ALMA ALMA North American Science Advisory Committee Telecon Phone Meeting 2006-April 24

Agenda available at
This page is available at

Contact Information

  • Call date: 2006-04-28 18:00 UT (Friday)
  • Call time 14:00 ET or 18:00 UT
  • Duration: 1 hr
  • USA Number: 877-874-1919
  • Outside USA Number: +1 203-320-9891
  • Passcode: 185064
  • Leader: John Hibbard


ANASAC Members (Attendees in RED):
  • Andrew Baker (U. Md.) (2008)
  • John Bally (U. Col.) (2008)
  • Andrew Blain (Caltech) (2007)
  • Crystal Brogan (U. Hawaii) (2008)
  • Chris Carilli (NRAO) (2009)
  • Todd Clancy (SSI) (2009)
  • Xiaohui Fan (U. Az.) (2007)
  • Terry Herter (Cornell) (2009)
  • Paul Ho (CfA, Harvard) (2008)
  • Kelsey Johnson (UVa) (2009)
  • Doug Johnstone (HIA/DAO, Victoria) (2007)
  • Elizabeth Lada (UFla) (2009)
  • Lee Mundy (U. Md) (2007)
  • Jean Turner (UCLA) (2007)
  • Alycia Weinberger (DTM) (2009)
  • Jonathan Williams (U. Hawaii) (2008)
  • Christine Wilson (McMaster U.) (2007)
  • Mel Wright (UC Berkeley) (2008)
(Bold = Member of ASAC)

  • J. Hibbard
  • Darrell Emerson
  • Dale Frail


1) Old Business (Hibbard)

Agenda and Minutes of 24 February 2006 meeting. Approved
Action items from last time:
  • ACTION: Find replacement Chair for ANASAC
    • WHO: F.K.Lo
    • DUE: ASAP
    • DONE:
  • ACTION: Coordinate with Carma, SMA on future mm/submm school
    • WHO: Hibbard
    • Due: In the future
    • Done: This action will be on-going, and will be removed from this agenda
  • ACTION: How are synergies with other NRAO software efforts realized (e.g., PST)? Bring this issue up at the Project Manager level.
    • WHO: F.K. Lo
    • DUE:
    • DONE: This task has been assigned to the new NRAO end-to-end project manager and scientist (Nicole Radziwill & Ed Fomalont). This action will be on-going, and will be removed from this agenda
  • ACTION: Put workshops on agenda for next ANASAC meeting
    • WHO: Hibbard
    • DUE: before next meeting
    • DONE: 4/24/06. See below.
  • ACTION: Think of workshop topics for 2007 for n~70 participants to be held at NAASC, that you would be willing to be on SOC for.
    • WHO: All members
    • DUE: before next meeting
    • DONE: Discussed below
  • ACTION: Draft proposal for NAASC "Science Support" program. To include: who/what would be funded? How advertised/solicited? How selected? How monitored?
    • WHO: AB & JW
    • DUE: before next telecon
    • DONE: 4/26/06. Discussed below

2) Welcome new ANASAC members (Lo)

  • Replacements (Terms expiring in February, 2009)
    • Chris Carilli (NRAO) X-Gal/high-z Member of ASAC
    • Todd Clancy (SSI) Planetary
    • Terry Herter (Cornell) Instrumentation/LAT
    • Kelsey Johnson (UVa) X-Gal Star clusters
    • Elizabeth Lada (UFla) Gal Star clusters
    • Alycia Weinberger (DTM) UV/Debris Disks
  • ANASAC Chair? Will try to arrange off-line.
  • Current dates of next few telecons:
    • 30 June 2006 2pm ET
    • 25 Aug 2006 2pm ET
    • 27 Oct 2006 2pm ET
    • 29 Dec 2006 2pm ET
  • Schedule face-2-face meeting?
    • Agreement that there should be a f2f meeting. Not enough members going to Calgary AAS or Madrid. Suggest meeting in Charlottesville in the Fall. This will be an action for the next Chair.
  • ACTION: Schedule f2f meeting.
    • WHO: Next Chair
    • Due: next meeting
    • Done:

3) ALMA Science IPT News (Wootten)

4) ASAC Report (Carilli)

  • Report of the ASAC to the ALMA Board on its Charges
  • Agenda of 5 April 2006 ASAC Telecon
  • New Charges from the ALMA Board: The ASAC is requested to consider the following topics, and to make recommendations to the Board that include your priority or time scale where your recommendations require expenditure of ALMA's fixed resources:
    1. Review the revised Commissioning and Science Verification Plan for ALMA It seems that this is not available yet
    2. Review the revised Calibration Plan for ALMA
    3. Review the existing work on developing complete descriptions of the ALMA observing modes (e.g. software, hardware etc.) and make recommendations as to their relative priority
    4. Any other matters that you want to bring to the Board's attention.
  • Agenda of next Wednesday's (May3) ASAC Telecon
  • Carilli discussed ASAC report. Conveyed suggestion from Board (?) that ASAC and ANASAC members should relate to their colleagues that ALMA is going well. This raised comment that ANASAC members do not feel that they know enough about project to respond. Specifically, most of their colleagues want to know how ALMA will affect grants program. Some feeling that NRAO has been "stonewalling" the community concerning budget. Hibbard stated: (1) construction is paid out of MRE budget, so any increases do not directly affect AST budget, and (2) it is NSF's decision how to handle ALMA Operations budget. However, during NSF Town Meetings they seem committed to growing grants program even in light of ALMA ops budget; hence the Senior Review. Still, ANASAC would like more detailed information on ALMA operations, particularly budget. JEH will send them material generated for User Committee to members.
  • ACTION: Send UC report to ANASAC
    • WHO: Hibbard
    • Due: 5/30
    • Done:

5) NAASC (Hibbard)

  • New NAASC Head expected to be announced on May 1 2006. C. Carilli is new NAASC Head.
  • C.Brogan started at NRAO/NAASC on 6 March 2006.
  • NAASC was involved in test of pipeline (J. Hibbard, E. Fomalont) and offline (J. Mangum) software subsystems in March and April. Overall, tests went well. Work on pipeline heuristics is on-going.
  • NAASC participated in user interface "focus group" March 25-30 in Socorro. First look at python interface looks promising. Discussed higher-order task bundling.
  • "Casa" (formerly aips++) has plan with NRAO EVLA/ALMA/e2e efforts to get more NRAO scientists involved with casa over the next year. Aim is to have more and more NRAO scientists using casa to reduce their own data (not by force, hopefully!). This should help waylay some concerns expressed by ASAC in last report.
  • An internal review of the NAASC Staffing plan, v0.5, was held on April 11th. Panel members included representatives from GBT Ops, NM Ops, e2e, EVLA, Fiscal, HR, the Directors Office, and NRC. Overall the response was positive. Material for review is posted at Panels comments are in document entitled "naascreview3.doc".
  • Discussions were held on April 12 with Greg Fahlman, Peter Dewdney & James Di Francesco about the role of Canada in NA ALMA operations. They will comment on the NAASC Staffing plan and get back to us with concrete suggestions.
  • Presentations on the NAASC was made to the Visiting Committee on April 18. Presentation to Users Committee on May 18. We could put those online if people are interested. People are interested. We will send you all the report for the UC meeting after the UC meeting May 18 (see action above).
  • NRAO met with NSF on April 24th. Included a presentation by Adrian Russel & J. Hibbard on NA ALMA Ops and the NAASC. NSF wants official proposal for NAASC by the end of September. Fred may want to say something more about this meeting.
  • Major milestone for the summer will be developing a refined ALMA Ops plan, including Japanese. NAASC will be very involved in this.

6) ALMA Meetings & Workshops (Hibbard)

  • Talks from Jan2006 AAS ALMA Town Meeting are on-line at
  • NRAO-CV was not selected to host the next Bioastronomy meeting in 2007.
  • Z-Machine meeting (Jan 13-14 2006 in Charlottesville) program, pictures, and pdfs of talks/posters available online at Would like to hold similar (N~70) meetings at NAASC each year. Future workshop suggestions:
    • Astrochemistry/biology
    • J.Williams suggests disks - either protostellar/protoplanetary or accretion disks in general
    • other ANASAC suggestions?
    • No other suggestions. A meeting on disks, with a session including chemistry, was well recieved. C. Brogan will work on this.
  • ACTION: Help further define NAASC workshop on Disks
    • WHO: C. Brogan
    • Due: next meeting (6/30)
    • Done:
  • Making the Most of the Great Observatories, 22-24 May, Hilton, Pasadena. Carilli will give 10min presentation, participate in 1 hr panel discussion.
  • There will be an ALMA Special Session at the Calgary AAS meeting. Theme: Imaging Star Formation in the Cosmos with ALMA. Invited speakers: Blain, Turner, Johnstone. Associated poster session on T-F. See "Supporting Material" below and AAS Webpage
  • IAU XXVI General Assembly Prague, 14-25 August 2006. There will be an ALMA booth near ESO and NRAO displays.
  • Other ALMA-related meetings.

7) NAASC ALMA Science Support (Baker & Williams)

At the June 2005 f2f meeting, the ANASAC expressed an interest in having the NAASC fund a program to fund work at the universities on ALMA related projects, e.g. for generating ALMA simulations, deomonstrating ALMA observing modes, illustrating potential results for DSRPs, etc. Could be used to support student work on mm/submm and/or interferometry projects prior to ALMA operations. We are considering starting a pilot project in 2007, contingent on the eventual NRAO operations budget. Comments from Feb24 ANASAC meeting:A sub-committee was convened to discuss these points and send around a proposal. The following agreed to serve on this committee - Baker, Williams, Glenn. Draft proposal sent around 4/27/2006. See "Supporting Material" at end of agenda. Copy of email sent around is included in Supporting Material" at end of Agenda. Members should email any comments to A. Baker ( These will be passed on to new NAASC head for action. Question of eligibility of Canadians raised; these are outside of bilaterally funded activities, so would be for U.S. institutions only. Carilli thought idea was to support mm students now. AJB said they thought writing checks to universities was not the best use of resources. Wanted a two-way program. Some discussion on "NRAO-centric" attitudes. Other comments should be emailed to AJB.
  • ACTION: email comments on Science Support program to A. Baker (
    • WHO: all ANASAC members
    • Due: before next meeting (6/30)
    • Done:

8) Next Meeting

Date of next phone meeting According to our current schedule the next one should be on: 2006-6-30 18:00 UT (Friday)

-- JohnHibbard - 08 May 2006
Topic revision: r1 - 2006-05-08, JohnHibbard
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