ALMA North American Science Advisory Committee (20/02/14)

Attendees: A. Bolatto, C. Lonsdale, P. Jewell, A. Wootten, S. Doelmann, R. Plambeck, J. Carpenter, K. Johnson, J. Hibbard, D. Marrone, J. Di Francesco

1. NAASC Update (P. Jewell)

- As Ted Bergin has been appointed to the Visiting Committee, he has resigned from ANASAC. Thanks to Ted for his participation over the past two years.

- CURRENT PRIORITIES [Week of Feb 17, 2014] Data reduction, CASA testing, P2G: Technical Assessments: Feb 7-18; F2F 25-28, AoD assignments, Pipeline testing, Cycle 1 style re-deliveries: ongoing for next several weeks


- First meeting under the new Terms of Reference (top of page), now meeting once every two months (next meeting in April)

- ANASAC F2F Meeting 28 May, in conjunction with NRAO Users' Committee, ANASAC members being folded into NUC (see Terms of Reference).

- ASAC F2F meeting 31 Jan thru 1 Feb 2014 at JAO

The meeting was very positive, things are working much better. People came out with a much more optimistic impression. After Cycle 2, ALMA will go into yearly Cycles. How the deadlines fit the NSF funding cycle has been clarified, now the Cycle results will be announced in time for NSF proposal deadline in November.

- ALMA Development (A. Wootten)

- Reviews occurred at the end of last year by independent panels, NSF gave its consent to the panel recommendations and OK to budget people, ready to proceed, notifications came out, slides from each PI were made and shown at ASAC meeting in Santiago, care was made to avoid conflicts of interest, (long description of the tortuous process for Studies and Projects for final approval)

- list of approved projects: - Design and Testing of a Prototype Band 2 Cartridge (E. Bryerton) - top rated proposal; outgrowth of previous study - will produce a pre-production receiver to search for problems - one receiver already in operation at GBT at 67-93 GHz - HEMTs built at JPL may cover 70-115 GHz with poorer performance - NRAO opinion: not possible to cover both Band 2 and 3 to ALMA specs so it's premature to do so, will concentrate now on Band 2 - Europeans still interested in Band 2-3, will discuss with NRAO soon, Italy has independently funded a Band 2 receiver investigation

- Band 3 Cold Cartridge Assembly Magnet and Heater Installation for Deflux Operation (S. Claude) - for Band 3 some sensitivity of mixer to orientation within Earth's mag- netic field, making passband spec hard to make - put in magnets and heater wires to warm up junctions to release trapped flux and restore performance - 1 Gauss magnet test in field has shown noise suppression in one pol but not the other, need a slightly stronger magnet (3 Gauss test will proceed) - will upgrade B3 recievers

- Expansion of the Central LO Article to 5 Subarrays (C. Jacques) - ASAC meeting in 2000, ASAC decided that 5 subarrays were needed, but
    1. the project changed with the addition of the TPA and ACA (2 sub- arrays) and rebaselining. We don't have 5 for the 12-m Array, now we have "2+2". - getting to the point where commissioning and science need to occur at the same time, so useful to have subarrays for each - proposal here is to use one of the spare lasers to build on the third subarray for the 12-m Array, can do baseline observations during other observations - also multiple simultaneous frequency observations would be scientifically compelling (e.g., solar flares)

- ALMA Data Mining Toolkit (L. Mundy) - close work with the Archive to go in and find spectral lines in the datasets that are not specified by PIs - will identify them and provide moment maps available to the archive - (first archival ALMA paper has been published)

- The Next Generation ALMA Image Viewer (E. Rosolowsky) - outgrowth of previous study - image viewer for data in the archive, without having to download the entire dataset to your local machine - will make the archive much more usable to the average astronomer

- coordination done with other regions: e.g., similar activity on Band 2 in Europe; P. Schilke is also exploring similar things as L. Mundy's proposal and projects are being coordinated; Japanese Virtual Observatory has already tools for seeing what's in archival data and E. Rosolowsky is collaborating with Japanese on enhancing the capability of that tool

- how is the coordination supposed to proceed? Discussions among Project Scientists identifies project overlaps and encourages the parties to get in touch with each other

- there was a detail in the band 2 proposal about a decision point to incorporate B2/3 technology. Is that still the thought? No, the proposal reflects the status months ago. Combining Band 2 and 3 eventually has some merits, e.g., it could open up a slot in the cryostat for Band 11. Though science is compelling, technology doesn't make it reasonable AT THIS TIME (maybe later, when a B2-3 receiver suite could be made). Al offered to circulate the case they will make to the ADSC about building B2 now.

- future calls for development studies and projects? Intended for 4th quarter of 2014 for studies, of course depends on funding outlook. Additional projects may be fielded six months later. Funding level? Will fuel costs impact future development calls? Hard to predict but scenarios have been run and haven't had to tap into any other funds for covering fuel at the moment. Partners are put- ting pressure on JAO to hold the line on costs.

- does the ANASAC concur that the developments selected by the process outlined above match the existing plan of development opportunities (as outlined by previous ANASACs/ASACs in the "matrix for ALMA development")

- please look at list of projects and offer opinion as whether or not they are appropriately matched to the plan.

2. Science Status (J. Hibbard) - same status as last month

- all ALMA antennas in service now, 62 at high site.

- in engineering mode for the past month, weather has been iffy but last few days have been spectacular

- next ES block starts March 5, maybe start earlier during commissioning to do Band 7 projects in compact configuration (C32-1) to take advantage of good weather. Will move to C32-3 in March.

- need commissioning in long baselines, will be done soon

- last night 31 12-m antennas available, no power failures since last October but one last Friday? recovery underway

- new software being tested, Allison Peck working to get software accepted

- first Cycle 1 publication has appeared

- Carol has updated statistics: - world-wide: 103 of 289 projects have had some successful executions - 77 with completed components - for NA: 35/97 have some - 26 have completed components - 11 have had deliveries - 6 are completed

Date of next telecon

- timescales for data delivery have been significantly reduced from Cycle 0 to Cycle 1, median time is ~36 days?, NA delivery is shorter than other partners, Cycle 1 status update is being drafted, a pre-copy can be provided

- new observing cadence will be started in April, with 1 week of commissioning and 2 weeks of ES, during ES weeks we do 24-hr operation over weekends, get 40% more time than before, will affect Cycle 1 completion statistics positively

- technical assessments are being done right now

- configurations will expand until mid-year, Cycle 2 will start mid-year in 32-6 and stay until September

- data reduction is continuing

- the NAASC postdoc offer has been accepted by Amanda Kepley


- AAAS meeting was just held, ALMA sessions went well

- synthesis imaging summer school coming up

- international symposium on molecular spectroscopy coming up in June

- NAASC workshop in 4-7 Aug 2014 on multi-wavelength studies of galaxy evolution

- a notice for the next ALMA conference in Tokyo, Japan will come out next week (will be held in December)

- proposal for IAU GA focus session on ALMA-VLA science submitted.

- agenda/charges for upcoming NRAO Users' Meeting will be circulated soon

3. Date of Next Telecon

- 17 April 2014

- Proposed dates for 2014 telecons: 20 Feb, 17 Apr, 28 May (f2f), 17 Jul, 18 Sep, 20 Nov

4. Memos and papers of note - 96 published refereed ALMA papers, 63 from Cycle 0 and 1 from Cycle 1. There are 130 papers of all flavors with 751 citations.

-J DiFrancesco and A Bolatto

-- AlWootten - 2014-02-20
Topic revision: r1 - 2014-02-20, AlWootten
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