Al Wootten updated the committee on the progress in the project, as given in project news
above. There is an ad for project scientist posted. There is also search for science ops director
that proceeding quickly. Mundy emphasized the project scientist ad is very important, and
we should encourage qualified applicants. The ad makes the position sound like it is a term appointment, but that should be negotiable with executives; don't let that discourage promising candidates.
3) Reports on ANASAC Charges 1,2 (Williams, subcommittee chairs)
This is main issue and should take most of the hour.
See supplementary material below.
New Action item: revised reports by Sept 7.
Charge 2: Baker
Full Development pushed-out to 2015, ramp-up 2011ish. Not much prior.
Politically difficult for all partners to sign on to 'development pot'.
Clear -- plan must be attached to specific projects for all executives.
Mundy -- will be top-down political process so point (3) may
not be so important, really wish-list for process.
Perhaps scale-it back and leave it as a North American 'preference'
Mundy asked about tension between keeping community and NRAO development 'alive'
Russel - NRAO must be part of a community-wide process, everyone should stand
and fall on their own merits. He asks: is there going to be a community wide
science driven process, or just ALMA soliciting technical proposals?
Clearly the global process needs to be sorted out before we can make
detailed plans, and there is no really impending deadline,
so current charge 2 input should be seen as some guidelines
both within US and gobally endorsed by the North American community.
Overall, looks good.
Carilli - I can see some common ground already, it may come
down to just (scaling back) the raw number, and perhaps having
some guidelines on how the money is spent (eg. for education, students
postdocs...) Also, we should remain aware that the impetus for this
came from the decadal report, who recommended nasa-type funding for
major new ground based facilities. clearly, alma is the first of those
facilities coming on line since that report. if we decide to forego
this opportunity for ALMA, we essentially kill this recommendation for
the next telescopes in-line, such as TMT, SKA... Conversely, if TMT
then goes for such funding, the ALMA will have missed an opportunity.
FROM WILLIAMS: For the minutes, you can say that we had an hour long discussion on Charge 1 among the non-NRAO members of the committee (note also that Paul Ho joined in at some point). There was unanimous support for an ALMA grants program that links money to observing time and also support for related theory and archival research. There was also full agreement on asking that NRAO support page charges and travel to NAASC for data reduction and analysis and other ways for operating the user support in a way that keeps the administrative overhead as low as possible.
We spent a lot of time on the best way to implement such a program. I'm not sure what kind of specifics you, or the NSF, are looking for here. The general feeling was that the funding would lead to the best science if it came with few restrictions: there did not seem to be support for prioritizing students or postdocs. One question that came up is whether the ALMA fellows will be funded from a separate pot.
We spent the most time debating the appropriate level of support. This discussion is ongoing and you may see emails going to anasaconly about this. We are going to poll for the level of support this weekend and will iterate from there. It does not appear that we will achieve unanimous agreement but I expect we will reach a clear consensus. We should have a final recommendation for you by late next week.
RESPONSE FROM CARILLI:
The new plan is not to have a separate ALMA prize fellowship program, but to
just have ALMA support part of the Jansky fellows program as NRAO's prize fellowship program,
and then hire some ALMA postdocs that have some functional duties.
4) Summary of ALMA Ops, NAASC proposal review (Carilli)
Results of recent work by Ops Working Group was used to generate revised ALMA Ops budget. Some noteworthy paradigm changes:
We adopted ASAC suggestion that Early Science Decision Point be defered until Jan 2010, to allow proper commissioning. Now expect Call for Proposals Jan 2010; Early Science 8 mo later with 15 element array, 4 bands (ops plan will detail what types of community programs could be executed prior to Early Science e.g., Demo Science).
Baseline plan is a single international PRC which meets once/year for first 3 years, then 2/year. Executives could have regional PRC if they wish, but must pay for it themselves.
This is still a work in progress (still incorporating revised paygrades for staff; startup costs; OSF facilities costs), but preliminary revised Ops budget sent to ALMA Board for Aug3rd telecon. Ramp-up is shallower, total cost to each partner is nearly the same as before (so Japanese contribution is sufficient to cover additional cost of ACA).
New Ramp-up still causes some partners much problems. "Contingency" removed; development monies being delayed (don't ramp-up until 2015). Final amount of development still being discussed by Board. Should be resolved at Sept 14 Board telecon.
Hibbard summarized activities of the operations working group, including
face-to-face meetings in garching and prague. There has been a lot of work
in ops plans and paradigms. The ramp-up is one open issue. Early science decision
point has been delayed to allow for commissioning, and more modes and telescopes
for early science. Is there something that can be done earlier, such as demo
or verification science? How to involve the community in this? Baseline plan
is for single PRC. Baseline plan needed by Sept 14, so things are evolving quickly. Will report status at ANASAC f2f.
Carilli summarized NSF proposal timeline.
Mundy asked about the 1 week timescale prior to F-F. This is dictated by the
fact that the ops plan (of which the naasc plan includes a fair fraction)
will not be distrbuted to all the partners, so we cannot put esac and jsac
at a disadvantage prior to ASAC face to face.
More news after face-to-face. So far there is very little info on the
charges (such as obs modes) which has been distributed to ASAC.
Material will be distributed prior to ASAC meeting for comment by
6) ALMA Workshops (Brogan)
Planning of 2nd NAASC Science Workshop on PP disks is progressing.
The title for the next NAASC science workshop will be: "Transformational Science with ALMA: Through Disks to Stars and Planets" to be held in Charlottesville, VA June 22-24, 2007.
The SOC is John Bally, Crystal Brogan, Masa Hayashi, Michiel Hogerheijde, Doug Johnstone, Zhi-Yun Li, Lee Mundy, Jonathan Williams, & Al Wootten
Construction of the meeting webpage and 1st announcement is underway.
A sample ALMA Meetings held in 2006:
NAASC will be involved in millimeter spectral line meeting at Caltech in October, 2006
Complex Molecules in Space: present status and prospects with ALMA (Meeting in Aahrus, Denmark, May 2006)
The fate of gas in galaxies (Meeting in Dwingeloo, NL, July 2006)
Subaru-ALMA Science (Meeting in Hilo, March 2006)
ALMA Science (Ast. Soc. of Japan Meeting in Wakayama, March 2006)