Sci IPT 18 Mar 2009

ASAC report and summary response.
Commissioning readiness. ASAC approved milestones. Board approved milestones.
Development plan. Most time spent discussing. This is a preliminary document with
ideas and outlines and needs to be converted into real projects.

Hills: Most likely next step will be call for proposals. Not decided by Board but
this is supposed to be a likely course. Money starts to become available at a low level
next year and ramps up by 2012. Obvious ones are VLBI, or restore up to 6 simultaneous subarrays. Mods to the optics for large field of view for solar observations, etc might occur quite quickly. Also starting work on additional receiver bands. Third element is specific
R&D work leading to bigger things.

Discussion of Decadal Review.
Laing will work with Onsala group on B5.
Hills expects receiver monies will take time for obtaining funds and for getting consortia put together.

Myers: What is a call for proposal?
RH: Please send your proposal for X Y z along with science case and proposed schedule of work.
SM: One doesn't want to run a mini grants proposal system--NSF does not like these.
ALMA defines scope and definitions for packages. Then there are various proposals and some selection process.
RH: There are small things which could be done quickly. There are the receiver bands, then there are the more open items such as array receivers, etc which may need an R&D activity.

Board meeting.
RH: I do have a list of actions, mostly noting. They did congratulate the team who made possible the conditional acceptance of the antenna. Focus was on schedule and steps to get back to it and to stay on it. Whole process of reviews. Last year's AAER report, arrangements for next year's review.
TW: Schedule?
They accepted the controlled schedule. The IPS is now a forecast schedule updated every day. That is not the schedule--the reference schedule is fixed and only changed by the schedule control board; only they can slip or advance an item.
High site interferometry is now forecast for end of November.
TW: Will Early Science really begin end of 2010?
RH: No. Actual dates are one year from beginning of commissioning, 2009 Dec 1 to call for proposals, which is in 2010 Dec. Due 2011 Feb 1. This depends on our proven abilities then. See the milestones. Early science then begins 8 months afterward. Observing six months afterward.

On the site:
AP: We have two antennas. Over last weeks we have been verifying surface on Vertex. A few problems occurred. Optical pointing on Melco uncovered unexpected behavior of software. We have been testing metrology, offset pointing. That has gone on a bit longer. Heavily supported by SCO science groups with the help of outside scientists. 4-5 scientists at the site at any given time.
We are switching to software 6.0.1 which allows TP including schedule blocks, writing to ASDM and cASA reduction. One raster map on Venus done, now in reduction. Preliminary B3 spectrum in poor weather shows correlator connectivity is good. Image hoped for soon through whole system to CASA. That will be first formal milestone.
RH: First Eu antenna, on two different ships, now about to appear. A review tomorrow and day after to discuss planning, building is in place. Five have been produced and will follow the first one. WVRs (first 2) had acceptance review yesterday, being shipped first to Chile, other to Garching for software tests. They will end up here for interferometric tests.

Bojan: Please read the proposal.

Solar observing--really need a larger field of view. My simpleminded picture is that if a really bright thing goes off and is compact one could still make a good map of it even using a small part of the primary aperture for each dish. So one could build a device onto the cal device which could image the feed onto a small area of the primary. this could produce a frequency independent beamsize. Could use a lens but a mirror would probably lose less flux. We could then have a 1m effective dish size. These would be basically snapshot observations. Would we still get a good image. Defocussing just doesn't go very far. Go to the first null on axis and one could get a ring, but only three times the diameter of the primary beam. Can one still make an image of a small region within the primary beam which is larger. Phase center is a long way away.
RR: Should be no problem with the interferometer, might have coma showing up as a phase error.
AP: Look at widefield VLB imaging software.
RH This would require some work on figuring out what optics would look like and the benefit of using it.

RH: Apart from people whose job it is who is using CASA?

JH: Three ops jobs. Advertised ESO, NRAO and should be at JAO website.
RL: We will advertise a CASA-related ARC scientist position part funded by radionet7 soon.
JH: D. Mehringer joins NA on 2009 May 1 as CASA developer.
RH: There are some commissioning positions still open. Please note these.
LAN: JAO website only links to local jobs. This should be fixed.

-- AlWootten - 2009-03-18

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Topic revision: 2009-03-18, AlWootten
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