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Contact Information

* 2010-4-21 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, Morita
* Attendees:


1 Old Business The enhanced Agenda from last meeting is available. Science IPT notes from last month's telecon are available.

ALMA moves to the ACA pads Three ALMA antennas are now in the third commissioning configuration, consisting of antenna pads J505, J504 and N601.

See other images and animations.

  1. New Business--Project news/updates.(Hills, Peck)
    1. R. Hills
      1. For a recent summary see Science_-_March_2010.pdf: March Report. Previous reports for the project as a whole are at ALMA Monthly Reports.
      2. Brief status report. See Science_Milestones_2010Mar29.pdf for 'the big picture'.
        • Commissioning has progressed through a configuration with two long baselines (~550m) which provided some good experience with phase correction on baselines typical of Configuration 9. Although good experience was gained, more is needed.
        • Difficulties in setting antennas on their foundations in a stress-free manner have reoccurred--the methodology needs refinement and communication.
        • We now have baselines of 20 to 30 meters, the "Initial Commissioning Array" configuration. Another antenna will join the array in May. This allows good tests of e.g. antenna performance at different elevations. See Some initial results from the ongoing astroholography campaign.
        • Instrumental phase stability can also be tested well on these shorter baselines. Early measurements revealed that the trenches carrying fiber between the AOS and the ACA had only partially been filled.
    2. Employment
      • JAO Commissioning Scientist positions: Offer made.
      • ESO:
      • NRAO: NAASC postdocs next year include Robin Pulliam (UAz), Amy Kimball (UWash) and Nuria Marcelino (Laboratory for Molecular Astrophysics, Madrid). Carlos Munos will work with K. Sheth. Other NAASC positions are still in process.
      • NAOJ
    3. ALMA Science IPT wiki page
      • NA: McKinnon replaced Russell as NA Project Manager 15 Mar; Russell remains Head of the ALMA Division at NRAO.
    4. Astronomer Outreach: ALMA News. JAO ALMA Webpages. JAONewsletter No 4. NRAO eNews ESO Newsletter No 16 NAOJ News. NRAO ALMA Calendar
    5. Current ALMA System Block Diagram Vers P.
    6. Current IPS attached
  2. Directories

Project Scientists

  1. CSV has begun. A number of groups have been formed to tackle the initial myriad tasks involved in commissioning.
    • Antenna, including Astronomical Holography, Out-off-focus beam maps, Moon and Sun Scans, Pointing issues, Pointing verification, and Antenna tracking
    • Calibration, including WVR testing and Amplitude calibration:
    • Front End Tunability
    • Observing Modes, including Standard Interferometry using OT (obsmodes) and Initial Polarization trials
    • Correlator mode verification
    • Photonics and BE including LLC initial testing and Phase stability
    • Antenna Stations including Baseline Measurements and Stability
    • Software Testing including Science Archive and SLT commissioning and Error and Alarm reporting
  2. ASAC Report, Board Meeting
  3. Change Requests. These are before the CCB.
    • 235. FEND- Change to the “absolute” definition for the polarization orientation alignment accuracy in the Front-End and Cold Cartridges Technical Specifications
    • 234. FEND- Change to the “differential” definition for Saturation in the Front-End Technical Specifications and relaxation for the Bands 3 and 4.
    • 233. FEND- Revision of the Band 3 Cartridge Technical Specifications
    • 232. FEND- Band 7 Cartridges: Polarisation Alignment Accuracy
    • 230. FEND- Change to IF Bandwidth for Band 6 Cartridges
  4. Development. The NAASC proposal, with the strawman development plan presented in January, was submitted to NSF.
  5. Operations Plan Version E. Meetings of the SciOps group continue aiming at producing VerE. * The project still needs to find substantial cost reductions and is looking hard at all areas of the operation. There are new projected power needs, for example.

Jeff Mangum -- Calibration

  • Investigation of the ALMA Calibration Device performance, and other aspects of amplitude calibration are under way.
  • Temporary weather station readout here.
  • Procurement of a temperature profiler for ALMA based on radiometric sounding of the O2 lines under way.

Bojan Nikolic/John Richer -- WVRs

  • Data continues to be taken with the 3 antenna array; correction is working at the level of its current implementation. Site weather has improved over last month.
  • A program wvrgcal written by Nikolic and installed on data reduction machines in Chile (osf-red, sco-red) uses the WVR data to compute a complex gain calibration table. In the current version it does not actually try to correct for the amplitude of the gain but just the phase errors. Casabrowser may be used to look at the gain calibration table which the program produces. Within CASA, applycal then applies the gain table to the data. As was seen last month for the 4 Jan dataset, the result is a reduction in phase scatter.

Lars-Ake Nyman -- eSSR

  • ALMA Ops Plan version E discussion continues.

Wootten, Mauersberger, Sawada -- Site Characterization

  • Specifications and requirements for an allsky IR cloud monitor are attached, from Rainer.

Remijan, Kent, Markwick -- Splatalogue

Science Corner:

Signals of the cosmological reionization in the radio sky through C and O fine structure lines Authors: Motohiko Kusakabe, Masahiro Kawasaki

Abstract: We study the excitation of fine structure levels of C I, II and O I by ultraviolet (UV) photons around strong UV sources which are also ionizing sources of the cosmological reionization at redshift of $\sim$ 10. The evolutions of ionized regions around a point source are calculated by solving rate equations for non-equilibrium chemistry. Signals of UV photons through the fine structure lines are considered to be stronger at locations of more abundant chemical species of C I, II and O I. Such environments would be realized where strong fluxes of non-ionizing UV line photons available for the pumping up of fine structure levels exist, and simultaneously ionizing UV photons are effectively shielded by dense H I regions. Signals from H I regions of moderately large densities induced by redshifted UV photons emitted at the point sources are found to be dominantly large over those of others. We discuss the detectability of the signals, and show that signals from idealized environments will be possibly detected by radio observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) under construction or next-generation arrays.

An ESO Workshop on "The Origin and Fate of the Sun: Evolution of Solar-mass Stars Observed with High Angular Resolution" was held.


  1. Next meeting is on May 19th (14:30 UT). June 16th 2010 for the following month.

Events of Interest

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

Apr 21
May 19
May 24
AAS Miami
Preparing for ALMA
May 19

Upcoming Meetings

Astrobiology Science Conference 2010 April 26-29, 2010 League City, Texas

Nix and Hydra Five Years after Discovery 11-12 May 2010, STScI. ALMA will secure their radii...

Cometary Radio Astronomy May 17 – 19, 2010 NRAO, Green Bank, West Virginia.

ALMA Special Session, AAS 216, Miami, Florida 24 May 2010

WORKSHOP: SCIENCE WITH ALMA BAND 5 (163 - 211 GHz), Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, May 24 - 25, 2010

Scientific Opportunities for New Insstrumentation SOFIA Asilomar 2010 Workshop, June 6-8 Asilomar

Synthesis Imaging School, June 8-15, Socorro.

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

ALMA-Herschel meeting November 17-19, ESO

After AAS 217 in Seattle, 9-13 Jan 2011 Workshop ALMA: Extending the Limits of Astrophysical Spectroscopy in Victoria, in early planning stages.

Recent Meetings (presentations online)

-- AlWootten - 2010-04-19

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Early_Astro-holography_Results.pdfpdf Early_Astro-holography_Results.pdf manage 155 K 2010-04-19 - 10:51 AlWootten Some initial results from the ongoing astroholography campaign
Science_-_March_2010.pdfpdf Science_-_March_2010.pdf manage 12 K 2010-04-19 - 10:50 AlWootten March Report
Science_Milestones_2010Mar29.pdfpdf Science_Milestones_2010Mar29.pdf manage 39 K 2010-04-19 - 13:49 AlWootten Science Milestone updte; end of March
cloudmonitor.docdoc cloudmonitor.doc manage 1 MB 2010-04-20 - 22:35 AlWootten cloud monitor
Topic revision: r6 - 2010-08-02, ToddHunter
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