Minutes for ANASAC Telecon
Thursday February 21, 2013
James Di Francesco
1. Construction status
-- Last North American antenna on its way up to high site right now!
-- 2 weeks ago, a lightning strike (at least that is the hypothesis; it is
not known for certain) wiped out power to antennas. Dewars are presently
being pumped down; 22 dewars cooled down as of today.
-- Last front end has been finished
-- nutator arrived and installed on antenna for tests
-- Operating on 2 turbines
-- considerable wet weather during the Altiplanic winter (not as bad as
last year); The road to Calama was washed out; enough fuel was on hand
while road was cleared
-- Cycle 1 starts up on March 6 again; Al will be Astronomer on Duty then
-- On March 1 there will be news item on science portal regarding Cycle 1 results
-- Hope to finish Cycle 0 data reduction by Feb 28
-- 4 remaining projects for North America remain to be delivered to the PIs
-- cycle0 data that pass QA0 will be delivered; data that passed QA0 but
were not used in QA2 products are being delivered.
3. ASAC Items
ASAC face-to-face meeting held last week in Mitaka, Japan. All five NA
representatives (John Carpenter, Kelsey Johnson, Douglas Scott, Alberto
Bolatto, Dick Plambeck) were in attendance. Here are the highlights.
Charge 1: Evaluate outcomes of Cycle 0
Japan and Chile conferences were a success
Charge 2: Evaluate the Cycle 1 process though the proposal review process
and feedback to proposers
The user survey confirms many of the anecdotal comments that were expressed
at our f2f meeting last September. Most of the community seems satisfied,
but there are concerns. The following changes will be made for Cycle 2:
-- Technical reviews will be performed before the panel reviews on the
-- The constraints on the number of science goals will be removed
-- A spectral survey mode will be offered that allows investigators
to specify a range of tunings.
-- The ASAC recommends that Cycle 2 does not permit duplicate observations
from previous cycles. There will need to be a duplication policy.
Charge 3: Comment on the scientific priorities relating to the Cycle 2
capabilities and advise on the scientific priorities for Cycle 3.
-- Most of the discussion was focused on Cycle 3 priorities.
Stuartt Corder has given us a number of questions to consider, and the
ASAC is discussing them now.
-- Top priority for the ASAC is the longer baselines, but there are
subtleties in pushing to 15km baselines at the low frequencies, or
going to 10 km baselines at all frequencies.
Dick Plambeck asked when will 15 km baselines be possible? Al said
that they should be delivered by construction by the end of the year but
The inner 5 km are ready when power is delivered to them and they are
commissioned. Long baseline observations must be commissioned;
that will take considerable time.
Wide-field continuum polarization
Zeeman/spectral line polarimetry
Longer baseline polarization
band 9 polarization
Dick Crutcher indicated CN polarization is easier due to to different
hyperfine lines having different Zeeman splitting coefficients, which
makes characterizing instrumental polarization easier. Alberto replied
that the ASAC was only asked to consider science, not technical aspects.
-- Total power observations
Band 9 spectra line single dish
Continuum single dish
Nutating single dish vs. fast scanning
Al said that after solar observing meeting in Glasgow in January, they
want to do total power continuum observations, but Stuartt indicated
that this won't be possible for Cycle 2.
-- Solar observations
Sun is entering solar maximum next year. Should the commissioning of
solar observations be kept internal, or should the solar community be
involved since there is no solar expertise on the JAO staff? The
proposal is to do the latter.
Rachel: Proposal makes sense
-- Other comments
Dan asked about the priority for subarray implementation. This is limited
by software, and is not currently the top priority. The benefits to
science and testing are obvious. Dan suggests that the ASAC members push
for the implementation of subarrays in their report to the Board.
Charge 4: Large proposals, legacy projects and time series observations
across cycle boundaries
-- Large proposals are already defined (> 100 hours, time is split based on
specified co-Is). Large proposals will not be offered for Cycle 2.
-- The ASAC had considerable debate on whether Legacy proposals should be
offered. It was implied that the time for legacy proposals would come of
the top and have no proprietary period. However, Legacy proposals were
never precisely defined by the ASAC. There was a lot of discussion, but
no consensus emerged.
-- Time series observations across cycle boundaries were discussed, but this
doesn't seem necessary at this time (and may be allowable within the
existing time allocation procedure).
Charge 5: Adequacy of public information on projects
-- ASAC again recommended abstracts be published for all accepted projects
after the proposal review, and not wait until the end of the proprietary
period as is the policy for Cycle 1.
-- The ASAC recommends that the metadata for proposals should be sufficient
to allow a PI to judge if a proposed observation may be a duplicate
Dick Crutcher expressed concerned that publishing the abstracts before a
project is observed will allow other people to scoop the projects in
the next proposal if the project is not actually observed. He suggests
not releasing the abstracts until the observations are actually made to
protect the PIs.
Rachel agrees this could happen, but suggested that this was more of a
problem in perception than reality.
John Carpenter mentioned that all successful PI's in Cycle 0 were asked if
it was ok to publish their abstracts, and no one objected.
4. ALMA development program
-- The one day meeting in Japan last week summarized the current status
of the development program in each of the regions.
-- Both Europe and NA will have a Call for Studies next spring
-- NA will also have a Call for Projects (Europe project line is full
until 2017 for band 5)
-- The UVa fabrication group will not be funded out of the NA ALMA
development program as previously discussed in ANASAC meetings. The
funding will be taken out of NAASC
-- $1M of the ALMA development fund in FY15 is allocated to help cover the
higher-than-anticipated fuel operating costs
-- The upcoming NA call for studies and projects will be for FY13 and FY14
combined. A maximum of $2.63M is available for study and projects.
However, the JAO costs of implementing phase 1 of VLBI phasing project
will need to be funded from the NA ALMA development program.
-- Shep has put together the science case for phased ALMA for VLBI, Europe
just announced workshop for putting together the European elements.
gave a presentation at the Japan meeting that described the
four phases to fully implement the EHT including ALMA. The current
efforts are for Phase 1.
- ASAC is working on prioritizing the scientific direction for
development programs on general principles
during Early Science (Lonsdale)
- ALMA postdoc hire: Drew Brisbin (from Cornell).
- Meetings upcoming with ALMA or NAASC
-related components (see above)
- ALMA Data Reduction Workshop NAASC
, 28 Feb-1 Mar