IPT Group Activity Reports

Please include your Group Activity Report here (How to Enter Your Report), or email it to AlWootten

1 Science IPT -

2 ASAC news

3 Astronomer Outreach: NRAO Newsletter ESO Newsletter. NRAO ALMA Calendar

Emerson/Laing -- Instrument Scientists

  • Front end WVR review: both designs met existing specs; panel recommends version of Onsala Dicke switch with one channel not two; this goes ahead as baseline design; outstanding issues to do with more sophisticated applications, in particular distinguishing ice or water droplets from water vapour, correcting single dish pointing; the need for these and the ability of the more sophisticated design to correct them not yet demonstrated, so are opting for the cheapest design as the baseline; decision could change if results come out of future tests; committee concurred WVRs need to be tested at good site ASAP: negotiate with SMA to put both prototypes on SMA
  • ACA correlator review: very successful, only minor reservations; Laing had been worried about compatibility of ACA correlator with baseline correlator + Tunable Filter Banks (TFB); all combinations of frequency and resolution are also supported by ACA correlator; remains one small problem: actual frequency profile of narrow channels of two correlators are very slightly different; various possible mitigating strategies to be considered, and the differences are very small. Suggestion that we can degrade highest res correlator output in a S/n optimal way.

John Conway -- Configuration

  • Notes from configuration redesign telecon.
  • 1) I finalised the positions of the pads covering configurations out to 4km maximum baseline about a week ago. As it stands this design has positions for 149 pads of which 11 would only be built in the case that the array eventually had 60-64 antennas. A total of 19 moves of 4 antennas are needed to be moved from the most compact array to my largest array.
  • 2) I sent these positions to Mark Holdaway about a week ago and he is determining positions for the remainder of the array covering maximum baseline 4km to 19km. Unfortunately Marks work has been delayed due to my delay in finalising the pads in the inner 4km.
  • 3) One thing I still have not finalised for the inner arrays is the optimum occupation scheme for NS extended configurations (these configurations would be used when the array was being moved inward, and circular symmetric configurations when moving outward). There is a possibility that I may need to add a few more pads within the inner 4km to accomdate these extreme NS extended arrays.
  • 4) The compact cluster part of the design has been checked by Max Kraus for transporter access and all pads are accesible.
  • 5) The new design requires the moving of the designated region for the ACA by of order 20-30m or so, the maps show the new position is as good or better than the old position.
  • 6) We decided to write one document defining pads positions for the whole array, plus the reconfiguration scheme. I have started on altering my old specification document, hopefully Mark and I will finish that together when the pads for the outer part of the array are determined.
  • 7) I have some serious worries about the absolute UTM coordinates of the contour map and derived DEM provided by Aerotop.

Jeff Mangum -- Calibration

Robert Lucas -- SSR

  • Meeting on 2005-6-08: Minutes
  • CDR3 is planned for early June. Release R3 plans: testing interferometry software in simulation mode.

Michiel Hogerheijde -- DRSP

Robert Laing -- Commissioning and Science Verification

  • meeting with JP held during ACA review. Integrated plan involving ACA 12m antennas being formulated.

Mark Holdaway/Steve Myers -- Imaging

  • See NRAO Algorithms Working Group Minutes "A proposed "roadmap" for EVLA algorithm development" discussed 11 May.

L.-A. Nyman -- Site Characterization

  • Alison Stirling's suggestion of multiple simultaneous radiosonde launches has been discussed and a statement of work prepared to implement this. It appears that the major cost would be supplying ~3 persons in addition to Roberto and Juan to carry out the experiment. Roberto will assess the availability of equipment when he returns to the site. May/June/July are quite snowy; early August would be the best timing. A survey of pad locations from the new configuration design could be carried out also during this campaign.

Science Corner:

A Report was released Friday by the National Academies. The report assesses the impact of a possible descope of the ALMA to 40 or 50 antennas on its technical performance and scientific program.

Excerpt: Despite not achieving the level-1 requirements, a descoped array with 50 or 40 antennas would still be capable of producing transformational results, particularly in advancing understanding of the youngest galaxies in the universe, how the majority of galaxies evolved, and the structure of protoplanetary disks, and would warrant continued support by the United States. ยท Furthermore, it is the committee's appraisal that a 40-antenna array would retain ALMA's strong support within the general astronomical community. ...


ALMA Events of Interest

(see also Al's ALMA Biweekly Calendar)

Day Date Time Event location details
May 30-31
all day
ACA Correlator PDR
May 29-Jun 2
all day
AAS Minneapolis
ALMA booth part of NRAO booth
June 12
1-5pm EDT
ANASAC Face-to-Face
June 21-24
all day
Bands 4 & 8 PDRs
June 21-22
ALMA Board Meeting
The Hague, Netherlands
June 24
2-3pm EDT
ANASAC Telecon
877-874-1919 PC=185064
July 6-7
all day
Front End deltaPDR
Aug 4
ALMA Board telecon
August 26
2-3pm EDT
ANASAC Telecon
877-874-1919 PC=185064
Sep 22
ALMA Board telecon
Oct 6
Rolling Stones Concert
Scott Stadium, Charlottesville
October 28
2-3pm EDT
ANASAC Telecon
877-874-1919 PC=185064
Nov 1-2
ALMA Board Meeting
Dec 8
ALMA Board telecon

Upcoming Meetings

IAU Symposium 227 Massive Star Birth: A Crossroads of Astrophysics May 16-20 2005, Acireale, Italy

Astrobiology and the Origins of Life Hamilton, Ontario, Canada May 24-28.

Workshop on submillimeter wavelength astronomy in Cambridge (JUN 13-16).

Star Formation in the Era of Three Great Observatories July 13-15, 2005 in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Astrochemistry throughout the Universe: Recent Successes and Current Challenges 2005 August 29 - September 2; Asilomar, California

Galactic and Extragalactic ISM Modelling in an ALMA Perspective October 13-15 2005 Onsala, Sweden.

Protostars and Planets V 24 - 28 October 2005 Hilton Waikoloa Village, The Big Island, Hawaii

Mm/submm Techniques and Science session, at the URSI General Assembly 2005 October 23-29, New Delhi, India

"IR Diagnostics of Galaxy Evolution". 14-16 November 2005, Pasadena, CA

50th anniversary of the founding of NRAO October 15-19, 2006; Charlottesville, Virginia

ALMA November 13-16; Madrid, Spain

See also NAASC listing

-- AlWootten - 09 Jun 2005
Topic revision: r4 - 2010-08-03, ToddHunter
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