ANASAC telecon 17 Oct 2010

Carol Lonsdale, Al Wootten, Debbie Padgett, Alycia Weinberger, Johnn Carpenter, Darryl Emerson, Kelsey Johnson, Dick Crutcher, John Hibbard, Neal Evans, Hsien Shang, Rachel Osten, Douglas Scott, Andrew Baker, Mark Lacy

(A. Wootten, D. Emerson, C. Lonsdale, J. Hibbard)

8 antennas at the high site. Two Vertex atennas at the OSF linked for interferometer testing (4 total at OSF). Overall 16 Vertex antennas in various states. Nine NAOJ antennas also present. First European antenna moving along, currently undergoing holography and pointing. Delivered surface quality better than spec, surface adjustment proceeding. Scheduled to be accepted in March (experience suggests this could be optimistic). ES 16 antennas schedule for 1st week of April is acheivable. Science ops and CSV reviews went well. Need to improve archive functionality and internal communications between engineering, testers, and software developers. Recent fire-suppression related incident at OSF uncovered some safety issues that are being addressed.

Reliability update: one to a few hours lost each night due to problems. Reliability is much improved since July. Antenna delivery rate: it continues to be lower than desirable. Status of correlator: One quadrant working, 2 quadrants on site being wired for 32 antennas, quadrant no. 4 in C'ville for software testing.

Draft letter to NSF
(A. Bolatto)

Several suggestions which will be incorporated into the next draft to be circulated soon.

Review of ASAC meeting
(A. Baker, A. Wootten)

Feb 1st date for ES supported by hardware review, operations review suggests maybe a month later. Hardware will be in place by September for observations, but software (and hardware) reliability may be a concern.

Readiness for ES: Not a "gold plated ALMA". There will be no expertise requirements, only a clear description of capabilities and support. There will be no guarantee that an accepted project will be observed. The priority is to finish the array. If that comes into conflict with the execution of ES projects there will be no quality compromise but a reduction in the no. of projects.

The current plan is for ES call in February or March with observations starting in September. Capabilities: mosaic, polarization, single-dish, and additional correlator modes with mixed resolutions. First two are a high priority. SD is a lower priority. Mixed correlator is not part of the baseline plan. ASAC suggests that they be accelerated because of importance for Galactic observations. ASAC highlighted the importance of the UV coverage available for ES. To make it reasonable, likely ES will take 6 hours, and the rest of time will be devoted to comissioning. Proposal review, and handover from phase I to phase II need a number of policy decisions not yet taken.

Main schedule risks identified: front ends (short term) and European antennas (long term)

ALMA Development Proposals
(A. Wootten)

Call patterned after European call. European proposals are currently being evaluated. Some examples are new bands, expanding band capabilities, array receivers, etc. The US call plans September 2012 as the date for completion of studies, with a 50K$ limit per study.

How will it be publicized? Sent to newslettter email list, and likely the AAS? Website will have all important documents, including previous discussions of possible upgrades going back to ASAC report Nov 2008. How would it be evaluated? Feedback from ANASAC would be important. Current plan is for creating a committee of people outside the project with a technical evaluation group from ALMA. There is a suggestion of changing the language for the funding from "up to 50K$" to giving it as a "typical" or "amount that can be expected" so as to not disallow proposals that may be more expensive (but important).

-- AlWootten - 2010-12-01
Topic revision: r1 - 2010-12-01, AlWootten
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