ANASAC Telecon Thursday May 16, 2013


Participants: Christine Wilson James Di Francesco Al Wootten Carol Lonsdale Phil Jewell John Carpenter Richard Crutcher Shep Doeleman Leslie Looney Dan Marrone Rachel Osten Dick Plambeck Douglas Scott Ciska Kemper

************************************************************** Action items for the ANASAC:

Send Al ( the names of suggested reviewers for ALMA development proposals **************************************************************

1. Construction Status (Wootten) - 56 antennas at the AS (44x12m, 12x7m) - European antennas will all be delivered by the end of July - Phil Puxley (MPS/AST) will receive the Flemming Award for US public service to the Federal government - Science verification (SV) observations of HCN 3-2 in Comet Lemon were obtained to verify approved DDT proposal in band 7. The SV data will likely be publicly released. - Cycle 1 observations are expected to resume at end of next week if all goes well; Cycle 1 will resume in earnest in June after software is accepted. - all of the front ends are now in Chile

2. Operations (Wootten)

- a summary of Cycle 0 observations were attached to the online agenda. A shortened version will be released on the science portal. - Tony R. and Kim Scott were recently in Chile working on operations - The project tracker tests ended yesterday. The testers seemed to be pleased, but more official results are forthcoming. It was unknown at the time of the phone call when the new project tracker would be available publicly. -- A mock panel review will be held in July, hosted by the NAASC. This will be a 4 day event to test software used to support panel reviews. The goal is to catch procedural issues.

3. ANASAC news

- The next ANASAC face-2-face meeting will be held in September so that we can provide feedback in advance of the ASAC meeting in October. A doodle poll will be distributed to select the dates.

- Douglas, Rachel, and Daniele have volunteered to help define the next NAASC workshop.

4. ASAC Items from 15 May telecon on

Pierre Cox has distributed a proposal to the ASAC that defines the dates and lengths of future proposal calls. The Cycle 2 deadline is now set for December 5, 2013, with observations beginning June 2014. These dates apparently has been set and cannot be changed at this point. Other aspects of the proposal are still open for discussion. The proposed length of cycle 2 is 17 months with ~ 1300 hours available for science, and 16 months for Cycle 3 with ~ 1900 hours available for science. The goal would be to achieve steady state observations beginning with Cycle 4 in March 2017. In both Cycles 2 and 3, there will be 5-6 months set aside for pure commissioning. Al indicated the increased commissioning time is needed since the pool of people available for commissioning is shrinking as construction ramps down.

The general sentiment of the ANASAC members present on the telecon is that having Cycle 2 and 3 span 16-17 month each is too long, and that 1 year proposal cycles is preferable. Long cycles do not allow reaction to the rapid increase in ALMA capabilities or new scientific opportunities. If a proposal is not accepted, an investigator would be shut out of ALMA time for 2+ years. While shorter cycles do not necessarily make more science time available, it allows people to remain engaged in ALMA and have the chance of getting time.

John, Douglas, and Dick P. will convey to the ASAC that the ANASAC is against the longer cycles.

5. ALMA Development (Wootten) - The call for development studies has gone out. Meetings and telecons having completed - Notices of intent (NOI) for development studies are due tomorrow. NOI are not required, but will allow investigators to further receive information e-mails regarding the proposal call. - The goal is to fund studies and projects within 2013 FY. - Al needs to start identifying reviewers. Last time, there were 30 NoIs and 21 proposals. ANASAC members should send suggested reviewers to Al. - A Band 2 workshop is being held in Europe on Memorial Day in Bologna. No one from the NAASC is attending since a NA workshop (via videocon) is being held a couple of days later.

6. NAASC during Early Science (Lonsdale) - Planning special session for AAS meeting in January in Washington DC - SBs for Cycle 1 are on track, with Batch 4 SB prep proceeding (2 more to go after that) - Pipeline has made recent progress - Staying in track of development of Cycle 2 materials even though the deadline has been pushed back

7. Astronomer Outreach (Lonsdale, Wootten) The ANASAC polled their colleagues on what, if anything, is limiting non-experts from applying for ALMA time. The responses received include: -- There is no funding associated with ALMA time -- While interested in ALMA, there are experts who will be writing similar proposals, and they did not think they could compete. -- Have not invested the time to learn the terminology and how best to do the observations from a technical point of view -- While there is a hurdle for a non-expert to use ALMA, it is no bigger than that for a radio astronomer to use non-radio telescopes. -- Frustration with the TAC, since they were being conservative on what can be done. -- The comments received from a cycle 0 proposal were written such that it felt ALMA was for "insiders". -- One person was interested in data mining, but ALMA not yet mature enough for such studies. -- non-experts can have a hard time figuring out the correlator setup (expressed offline in an email to JMC).

Al and Carol mentioned that the technical evaluation will be more lenient in Cycle 2 than in prior cycles.

It was suggested that a written example of a technical justification be placed online so that non-experts can see what is needed.

8. Date of next telecon 20 June 2013

9. Other Business

- Al discussed ALMA SV observations of HD 163296 showing CO snow ring in a planetary disk with very nice observations (see top of the agenda) - The annual CASCA meeting coming up later this month. Neal Evans to give broad review talk and short talks by 6 Canadians involved in recent ALMA projects. Douglas will send Al a list of speakers. - Rachel talked to Tony Beasley about setting up a joint program between NRAO and HST/JWST. Tony was receptive with the JVLA/GBT/VLBA right away and ALMA in the future. This may provide a way to allow funding ALMA science and increasing ALMA's userbase.

-- AlWootten - 2013-05-17
Topic revision: r2 - 2013-05-20, AlWootten
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