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Contact Information

* 2009-9-16 14:30 UT
* Note: C. Wilson points out line noise may be muted by pressing *6 which works thru the call center.
* Duration: 1 hr
* USA Toll Free Number: 877-874-1919
* Toll Number: +1-203-320-9891
* Passcode: 185064
* Leader: Hills, Wootten, Testi, Morita
* Attendees:


1 Old Business The enhanced Agenda from last meeting is available. Science IPT notes from last month's telecon are not available.

Second Quadrant of Correlator at AOS TB

The second quadrant of the ALMA 64 station correlator has joined the ACA correlator and the first quadrant in the AOS TB, where it is progressing to onsite acceptance. With the second quadrant, the 64 station correlator may accommodate up to 32 antennas. Standing in front of the correlator are participants in the Commissioning and Science Verification Review. On the right is Alejandro Saez, the correlator's best friend.

AEM Antenna Dish

The 'dish' of an AEM antenna takes shape at the OSF facility. Elsewhere, mount structures and receiver cabins have arrived and are being assembled. Photo courtesy ESO.

ACA Pads

The Atacama Compact Array antenna stations at the AOS await occupancy. An array of Peter Schilkes is seen here.

See other images and animations. See other images.

  1. New Business--Project news/updates.(Hills, Peck)
    1. R. Hills
      • A status Report is attached. For lots more details see Bi-weekly Reports and for the slightly bigger picture Monthly Reports
      • The Commissioning and Science Verification Plan Review took place at the OSF on September 2nd and 3rd. The panel was chaired by Bob Wilson and the other panel members were Nario Kuno, Peter Schilke and Melvyn Wright. Claire Chandler served as an external advisor. The presentations and papers can be found at CSV Review. The report from the panel is expected later this month.
      • Interferometry at the OSF: Now using DV01-DV02 as PM03 moves to AOS next week. Performance good; interferometric pointing occurring.
      • Single Dish testing - beam mapping and pointing under way. The first production Optical Pointing Telescope has arrived. See Test Reports where we are starting to accumulate the results.
      • A hysteretic pointing behaviour discovered in DV02 has been traced to be the coupling to the encoder. The cause of the offset pointing errors seen on PM03 remains puzzling.
      • Preparations at the AOS for the first antenna (PM03) move there, to pad A106 outside the AOSTB, next week.
      • Site: Pad 106, near the AOS TB and to receive the first antenna, has fiber and power and has been connected to the Central LO.
      • Antennas: Elements of more than 16 antennas from all vendors are at the OSF--necessary for early science (but not sufficient). Next antenna acceptance in Sept.
      • Change Requests. A significant change request has recently come in Band 6 CRE. This relates to the Band 6 performance and in particular requests that the range of IF frequencies over which the performance is assured be limited to 6 to 10GHz instead of the original range of 4.5 to 10GHz. The instantaneous bandwidth was always limited to 4GHz so the main effect is to reduce flexibility in making simultaneous observations of two or more lines. In particular it will no longer be possible to observe 12CO J = 2-1 and 13CO J = 2-1 at the same time. Note that these two lines may be observed simultaneously in the J=3-2 line, but not in J=1-0 owing to the interplay between the line separation and the IF choices ALMA has made.
      • ASAC Matters. Next f2f meeting in Garching in October. Regional meetings begin next month. Sci IPT supports these meetings.
        • Board Charges. These are the current charges:
          1. Continue to monitor the readiness of the ALMA software system. Of special interest at present are: the archive, the interface between the observing tool and the archive, and the capture of necessary proposal information by the observing tool, in the context of ALMA operations planning.
          2. Continue to review the progress and schedule of the AIV/CSV process, especially with respect to readiness for Early Science. The Board would appreciate a report on the status of plans for Commissioning and Science Verification and for obtaining “ALMA Public Images”, and commentary on the outcome of the Review of CSV plans which will take place in September.
          3. Discuss the revisions to Scientific Requirements and Specifications, which are in preparation, and make a recommendation to the Board on approval.
          4. Report on the status of the plans for the proposal review process and on what is being done to ensure that all the necessary software and procedures will be established and tested in readiness for the Call for Proposals for Early Science.
          5. Report on the readiness of the ARC’s to support early science proposals and the of the ALMA helpdesk, and on the plans to reach out to the communities to encourage early science proposals, and to inform the communities about realistic capabilities and performance.
          6. Provide further commentary on the prioritization of the items that are being considered for funding from the Development Budget, in particular those that might be considered for the first call for proposals.
        • Other ASAC activities which are not formal charges from the Board.
          1. Community sounding on expectations for early science, and ALMA information resources for the general community.
          2. ASAC will continue to look for ways in which ALMA construction and operations might be more environmentally friendly, especially in terms of energy use (without compromising science). (Issues of energy use are discussed in the Marshall et al. Decadal Survey white paper at
    2. A review of the Science Operations takes place in Santiago 29-30 Sept.
    3. Employment
    4. ALMA Science IPT wiki page
    5. Astronomer Outreach: JAO ALMA Webpages. JAONews. ESO Newsletter No 16 NRAO eNews ALMA News. NAOJ News. NRAO ALMA Calendar
    6. Current ALMA System Block Diagram Vers P.
  2. Directories

Science IPT Group Activity Reports

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

Project Scientists

  1. Science IPT
    • With regional SACs meeting, followed by the ASAC, the development projects are once more in focus.
    • Milky Way at z=3
      • A plot showing an SED for a galaxy like the Milky Way at z=3, along with 24 hour sensitivity curves (300 km/s) from calculations by Wilson, Wootten and others. A Writeup describes the calculations. Comments?

Richard Hills, Alison Peck, Robert Laing -- Commissioning and Science Verification

  • Commissioning and Science Verification Review, OSF, 2009 September 2-3. Bob Wilson, review Chair.
  • Early Commissioning ArraysAntenna locations for first stages of commissioning and science verification
  • A Preliminary_configs.xls Pad position spreadsheet for placement of first antennas in CSV

Jeff Mangum -- Calibration

  • Temporary weather stations installated on roof of AOS TB. Some adjustments, calibrations will be done on them.

Bojan Nikolic/John Richer -- WVRs

Lars-Ake Nyman -- eSSR

  • ALMA SciOps Implementation Plan Review, SCO 2009 September 29-30, 2009.

Testi, Klaassen-- Design Reference Science Plan

  • DRSP updates have been completed
  • Spreadsheet describing the details of each is up to date
  • Website has not yet been updated, but that will happen within the next two weeks (with a link to the excel spreadsheet).

Wootten -- Site Characterization

  • The last data was collected from the Atmospheric Phase Monitor at the ALMA Site Characterization instrument trailer on 21 Aug 2009. Heavy construction of roads, fiber and power have resulted in the extraction of the cable for storage. A plan to redeploy the instruments following the ICD is under development. * A tipper is not currently included. One could redeploy the WVR prototypes, now in storage at ESO. However their filters and interfaces differ from the production devices. Alternatively, one might use one of the production radiometers, should they prove suitable and sufficient in numbers. * WVR is on PM03, soon moving to the AOS. Extensive campaign of middle atmosphere monitoring ongoing at Toco with an emphasis on Submm and FIR part of the atmosphere, launching balloons every hour. We will try to take data, sky dips, and get data to add to the campaign. * Hills reported that a midIR camera was at ASTE facility, data taken for 6 or 9 months. There is a writeup of that, a student's thesis. It is in Japanese. The 10 micron measurements were made in concert with WVRs. Does measure cloud with a different sensitivity to water. Unclear how important the high thin cloud is. It is unclear how important that is in amplitude and phase at the higher frequency. Bojan noted that the Oxygen sounder will have a ten micron detector. Won't tell about the structure of the clouds it should tell us about their presence.
This is in the revised spec for the device.

Remijan, Markwick -- Splatalogue

Science Corner:

1 A special issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE on radiotelescopes has just been published, with articles on SKA prototypes, SKA, ALMA, GBT, EVLA and other instruments.


1 Next meeting is on Oct 21st (14:30 UT). Nov 18th for the following month.

Events of Interest

(see also Al's ALMA Biweekly Calendar)

Sep 16
Sep 29-30
SciOps IPT
ALMA SciOps Implementation Plan Review
Oct 13-14
ASAC f2f
ESO Garching
Oct 21
Nov 16
Nov 18

Upcoming Meetings

Science at Q Band Sep 14-15, Manchester

Mass Assembly and Star Formation History of Galaxies Sep 21-24, Charlottesville, Virginia

To the Edge of the Universe: 30 years of IRAM Sep 28-30, Grenoble

Data Needs For ALMA. Oct 5-7 Koln Germany

From circumstellar disks to planetary systems Nov 3-6 Garching

Astrobiology Science Conference 2010 April 26-29, 2010 League City, Texas

-- AlWootten - 2009-09-14

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
ALMA_Status_Sept09.pdfpdf ALMA_Status_Sept09.pdf manage 1 MB 2009-09-14 - 16:07 AlWootten Hills' ALMA Status Report Sept '09
Preliminary_configs.xlsxls Preliminary_configs.xls manage 18 K 2009-09-16 - 09:56 AlWootten Pad positions for placement of first antennas in CSV
Topic revision: r12 - 2010-08-02, ToddHunter
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