ALMA ALMA North American Science Advisory Committee Telecon Phone Meeting 2008, January 18

Contact Information

  • 2008-1-18 19:00 UT Please check your local time; it may have changed! (Friday)
  • Duration: 1 hr
  • USA Number: 1-866-675-5385
  • Outside USA Number: +1 517 444 6916
  • Passcode: 8445333#
  • Leaders: Andrew Baker, Chris Carilli

Recent ALMA images, see other images and animations. Or other images.


ANASAC Members (Attendees in RED):
  • Andrew Baker (Rutgers) (2008) [Chair]
  • John Bally (U. Colorado) (2008)
  • Andrew Blain (Caltech) (2008) (ASAC Vice Chair, NA)
  • Mike Fall (Space Telescope Science Institute) (2010)
  • Tim Heckman (Johns Hopkins) (2010)
  • Shardha Jogee (U. Texas) (2010)
  • Kelsey Johnson (U. Virginia) (2009)
  • Doug Johnstone (HIA/DAO, Victoria) (2008)
  • Gordon Stacey (Cornell) (2009)
  • Xavier J. Prochaska (Lick Observatory) (2010)
  • Alycia Weinberger (DTM) (2009)
  • Jonathan Williams (U. Hawaii) (2008)
  • Mel Wright (UC Berkeley) (2008)
(Bold = Member of ASAC)

  • John Hibbard
  • Chris Carilli
  • Crystal Brogan
  • Al Wootten
  • Fred Lo
  • Darrell Emerson

  • James di Francesco
  • Douglas Scott
  • Christine Wilson


1) Action Items (Carilli)

New action items:

  • ACTION: CASA software input to ASAC members
    • WHO: All
    • Due: Jan 31
    • Done:

  • ACTION: Report from Blain on ASAC Santiago discussion of development
    • Who: Blain
    • Due: Feb 10
    • Done:

  • ACTION: Charge II subcommittee
    • Who: Baker
    • Due: Jan 31
    • Done:

2) Update on NAASC activities (Carilli)

  • CASA beta release external testers -- ANASAC members: R. Mann (for J. Williams), M. Wright, J. Bally

Testing has started slowly. Project plans a new distribution on Feb 15, open to all that apply, and is forming a CASA Advisory Group (CAG) of ~15 interactive testers. ANASAC testers should please submit helpdesk tickets even on "trivial" installation problems.

Thijs de Grauuw will become interim director effective April 1.

  • Canadian MOU still at AUI (Carilli)

3) Update on ASAC (Blain)

  • New Charges from Board, to be reflected upon at 1-2 February 2008 meeting at the ALMA Operations Support Facility, near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. (Wootten)
ASAC Charges and agenda

Immediate input (to Blain) is welcome on names and science for the initial phase of the development planning, but Santiago is likely more fact finding than decision-making. ASAC especially needs prompt feedback on software.

4) Interim charges (Baker)

See supplementary material

Charge I -- ANASAC will wait until the Santiago meeting, when ASAC will have gotten info from the project scientist, and then contribute NA-specific input. Baker plans to ask for suggested names for science panels.

Charge II -- Baker will form subcommittee (with Blain as one member) to address. Get some paragraphs for next telecon. The issue was raised as to how much NRAO could possibly do? One suggestion was to target Jansky postdocs for these type of positions. second suggestion was to write letter to NSF asking for some sympathy on PI programs related to ramp-up to ALMA. There is also the issue of how to support wide field surveys etc... that are needed prior to ALMA, as are being planned for APEX and SCUBA2 (for which southern American equivalents do not yet exist).

Charge III -- Dealt with in (3).

5) Taiwan negotiations

Someone will report on the discussions with Taiwan on participation in ALMA NA operations.

The agreement (within days of being signed) is between NSF and the National Science Council in Taiwan for a 2 M/yr (retroactive to 2006) contribution to ALMA, for construction initially, then ops. This will likely be considered as an offset, as opposed to increase, in total NA budget. Taiwan will participate exactly as will Canada in NAASC user support, contracts, and observing time (no quotas).

6) ALMA Workshops (Baker/Indebetouw)

Topic is established: massive star formation SOC is established. Date is being considered: October 2008

Good progress on program. Date on hold as hotels remain issue because of football.

7) ALMA Science IPT Science IPT concerns. (Wootten)

8) Date of next telecon (every second month)

  • Date of next telecon is March 14, 2008

March 14 is next telecon.

Supplemental Material


NRAO has given us a new set of charges, which are laid out below. Please read through them in advance of our telecon next week (January 18th at 14:00 EDT), when we will begin discussing them. Our initial focus will probably be Charges I and III, on which we need to provide input to our ASAC members before their February 1-2 face-to-face meeting in Santiago.

Greetings from the AAS meeting in Austin--


Charge I: The ALMA Board has charged the project to develop a long-term "ALMA Development Plan" in consultation with the international astronomy community. In response, the project has proposed a process in which the ASAC plays a prominent role in organizing discussions of the scientific drivers for ALMA in 2020. The NRAO asks the ANASAC to (a) recommend key scientific themes, as well as potential discussion participants with panchromatic expertise, which the North American ASAC members can use as input, and (b) discuss more generally how to ensure that the interests and needs of the North American community are fully taken into account within the framework of the Development Plan's evolution.

[Note that the above relates to the current ASAC Charge III, on which the ALMA board wants the ASAC response by its April meeting.]

Charge II: The NRAO asks the ANASAC to consider the issue of stimulating research in preparation for the use of ALMA, e.g., wide-field surveys to identify interesting targets, laboratory work on astro-chemistry, or theoretical work on star and galaxy formation, and how such preparatory research before ALMA is operational can be funded, as well as recommending avenues by which the NRAO or other organizations could promote such efforts.

Charge III: Please consider the ASAC charges and provide input on these charges to the North American ASAC members. The ASAC charges can be found at: Supplemental material from ALMA EDM

-- ChrisCarilli - 18 Jan 2008
Topic revision: r3 - 2008-01-21, AndrewBaker
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