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Contact Information

  • 2010-8-18 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, Saito
  • Attendees: Baltasar Vila-Vilaro, Darrel Emerson, Ed Fomalont, Al Wootten, Doug Johnstone, Jeff Mangum, Chris Wilson, (Richard Hills, Bojan Nikolic, Emily Curtis at AOS), Alison Peck, Diah Gunawan


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

Seven at the AOS

Seven ALMA antennas in operation at the AOS, seen in this photo of unknown provenance 2010 August 10.
  1. Response to the March 2010 ASAC Report (incorporated at end of report).
  2. The document describing the Proposal Review process has been separated into two parts as ASAC suggested. The top level document has been agreed by the Board and will be circulated after a few final tweaks. The more detailed implementation plan is being worked on and should be ready for circulation by the beginning of September.
See other images and animations.

  1. New Business--Project news/updates.(Hills, Peck)
    • For a recent summary see Science_-_June_2010.pdf: June 2010 Science report. See also 7733-38_SPIE_ALMA.pdf: SPIE Paper on ALMA by Hills, Kurz, Peck
    • Previous reports for the project as a whole are at ALMA Monthly Reports.
    • See Science_Milestones_02Aug2010.pdf: 2 Aug 2010 Science Milestone Projection for 'the big picture'. Infrastructure stability continues but seems to be improving.
    • As seen above, seven antennas were available after a move of DV07 to the AOS at pad T701. The array consists of DV01 in pad N601; DV02 in pad J504; PM02 in pad T701; DV03 in pad N605; DV05 in pad J505; DV04 in pad T702; DV07 in pad J510. DV01 will travel to the OSF for some retrofittingshortly. We are calling this the "Initial Commissioning Array" configuration. This allows good tests of e.g. antenna performance at different elevations. We expect to have 8 antennas in September.
  2. Change Requests and other technical items.
    • CRE 230 Approved. Band 6 IF changed to 5-10 GHz. Some issues remain:
      • At the present time, in several instances, the local oscillator noise in the region from 5-6 GHz will prevent the combination of cold cartridge assembly and WCA from meeting the noise specifications proposed in this change request.
      • Accommodation of 12CO and 13CO lines in one setting will remain problematic, as the lines will be close to the IF extremities.
  3. Employment
    • JAO Commissioning Scientist positions. JAO DSO Support Astronomer positions. JAO DSO Data Manager.
    • ESO:
    • NRAO: The last of the NAASC positions is still in process.
    • NAOJ
  4. Astronomer Outreach: ALMA News. JAO ALMA Webpages. JAONewsletter No 5. NRAO eNews ESO Newsletter No 16 NAOJ News. NRAO ALMA Calendar
  5. Current SYSE- ALMA System Diagram Rev Q
    1. Current IPS attached
  6. Directories

Project Scientists

  1. North America
    • The AS2010 Survey was released 13 August, with prominent emphasis upon ALMA as a key element of astronomy and astrophysics research in the United States during the next decade. I think that we can all be very proud of ALMA's role not only in US astronomy but at the vanguard of world astronomy, and of the work all are doing to ensure that its potential is realized.
    • Proposal to NSF for FY 2012-2015 ALMA operations presented to committee in Santiago.
    • ANASAC f2f meeting 13-14 September. New members: Carpenter, Crutcher, Neufeld, Mumma, Osten.
  2. Europe
    • Call for Development
  3. East Asia
    • Welcome to Masao Saito, new NAOJ ALMA Project Scientist
  4. ASAC Report, Board Meeting
    • Next meeting 13 October

Jeff Mangum -- Calibration

Bojan Nikolic/John Richer -- WVRs

Lars-Ake Nyman -- eSSR

  • NSF NAASC/ALMA Ops proposal review, occurred mid July in Chile. This went very well.
  • Potential proposal reviewers were solicited for the first call by May 30.
  • Second set of end-to-end testing in Aug/Sept: CfP? to archive

Wootten -- Site Characterization

  1. Status of phase monitoring interferometer.
    • Meteo_Station_proposal_area_2-1.pdf: Meteorological station location proposed by site.
    • Propose location to the west of this, needs investigation.
    • Discussion: A good summary of ALMA phase calibration is given in 'Calibration of ALMA' (see p13-14). There are a number of sources of the overall budget for delay in that document, which includes the atmospheric portion. For any measurement made with ALMA itself of course, there will be a combination of all the sources of delay present in the data. Atmospheric delay was measured during the site characterization phase of ALMA construction using an independent instrument, a 'Site Testing Interferometer' (STI) operating at 11.2 GHz. In this instrument, two antennae at the ends of a 300m East-West baseline observed a geostationary Intelsat satellite signal. The satellite position was 35 degrees above the horizon. Some results from this instrument and similar instruments operated at other locations on Chajnantor are given in ALMA Memo 365 and references cited therein; complete data through August 2009 may be found here. ALMA Memo 361 provides a comparison with observations of an atmospheric tipper operated at 183 GHz, demonstrating excellent correlation. The joint distribution of phase and opacity is presented and discussed in ALMA Memo 521, which shows that there are times when atmospheric phase fluctuations can be large but opacity low. It is planned to use a tipping radiometer at 183 GHz to provide opacity estimates.
    • For the purposes of scheduling ALMA project, particularly demanding ones, the ALMA dynamic scheduler needs to have a good estimate of phase stability of the atmosphere. One source of this information could be provided by the instrument itself, of course, through its TelCal software. Data from this source will, of course, include both atmospheric and instrumental phase. For this reason an independent monitor of phase would be very useful for informing the system when appropriate atmospheric conditions for scheduling of a particular experiment are present. (see Ancillary Calibration Instruments Specifications and Requirements SCID-
    • An operations version of the STI, which will be called an 'Atmospheric Phase Monitor' (APM) to distinguish it, could provide that information. The STI itself operated until September 2009, when a cable was severed by a bulldozer excavating between its antennas. Another such instrument currently provides phase information for the EVLA. The STI could be refurbished for a modest sum (few thousand dollars, plus some engineering time) to provide a monitor of atmospheric phase.
    • There is a known drawback to the STI (see ALMA memo 459). The existing Fast fluctuations may occur at 11.2 GHz which are discussed in ALMA Memo 459, and which are suggested to arise from post-sunset ionospheric disturbances well-known to occur at low magnetic latitudes and collectively termed Equatorial Spread F. Ideally, the Dynamic Scheduler will have access to data from both TelCal and the APM which should distinguish when this problem is present.

Science Corner

  1. New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (prepublication version)


  1. Next meeting is on Sept 15th (14:30 UT). Oct 20th 2010 for the following month.

Events of Interest

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

Sep 15
Oct 7-8
CSV Status Update
Oct 11-12
SciOps Readiness Review
Oct 13-14
ASAC f2f
Oct 20
Oct 25-28
Annual ALMA External Review
Nov 10
Observatory Readiness Review
Nov 16-18
ALMA Board Meeting
Nov 22
Date for decision on ES

Upcoming Meetings

The 5th Zermatt ISM Symposium: Conditions and impact of star formation: New results with Herschel and beyond 19-24 September 2010, Zermatt, Switzerland

Stormy Cosmos: 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

The Impact of Herschel Surveys on ALMA Early Science Garching, November 17-19, 2010

Observing with ALMA--Early Science IRAM, 29 Nov - 1 Dec 2010

217th AAS Seattle, WA Observing with ALMA - Special Session- January 12, 2011 2:00 PM

15-17 Jan 2011 Workshop ALMA: Extending the Limits of Astrophysical Spectroscopy in Victoria

The Molecular Universe May 30 - June 3, 2011 Toledo, Spain

Recent Meetings (presentations online)

-- AlWootten - 2010-08-16

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
7733-38_SPIE_ALMA.pdfpdf 7733-38_SPIE_ALMA.pdf manage 1 MB 2010-08-16 - 22:23 AlWootten SPIE Paper on ALMA by Hills, Kurz, Peck
Saito_NAOJ_PS.txttxt Saito_NAOJ_PS.txt manage 1 K 2010-08-16 - 21:49 AlWootten Change in NAOJ positions
Science_-_June_2010.pdfpdf Science_-_June_2010.pdf manage 3 MB 2010-08-16 - 21:21 AlWootten June 2010 Science report
Science_Milestones_02Aug2010.pdfpdf Science_Milestones_02Aug2010.pdf manage 24 K 2010-08-16 - 21:32 AlWootten 2 Aug 2010 Science Milestone Projection
Topic revision: r6 - 2010-09-07, AlWootten
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