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Contact Information

* 2010-3-17 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 available.

Earthquake zone

See USGS for details.

See other images and animations.

  1. New Business--Project news/updates.(Hills, Peck)
    1. R. Hills
      1. For a recent summary see Science_-_February_2010.pdf. Previous reports for the project as a whole are at ALMA Monthly Reports. Here is the picture show given to ASAC is ALMA_Status_ASAC.
      2. Brief status report. Commissioning has progressed rather slowly what with bad weather, equipment breakdowns, software problems and of course the earthquake(s). We were shut down for about a week but since then things have really picked up - the weather is great and the systems are mostly working, so we have been able to get quite a lot done. Here are some details shown to ASAC Commissioning_Progress.
      3. At present we are still in the "phase 1" configuration with baselines of 100 to 200 meters. We expect to move to the "Initial Commissioning Array" configuration very soon. The plan is to take two antennas there, we hope this weekend, and leave one where it is, giving us some quite long baselines (~1km) for a while, and then move the third antenna over in a couple of weeks time.
    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
      • Personnel changes: JAO: Richard Prestage has announced that he is stepping down as JAO head of the Division of Technical Facilities. NA: McKinnon replaced Russell as NA Project Manager 15 Mar. NA FE transitions occur.
    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 are being readied for board presentation.
  3. Change Requests.
    • Here is a further presentation shown to the ASAC with some material on change requests at the end Technical_Issues.pdf: Technical_Issues.pdf
    • 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, other items.
    • 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 in January, is ready for submission to AUI.
  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

  • Data continues to be taken with the 3 antenna array; correction is working at the level of its current implementation. Site weather has improved over last month.
  • 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 was seen last month for the 4 Jan dataset, the result is a reduction in phase scatter.

Lars-Ake Nyman -- eSSR

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

Wootten, Mauersberger, Sawada -- Site Characterization

  • Specifications and requirements for an allsky IR cloud monitor are being drawn up.

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:

An ESO Workshop on "The Origin and Fate of the Sun: Evolution of Solar-mass Stars Observed with High Angular Resolution" was held.


  1. Next meeting is on Apr 21st (14:30 UT). May 19th 2010 for the following month.

Events of Interest

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

Mar 17
Apr 7-9
ALMA Board
Apr 21
May 19

Upcoming Meetings

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

Cometary Radio Astronomy May 17 – 19, 2010 NRAO, Green Bank, West Virginia.

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.

The Evolving Interstellar Medium: Recent Progress from Space IR/Submm 1 - 4 November 2010 Pasadena, CA Hosted by the NASA Herschel Science Center, Spitzer Science Center

ALMA-Herschel meeting November 17-19, ESO

After AAS 217 in Seattle, 9-13 Jan 2011 Workshop ALMA: Extending the Limits of Astrophysical Spectroscopy in Victoria, in early planning stages.

Recent Meetings (presentations online)

-- RichardHills - 2010-03-17
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
ALMA_Status_ASAC.pdfpdf ALMA_Status_ASAC.pdf manage 2 MB 2010-03-17 - 09:46 RichardHills  
Commissioning_Progress.pdfpdf Commissioning_Progress.pdf manage 801 K 2010-03-17 - 09:51 RichardHills  
Earthquake.jpgjpg Earthquake.jpg manage 258 K 2010-03-17 - 09:04 RichardHills  
Science_-_February_2010.pdfpdf Science_-_February_2010.pdf manage 65 K 2010-03-17 - 09:47 RichardHills  
Technical_Issues.pdfpdf Technical_Issues.pdf manage 3 MB 2010-03-17 - 10:21 RichardHills  
Topic revision: r8 - 2010-08-02, ToddHunter
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