ALMA ALMA North American Science Advisory Committee Telecon Face to Face meeting August 17, 2007

Contact Information for those calling in.

  • Call date: 2007-08-17 08:00 EDT or 14:00 UT (Friday)
  • Duration: 8 hr
  • USA Number: 1-866-675-5385
  • Outside USA Number: +1 517 444 6916
  • Passcode: 8445333#
  • Leaders: Jon Williams, C. Carilli
  • Video will be available all morning from Socorro, Room 280

OSF Warehouse View The OSF Technical Facility warehouse is approaching completion. See other images and animations. See other images.


ANASAC Members (Attendees in RED):

  • Andrew Baker (Rutgers) (2008)
  • John Bally (U. Colorado) (2008)
  • Andrew Blain (Caltech) (2007)
  • Xiaohui Fan (U. Az.) (2007)
  • Paul Ho (CfA, Harvard) (2008)
  • Kelsey Johnson (UVa) (2009)
  • Doug Johnstone (HIA/DAO, Victoria) (2007)
  • Lee Mundy (U. Md) (2007)
  • Jaqueline van Gorkom (Columbia) (2009)
  • Gordon Stacey (Cornell) (200?)
  • Alycia Weinberger (DTM) (2009)
  • Jonathan Williams, Chair (U. Hawaii) (2008)
  • Christine Wilson (McMaster U.) (2007)
  • Mel Wright (UC Berkeley) (2008)
(Bold = Member of ASAC)

  • J. Hibbard
  • A. Wootten
  • C. Carilli
  • C. Brogan
  • A. Russell


1) 08:00 - 08:15 Closed Session

2) 08:15 - 08:45 Project Status - construction (Russell)

See Attachments below for PPT

3) 08:45 - 09:15 ALMA operations and the NAASC (Carilli)

See Attachments below for PPT

4) 09:15 - 10:00 ASAC Charges (ASAC members; Wootten & Mangum)

  • ASAC Web Page See 1 Aug 2007 Agenda
    • Charges from Board Meeting for October 2007 response (Hills/Wootten)
      • 1. Assess the preparation of the ALMA real time, observing, and off-line software for early science. In particular, review the impact of the recommendations of the recent software review and the schedule for the next two years. Response to be delivered for 1-2 April Board meeting.
      • 2. Revisit the question from April, 2007 of important correlator requirements for early science operations. In particular prioritizing the order of development of software modes. Compare broad early science requirements to correlator modes. Which modes enable the majority of the science? What other capabilities are important? Response to be delivered for 30-31 October Board meeting.
      • 3. Review the calibration plan and scientific aspects of Assembly, Integration, Verification testing and for Commissioning. Being mindful of the finite resources (human, financial) available, are changes necessary or desirable for scientific reasons to the plans being implemented? Response to be delivered for 30-31 October Board meeting.
        • Note a similar charge was addressed in the Sept 2006 Report. The Board responded to the Report in February 2007: Again the Board is pleased to learn that the ASAC was generally happy with the planning for ALMA calibration and that the report on the progress of the WVR tests with the SMA is encouraging. The search for a fully satisfactory amplitude and flux density calibration scheme has, of course, engaged many experts over the years and ALMA must continue its efforts in this area. Although this problem has engaged the project from the early beginnings, the Board expects that the employment of extra personnel and, in particular, that of a full-time Project Scientist who will interact directly with the ASAC on these matters, will provide new momentum to solving these problems. Here are readings provided the ASAC in Sept 2006:
        • Calibration Plan: Current version of the calibration plan and associated documents ("examples", "roadmaps", "matrices", etc.) posted. Comments welcome.
        • Calibration Examples: The "meat" of the Calibration Plan. Review of these documents nearly complete.
        • Cal Plan Assignments

      • Looking to the future, the Board anticipates that ASAC will be asked when appropriate to consider, e.g., a) the progress of the ARCs and their plans for early science support. Is the planned level of readiness and support appropriate for non-expert users?; b) the Operations Plan as accepted by the Board following input of the external reviews and of the JAO; and c) when further work by the Science IPT is available, the imaging capability of ALMA in its three modes: 12-m array, ACA and full ALMA. SIPT will need to provide images with a full range of spatial scales to explore the scientific basis for choosing which of the three modes to use for a given project.
      • Proposed Schedule
        • 26 Jul Board meets, approves plan for ASAC meetings to address Charges
        • 1 Aug ASAC telecon, supporting materials to be available to ASAC
        • 17 Aug ANASAC meets in Charlottesville; ASAC members discuss charges
        • 3 Sep ESO Community Day, Garching
        • 5 Sep ASAC telecon
        • 3 Oct ASAC telecon
        • Oct ESAC f2f meeting?
        • Oct EASAC f2f meeting?
        • 15 Oct Nominal date for written report to be sent to Board Secretary
        • 28 Oct Executive Committee of Board, ALMA Budget Committee and Personnel Committee meet in Santiago
        • 29 Oct Board travels to San Pedro de Atacama
        • 30 Oct Board meeting (probably ASAC Report from Cernicharo though as yet not detailed)
        • 31 Oct Board meeting
        • 1 Nov Board returns to Santiago and home
        • 7 Nov ASAC telecon
  • JAO Response to ASAC Report

See Attachments below for PPT

5) 10:00 - 10:15 Break

6) 10:15 - 10:45 Project status - software (Brogan, Glendenning)

See Attachments below for PPT

7) 10:45 - 11:30 ANASAC input to ASAC charges

8) 11:30 - 12:30 Charge I: Grants (Williams/subcommittee)

See Supplmental material below

9) 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

10) 13:30 - 14:00 Charge II: Terms of Reference (Williams/Subcommittee)

See Attachments below for new Terms of Reference.

11) 14:00 - 14:20 Charge III: Science workshop 2008 (Williams/subcomittee)

12) 14:20 - 14:30 Charge IV: Select new ANASAC Chair (Williams/subcommittee)

13) 14:30 - 16:00 Closed session, draft report

14) 16:00 - 16:15 Break

15) 16:15 - 16:45 Summary of draft report to NRAO (Williams)

Supplemental Material

Charges to the ANASAC from NRAO and the NAASC

CHARGE I. User Grants program: This charge continues from previous meetings. We repeat the original charge, but revise the specific issues to be addressed at the meeting, based on the subsequent ANASAC discussions.

Previous charge: the grants program is a recommended priority by the decadal committee. NRAO can act as an advocate for the community in this regard, but the real impetus must come from the community. The Grants should not be considered funding for NRAO, but should be considered funding for support for community use of ALMA. Does the community want a grants-with-observing time program associated with ALMA? What is a reasonable starting amount for such a program?

Result from previous ANASAC deliberations: The ANASAC has endorsed a User grants program with ALMA time, and has written a detailed report recommending: (i) a funding request level ($6M/year 2006 dollars), (ii) funding guidelines, and (iii) two potential funding models for the NSF. See the ANASAC report:

NRAO thanks the ANASAC for their previous efforts. The ANASAC has made this issue a priority, and this new charge reflects their desire to continue discussion of the issue. In particular, the ANASAC will address the following two issues:

1. Clarification of NSF policy and potential models that are acceptable to the NSF, subsequent to the NSF ALMA operations review?

2. User community advocacy of a grants program: Coordination with astronomers who use other NSF facilities (e.g. EVLA, current and future large OIR projects)? Use of the AAS as a means of communication?

CHARGE II: Terms of Reference for ANASAC. The primary roles of the ANASAC, according to the current terms of reference (, are:

1. A conduit of communication for ALMA project status to a broad User base.

2. Input to the NAASC on User support and science issues in North America.

An issue that has arisen in the latest ANASAC meetings is the question of the interaction between the ASAC and the ANASAC -- should the ANASAC provide more input to the North American members of the ASAC on charges to the ASAC from the ALMA Board? This duty is not currently in the ANASAC terms of reference. Does the ANASAC want to expand its role to include a closer connection to the ASAC and the ASAC charges? Note that this would be in addition to the existing NRAO terms requesting that the ANASAC provide detailed input into North American ALMA User-related and science issues.

CHARGE III. Science workshop 2008 -- The NAASC would like to continue the successful series of science workshops relating to ALMA in 2008. The ANASAC is asked to suggest a timely science topic for such a meeting in 2008, and to suggest members of the Scientific Organizing Committee.

CHARGE IV. Membership -- The ANASAC is asked to recommend new members to replace those rotating off the committee and to elect a new chair to start after the face to face meeting in August, 2007. Andrew Baker and Andrew Blain have each been nominated and a vote will be taken.

-- ChrisCarilli - 13 Aug 2007

* Software_ANASAC07.brogan.pdf: Overview of ALMA User Software
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
ALMACalibrationANASAC2007.pdfpdf ALMACalibrationANASAC2007.pdf manage 582 K 2007-08-16 - 13:49 JeffMangum  
ANASAC07.Carilli.pptppt ANASAC07.Carilli.ppt manage 838 K 2007-08-15 - 14:54 ChrisCarilli  
ANASACToR.pdfpdf ANASACToR.pdf manage 53 K 2007-08-14 - 13:57 ChrisCarilli  
ANASAC_ALMA_Project_Status_low_res.pptppt ANASAC_ALMA_Project_Status_low_res.ppt manage 7 MB 2007-08-17 - 09:32 UnknownUser  
ASACCharge3overview.pptppt ASACCharge3overview.ppt manage 421 K 2007-08-16 - 16:07 AlWootten  
ASACSep07Charges.pptppt ASACSep07Charges.ppt manage 320 K 2007-08-15 - 17:51 AlWootten  
ASACSep07Correlator.pptppt ASACSep07Correlator.ppt manage 1 MB 2007-08-16 - 16:50 AlWootten  
Software_ANASAC07.brogan.pdfpdf Software_ANASAC07.brogan.pdf manage 521 K 2007-08-17 - 15:11 CrystalBrogan Overview of ALMA User Software
Topic revision: r11 - 2007-08-17, CrystalBrogan
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