Minutes for the ANASAC Telecon
Thursday April 18, 11 AM PDT
IMPORTANT: Action items for the ANASAC
1. Volunteers are needed to test the updated Project Tracker.
Please contact Al to volunteer, especially if you are a Cycle 1 PI.
2. We need volunteers for a subcommittee to consider the next
-sponsored ALMA conference. Please contact Carol if you are
3. All NAASC
members should reach out to their local community to understand
if anything is limiting non-experts from applying for ALMA time. We will
discuss this at the next ANASAC telecon.
1. Construction Status (Wootten)
-- Good weather (PWV: 0.4 - 0.6 mm) for the past week
-- Part of the AOS system has been connected to the Permanent Power
System and is now fed by the turbines. The new power system used propane
at the lower elevations, which offers savings on power.
-- 54 antennas are at the AOS, of which 41 are operational as of yesterday;
however the actual number that are operating will fluctuate due to various
issues; Nine of the 12m are unavailable owing to problems, including
- unavailable due to maintenance.
-- The ACA and 12m array have observed M100 and M16 to test single
dish+interferometric mosaicking. In science operations, the plan is to
make the images produced from the combined datasets available in the archive.
-- A campaign is underway to test polarization in preparation for Cycle 2.
The JAO is working to release SV polarization data.
-- Band switching is also being tested, as well as other capabilities.
-- In a few weeks, it will be decided what capabilities can be included in
-- First of the 5 nutators are at the AOS
-- The first band 8 image may be released soon.
2. Operations (Wootten)
-- DDT call released March 1; 3 proposals have been submitted. A committee of
the project scientists write reviews. Unclear if any of the 3 proposals
have been approved.
-- The JAO is currently Working on software and improving the overall
observing efficiency. Cycle 1 observations have been put on hold. None of
the cycle 1 data obtained to date has been useful.
- Why aren't cycle 1 useful given that Cycle 0 was successful?
- Cycle 1 observing is more complicated. Most of the problems seem to be caused by the new software (e.g., applying the wvr data flags the tsys data for the 12m array). The JAO is working to narrow the testing to one software version.
-- Running cycle 1 though January 2014; 800 hours of planned observations
It may be difficult to get cycle 1 data before cycle 2 proposal deadline.
Here are the various dates.
-- Downselect for capabilities to be offered in cycle 2 will be on may 31;
-- June 4 : pre-announcement for the Call for proposals released
-- July 25 : call for proposals released
-- Sept 5 : Proposal deadline
These dates have not been made public, and are all tentative.
Director will need to make decision by end of the month.
-- The next panel review will be in North America. Al believes Atlanta may be
the most convenient because of the number of direct flights from the
partner countries. New York City is also a possibility, but it will
probably be more expensive..
-- We need volunteers from ANASAC to test the PI view of the Project Tracker.
cannot test it since they have special access, and cannot test it from
the perspective of a normal user. It may be possible to designate co-I's
-- Cycle 1 Status:
See Science Portal news items about the Cycle1 plans for the
early part of the cycle, and for cycle 0 news.
-- Cycle 0 Status: Data delivered by end of February (see portal)
ALMA Archive: ALMA Science data continues to grow and to be disseminated.
- datasets are now available through the archive.
-- Cycle 2 planning: Proposer's Guide Working Group began telecons
3. ASAC Items Report on edm.alma.cl
-- The ALMA Board responded to the ASAC report. Here are the highlights
of the report
a. ASAC recommended that the cycle 2 call shall not be independent of
previous cycles. The Board cautioned that a duplication policy needs to
be defined first, and is giving the ASAC a new charge to define this.
The JAO is already working on this and will consult with the ASAC.
b. The Board agrees with the scientific priorities outlined by the ASAC,
but says completing construction remains the overriding priority.
c. The Board agrees with the ASAC that Cycle 2 is too early to start
large programs, and that the appropriate time would be the first full
call for science proposals.
d. The Board recommends that for time series proposals, that array
reproducibility must first be tested and verified. They are drafting a
charge to the ASAC to comment on a set of observations that could be carried
out on a regular basis to test/verify time series observations.
e. The Board assesses that it is too early to start legacy programs. They
are waiting a proposal from the ALMA director on how to implement such
programs. The Board said that the ARPC should rank proposals on scientific
merit only, and should not consider if the proposers agreed to waive the
proprietary period. Both of these recommendations from the Board disagreed
with the consensus opinion expressed in the ASAC report.
Shep: How is legacy proposals defined:
John and Alberto: Effectively for this discussion, it is defined as proposals
where the proprietary period is waived.
Mike: normal proposals up to 100 hours can still be considered by the panels
Douglas: Is concerned that in practice, a panel will be very hesitant to
approve such proposals and instead will try to maximize the number of proposals.
He would like a mechanism in place to encourage such proposals if they are
Dan: He is fine if the proprietary period is reduced, but he does not believe
eliminating the proprietary period produces the best science, since it leads
to rushed publications.
Overall the ANASAC discussion raised the issues that were extensively
discussed at the ASAC meeting (but did not necessarily lead to convergence
of opinions). The ASAC and ANASAC are waiting for a proposal from the
f. Beginning in Cycle 2, abstracts will be released when the proposals are
g. As for development studies, the Board will charge the ASAC in assessing
scientific value of the current development studies. It seems the ASAC will
not have input in selecting new programs.
4. ALMA Development (Wootten)
-- Development-NA Workshop held today in Charlottesville 18 April 2013
-- Presentations are online at
but some people were prompted for a password when trying to access them.
-- Studies proceeding. Call for Studies will be released on May 1.
Call for Projects will be released on June 3.
-- Objective is to complete the call and selection within fiscal year 2013.
during Early Science (Lonsdale)
-- Now is the time to discuss the next NAASC
-- Now that we have ALMA data available, should we have a joint meeting
(e.g., across NRAO? or with HST?)
Rachel: Space Telescope Science Institute is receptive to a joint HST/JWST/ALMA
Rachel volunteers to help consider the format and topic of the next meeting,
but more more volunteers are needed.
-- Cycle 2 preparation
is evaluating technical issues that tripped up or confused
Cycle 1 proposers and correcting, updating materials and
planning new materials if warranted
eg first video, about LAS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm8WtLo9C9Q&feature=youtube
The ANASAC is charged to reaching out to their local community to see
what is limiting people from proposing. That is, are there issues that are
preventing the non-experts from writing proposals?
6. Date of next telecon
-- 16 May 2013