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Contact Information

* 2010-2-17 14:30 UT
Note 'usual' UT time.
* Note: C. Wilson points out line noise may be muted by pressing *6 which works thru the call center.
* Duration: 1 hr
* Toll Number: 1-203-480-8549
* USA Toll Free Number: 866-600-8836
* Passcode: 3283890
* 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 unavailable.

Two new antennas at the OSF.

DV03 and DV05 have been joined to reinstitute interferometry at the OSF. © ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), A. Wootten. (Note weather.)

See other images and animations.

  1. New Business--Project news/updates.(Hills, Peck)
    1. R. Hills
      1. For a recent summary see Science_-_January_2010.pdf. Previous reports for the project as a whole are at ALMA Monthly Reports.
      2. Brief status report. The commissioning and science verification process began 2010 Jan 22. This is exactly a year after 'first light' was achieved. Subgroups have been created to work on various critical aspects of the commissioning task.
      3. Two antennas at the OSF have been linked to reconstitute the OSF interferometer. Two further antennas, DV04 and PM02, will join them at the OSF soon, having been accepted from the manufacturers. The three antennas operating at the AOS after the 20 Nov ascent of DV02 will be redeployed in a few weeks, with two antennas being placed on ACA pads. One will remain so that some tests of km baselines may be made.
      4. The Control Room at the OSF Technical Facility continues as the center of activity.
    2. Employment
      • JAO Commissioning Scientist positions: Offer made.
      • ESO:
      • NRAO: Offer made for commissioning postdoc, interviews continue for NAASC positions
      • NAOJ
    3. ALMA Science IPT wiki page
    4. Astronomer Outreach: ALMA News. JAO ALMA Webpages. JAONewsletter No 4. NRAO eNews ESO Newsletter No 16 NAOJ News. NRAO ALMA Calendar
    5. Current ALMA System Block Diagram Vers P.
    • Current IPS attached
  2. Directories

Project Scientists

  1. CSV has begun. A number of groups have been formed to tackle the initial myriad tasks involved in commissioning.
    • Antenna, including Astronomical Holography, Out-off-focus beam maps, Moon and Sun Scans, Pointing issues, Pointing verification, and Antenna tracking
    • Calibration, including WVR testing and Amplitude calibration:
    • Front End Tunability
    • Observing Modes, including Standard Interferometry using OT (obsmodes) and Initial Polarization trials
    • Correlator mode verification
    • Photonics and BE including LLC initial testing and Phase stability
    • Antenna Stations including Baseline Measurements and Stability
    • Software Testing including Science Archive and SLT commissioning and Error and Alarm reporting
  2. Parametric cuts.
    • Cost savings in construction budget continue to be worked on. Status. * A mixture of "belt-tightening" all round and some bigger changes on things like spares and road surfacing has made some of the required savings but it is not clear that these are adequate. * The reductions to the number of photonic distribution units and the software line length correction have both been discarded. The former because the savings were small and the reduction in flexibility is significant and the latter mostly because nobody was available to take on the task of implementing a tricky job which goes across the divides between IPT's. * I am not aware of any other savings being considered which would affect the scientific performance directly.
  3. Change Requests.
    • Further comments on last month's discussion topic: 234.? Change to the “differential” definition for Saturation in the Front-End Technical Specifications and relaxation for the Bands 3 and 4.
    • CRE to account for warm optics contribution to B4 receiver temperature.
    • band6_pol_spec_edm.pdf: Proposed relaxation of the Band 6 polarization specification.
    • FEND- Technical report on the Band 6 polarization.
  4. Development. The NAASC proposal, with the strawman development plan presented last month, continues to be refined.
  5. Operations Plan Version E. Meetings of the SciOps group continue aiming at producing VerE in February. Various scenarios for streamlining costs were proposed.
    • As I understand it the present baseline assumes that there will be a complete cycle from short to long baselines and back again per year but we will not use all the intermediate configurations and that there will not be a shutdown for the 'Altiplanic Winter'. There would be one call for proposals per year.
    • The project still needs to find substantial cost reductions and is looking hard at all areas of the operation.
  6. Any further comments on last months design/requirements draft on implementing automatic control of the focus on the antennas and taking care of the resulting effects on pointing and path length?

Jeff Mangum -- Calibration

  • Investigation of the ALMA Calibration Device performance, and other aspects of amplitude calibration are under way.
  • Temporary weather station readout here.
  • Procurement of a temperature profiler for ALMA based on radiometric sounding of the O2 lines under way.

Bojan Nikolic/John Richer -- WVRs

  • First data with 3 antennas, all equipped with WVRs, were taken 4th January.
  • A program wvrgcal written by Nikolic and installed on data reduction machines in Chile (osf-red, sco-red) uses the WVR data to compute a complex gain calibration table. In the current version it does not actually try to correct for the amplitude of the gain but just the phase errors. Casabrowser may be used to look at the gain calibration table which the program produces. Within CASA, applycal then applies the gain table to the data. As can be seen here for the 4 Jan dataset, the result is a reduction in phase scatter.
wvrgcal applied to 4 Jan 2010 dataset.

Data Set X02X7df3X1. Data were taken 2010 January 4 UT07:00 with Antenna(s) (Foundation(s)): PM03 A096, DV02 A136, DV01 A109. Purpose: A two hour observation of 3C273 was taken using the DelayCal script at Band 3 (86.2681 GHz) under skies characterized by 2.5mm of precipitable water vapor.

Lars-Ake Nyman -- eSSR

  • ALMA Ops Plan version E discussion was held at SCO January and February, 2010 and continues.

Wootten, Mauersberger, Sawada -- Site Characterization

Remijan, Kent, Markwick -- Splatalogue

  • Splatalogue was presented at the AAS meeting in Washington DC in both a poster and "infomercial" form. To experience the informercial, see:
  • Simple Line Access Protocol (SLAP) server setup at NCSA. Will be packaged and transferred to other sites. Simple VO Client interface built by Brian Kent.
  • Updates and edits continue on the internal Splatalogue website. Splatalogue Internal Testing Version

Science Corner:

  1. SZ Science with an ALMA Band 1 Receiver System Authors: Anna M. M. Scaife, Keith J. B. Grainge


  1. Next meeting is on Mar 17th (14:30 UT). Apr 21st 2010 for the following month.

Events of Interest

(see also Al's ALMA Monthly/Biweekly Calendar)

Feb 17-19
ALMA Front-End CDR
Feb 17
Mar 9-10
Mar 17
Apr 21

Upcoming Meetings

ESO Workshop on "The Origin and Fate of the Sun: Evolution of Solar-mass Stars Observed with High Angular Resolution", Garching, Germany, 2-5 March, 2010.

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

ALMA Special Session, AAS 216, Miami, Florida 24 May 2010

WORKSHOP: SCIENCE WITH ALMA BAND 5 (163 - 211 GHz), Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, May 24 - 25, 2010

Synthesis Imaging School, June 8-15, Socorro.

ALMA-Herschel meeting November 17-19, ESO

Recent Meetings (presentations online)

-- AlWootten - 2010-02-13
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who CommentSorted ascending
FEND- FEND- manage 6 MB 2010-02-16 - 10:56 RichardHills  
band6_pol_spec_edm.pdfpdf band6_pol_spec_edm.pdf manage 205 K 2010-02-16 - 10:40 RichardHills Proposed relaxation of the Band 6 polarization specification
Science_-_January_2010.pdfpdf Science_-_January_2010.pdf manage 159 K 2010-02-16 - 16:19 RichardHills Science section of Jan report.
Topic revision: r8 - 2010-08-02, ToddHunter
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