ALMA Science Advisory Committee Meeting 13-14 October, 2009, ESO, Garching, Germany

ACA Pads

The first ALMA antenna at the 5050m level on pad 106 outside the Array Operations Site Technical Facility. The transporter shelter is at the background right.

omc1-B7-aos.png

Spectrum of Orion at around 345 GHz taken with PM03 at the high site. Note that this was using the production LO system and the first quadrant of the 64-input correlator.

Travel Logistics.txt: Logistics email from Leonardo.

Note that Taxi's have been arranged from Maria's Inn to the meeting room leaving at 08:30.

For the location of the meeting room, which is L130, see map


Attendance

ASAC Members (Attendees in RED):
  • Jose Afonso (Lisbon)
  • Frederic Gueth (IRAM) (ASAC Vice Chair, EU)
  • Michiel Hogerheijde (Leiden)
  • Rob Ivison (ROE)
  • Linda Tacconi (MPE)
  • Nario Kuno (NRO)
  • Munetake Momose (Ibaraki U.)
  • Toshikazu Ohnishi (Nagoya U.) (ASAC Chair, EA)
  • Andrew Baker (Rutgers)
  • Andrew Blain (Caltech)
  • Kelsey Johnson (U. Virginia) (ASAC Vice Chair, NA)
  • Doug Johnstone (NRC/HIA, Victoria)
  • Gordon Stacey (Cornell)
  • Neil Nagar (U. de Concepcion)

9:00 am Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Agenda

1) 09:00 - 09:15 Organization (Closed session) (Ohnishi, Gueth, Johnson)

2) 09:15 - 10:00 Project Status (Kurz)

3) 10:00 - 10:45 Commissioning Status (Hills, Peck)

  • Apropos ASAC Charge "Continue to review the progress and schedule of the AIV/CSV process, especially with respect to readiness for Early Science. The Board would appreciate a report on the status of plans for Commissioning and Science Verification and for obtaining “ALMA Public Images”, and commentary on the outcome of the Review of CSV plans which will take place in September. "

4) 10:45 - 11:00 Break

5) 11:00 - 12:00 ARC Readiness (Andreani)

  • Apropos ASAC Charge: "Report on the readiness of the ARC’s to support early science proposals and the of the ALMA helpdesk, and on the plans to reach out to the communities to encourage early science proposals, and to inform the communities about realistic capabilities and performance."

6) 12:00 - 12:30 Introduction to the EU ARC Staff (Andreani)

7) 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

8) 13:30 - 15:00 Software (Bridger, Biggs)

  • Apropos ASAC Charge: "Continue to monitor the readiness of the ALMA software system. Of special interest at present are: the archive, the interface between the observing tool and the archive, and the capture of necessary proposal information by the observing tool, in the context of ALMA operations planning."
    • Presentation (pdf) by Andy Biggs.
    • A Demonstration will be given by Alan Bridger

9) 15:00 - 15:45 Software Roll-out and Testing (Peck)

10) 15:45 - 16:00 Break

11) 16:00 - 17:30 Discussion; Closed session if needed

12) 19:00 Dinner: Nurnberger Bratwurst Glockl am Dom

9:00 am Wednesday, 14 October 2009

21) 09:00 - 09:45 Proposal Review Process (members; Hills)

  • Apropos ASAC Charge "Report on the status of the plans for the proposal review process and on what is being done to ensure that all the necessary software and procedures will be established and tested in readiness for the Call for Proposals for Early Science."
  • Unfortunately the document that is being prepared by the Board Working Group is not ready for review. It would nevertheless be helpful for the ASAC to give its views on the two issues outlined below. For reference here is the Oct 2007 report (pdf).
    • The first question is about Discretionary Time. What categories of observing should bypass the standard time allocation process and why? It is clear that a mechanism is needed to provide for targets of opportunity and the like. Most existing large facilities have this, see e.g. Subaru Target of Opportunity time, NRAO rapid response policy, ESO Discretionary Time policy and Paranal Target of Opportunity time. How might these be adopted to the ALMA context and what mechanism should be put in place to assess the requests and assign the time?
    • The second question is on the role of what is called the "Director's Council" in the Oct 2007 report. The description there is as follows: "These recommendations are passed to a DirectorsÂ’ Council (DC) comprising the Chair of the APRC, the ALMA Director, and representatives of each of the 3 Executives, and Chile (6 people in total). This body makes the final decision on proposal ranking, taking into account any further regional considerations and other general balancing issues." (Because ALMA already has a body called the Director's Council, consisting of the Directors of the JAO, ESO, NAOJ and NRAO, more recent discussions have called this new body the Observing Council.) It would be helpful if ASAC could comment on what it is that really has to be done at this final stage and consider how the work might best be carried out.

22) 09:45 - 10:45 Scientific Requirements and Technical Issues (Hills)

  • Apropos ASAC Charge "Discuss the revisions to Scientific Requirements and Specifications, which are in preparation, and make a recommendation to the Board on approval."
    • I regret to say that the revised Scientific Requirements document is still not done. Some detailed work has however been carried out and it would be helpful for the ASAC to give its views on the points below. As a reminder here is the current document Scientific Requirements (pdf) and here is the presentation from the last f2f meeting on this topic Commentary on Specifications (pdf).
    1. Something that is missing from the present specifications document is any explicit requirement on the efficiency of the system - i.e. what the observing overheads are. There is a particular concern in the area of software and this is discussed in the following note:
    2. The calculations concerning the detectability of the current Milky Way at z = 3 in the CO lines with 24 hours of integration have been checked carefully and it appears that this is indeed out of reach. Estimates of the flux from the Milky Way as it then was, however, are somewhat more promising, see Draft note from the Oxford group (pdf). I believe that the C+ line from the current Milky Way is detectable and that indeed this could probably be done out to z = 4.5. Should first the level 1 requirement be modified or left as it is?
    3. The third level 1 requirement is clearly unsatisfactory and should be replaced by one that specifies dynamic range and fidelity. The latter is particularly important in establishing the role of the ACA. We need to decide on a suitable wording and values.
  • Proposal to change the location of the northern-most pad.
    • The original location of the this antenna station is isolated from the rest of the site and in full view from the international road. There is a concern that it will attract vandalism and the like. There is also a possible worry about interference from collision-avoidance radars on vehicles using the road. We are discussing whether to move it to the east where the present gate on the access road is located and where we are planning to have a guard house. This location is still close to the road, but there is no direct line of sight because of some slightly higher ground in between. See Maps North Arm (pdf) for what is proposed.
    • This will actually increase the maximum baseline slightly, from 16.1 to 16.3 km but obviously the U-V coverage will no longer be that produced by the original optimization. Tsuyoshi Sawada has done an analysis of the effect on the dirty beam. Effect of pad relocation (pdf).
    • The main result is to make it slightly more elliptical, with the elongation in the north-south direction, but the sidelobe levels are not significantly higher.
    • The ASAC is asked to make a recommendation as to whether or not we should go ahead with this change.
  • Band 6 Change Request
    • This was discussed at our last teleconference and a recommendation was made not to accept this change. The Front End IPT are preparing a new proposal and expect to have it to us in time for discussion at this point. For reference here is the present version of the Change Request (pdf) and the Comments (pdf) from "science".
  • Some other Technical Topics (pdf) are covered here.

23) 10:45 - 11:00 Break

24) 11:00 - 11:40 ASAC Charge on ALMA Development (Hills and Wootten)

  • Apropos ASAC Charge "Provide further commentary on the prioritization of the items that are being considered for funding from the Development Budget, in particular those that might be considered for the first call for proposals."
    • ASAC_Report_Dvpt_App_a.pdf: Feb 2008 ASAC Report Development Matrix
    • Here is Al Wootten's summary of the science that could be addressed by a variety of enhancements (pdf).
    • More detailed cases have been prepared for Band_1 (pdf) and VLBI (pdf)

25) 11:40 - 12:00 Review of Operations Planning (Nagar ?)

26) 12:00 - 12:30 Regional Reports

  • EASAC (Ohnishi)
  • ANASAC (Blain)
  • ESAC (Tacconi)

27) 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

28) 13:30 - 14:00 AOB

  • Date of next meeting and Schedule for Meetings Next Year. As a minimum the ASAC needs to decide the date and place of its next face to face meeting.
    • Here is the schedule of Board meetings 2010 (pdf) for next year.
    • If this holds and we stay with the pattern of having the ASAC face to face meetings about a month ahead of the Board, our meetings would be in early March and early September. The first of these should clearly be in Chile, the second would be in East Asia if we stick to the recent pattern of alternation and rotation.

  • The proposal is to have the first meeting of 2010 on 9th and 10th March in Tokyo. The meeting would start in the late morning so that flights arriving that morning are possible.

  • The second meeting in 2010 will be in Chile and will be timed to best cover issues to do with the Operational Readiness review and the Early Science Call for Proposals.

29) 14:00 - 15:45 Discussion; Closed Session if needed; Writing of Report

30) 15:45 - 16:00 Break

31) 16:00 - 17:00 Oral Report

Supplemental Material

  1. ALMA Board Charges to ASAC. These are the current charges:
    1. Continue to monitor the readiness of the ALMA software system. Of special interest at present are: the archive, the interface between the observing tool and the archive, and the capture of necessary proposal information by the observing tool, in the context of ALMA operations planning.
    2. Continue to review the progress and schedule of the AIV/CSV process, especially with respect to readiness for Early Science. The Board would appreciate a report on the status of plans for Commissioning and Science Verification and for obtaining “ALMA Public Images”, and commentary on the outcome of the Review of CSV plans which will take place in September.
    3. Discuss the revisions to Scientific Requirements and Specifications, which are in preparation, and make a recommendation to the Board on approval.
    4. Report on the status of the plans for the proposal review process and on what is being done to ensure that all the necessary software and procedures will be established and tested in readiness for the Call for Proposals for Early Science.
    5. Report on the readiness of the ARC’s to support early science proposals and the of the ALMA helpdesk, and on the plans to reach out to the communities to encourage early science proposals, and to inform the communities about realistic capabilities and performance.
    6. Provide further commentary on the prioritization of the items that are being considered for funding from the Development Budget, in particular those that might be considered for the first call for proposals.
  2. Other ASAC activities which are not formal charges from the Board.
    1. Community sounding on expectations for early science, and ALMA information resources for the general community.
    2. ASAC will continue to look for ways in which ALMA construction and operations might be more environmentally friendly, especially in terms of energy use (without compromising science). (Issues of energy use are discussed in the Marshall et al. Decadal Survey white paper at http://low-energy-astro.physics.ucsb.edu/Marshall_Energy_APP_EPO_IPP_FFP_DEM.pdf)

-- AlWootten - 2009-10-06

Topic attachments
I AttachmentSorted ascending Action Size Date Who Comment
2010_ALMA_Board_meetings_and_telecons.pdfpdf 2010_ALMA_Board_meetings_and_telecons.pdf manage 25 K 2009-10-10 - 13:26 RichardHills  
ALMA-40.00.00.00-200-A-CRE-20090915.pdfpdf ALMA-40.00.00.00-200-A-CRE-20090915.pdf manage 1 MB 2009-10-11 - 05:53 RichardHills  
ARC_presentation.pdfpdf ARC_presentation.pdf manage 4 MB 2009-10-13 - 07:35 RichardHills  
ASAC_Report_Dvpt_App_a.pdfpdf ASAC_Report_Dvpt_App_a.pdf manage 112 K 2009-10-14 - 06:41 AlWootten Feb 2008 ASAC Report Development Matrix
ASAC_Technical_Topics.pdfpdf ASAC_Technical_Topics.pdf manage 2 MB 2009-10-15 - 04:54 RichardHills  
Band_1_Victoria.pdfpdf Band_1_Victoria.pdf manage 1 MB 2009-10-12 - 03:30 RichardHills  
biggs_asac_oct09.pdfpdf biggs_asac_oct09.pdf manage 1 MB 2009-10-13 - 08:14 RichardHills  
Commissioning_ASAC.pdfpdf Commissioning_ASAC.pdf manage 1 MB 2009-10-13 - 04:22 RichardHills  
CRE_IF_comments.pdfpdf CRE_IF_comments.pdf manage 15 K 2009-10-11 - 05:53 RichardHills  
DSO-ARCimplementation_A2.pdfpdf DSO-ARCimplementation_A2.pdf manage 1 MB 2009-10-07 - 08:22 RichardHills  
Effect_of_pad_relocation.pdfpdf Effect_of_pad_relocation.pdf manage 2 MB 2009-10-09 - 15:20 RichardHills  
EUStaff.pdfpdf EUStaff.pdf manage 4 MB 2009-10-13 - 07:37 RichardHills  
Logistics.txttxt Logistics.txt manage 2 K 2009-10-06 - 12:18 AlWootten Logistics email from Leonardo
Maps_North_Arm.pdfpdf Maps_North_Arm.pdf manage 259 K 2009-10-09 - 15:19 RichardHills  
obreschkow_alma_memo.pdfpdf obreschkow_alma_memo.pdf manage 117 K 2009-10-11 - 05:00 RichardHills  
Phasing_ALMA_for_VLBI.pdfpdf Phasing_ALMA_for_VLBI.pdf manage 1 MB 2009-10-12 - 03:35 RichardHills  
Project_Status-ASAC_2009Oct.pdfpdf Project_Status-ASAC_2009Oct.pdf manage 2 MB 2009-10-13 - 02:17 RichardHills  
Report_from_the_CSV_Review_Panel.pdfpdf Report_from_the_CSV_Review_Panel.pdf manage 132 K 2009-10-12 - 14:53 RichardHills  
Response_to_the_Review_Panel.pdfpdf Response_to_the_Review_Panel.pdf manage 11 K 2009-10-12 - 14:54 RichardHills  
SchedStaff_ASAC.pdfpdf SchedStaff_ASAC.pdf manage 882 K 2009-10-13 - 04:31 AlWootten Scheduling talk for CSV discussion.
Science_ALMA-90.00.00.00-001-A-SPE.pdfpdf Science_ALMA-90.00.00.00-001-A-SPE.pdf manage 366 K 2009-10-11 - 04:33 RichardHills  
Software_ASAC.pdfpdf Software_ASAC.pdf manage 829 K 2009-10-13 - 04:33 AlWootten Peck presentation for Software discussion.
Software_Latency_Requirements.pdfpdf Software_Latency_Requirements.pdf manage 20 K 2009-10-06 - 17:51 RichardHills  
Specifications.pdfpdf Specifications.pdf manage 817 K 2009-10-11 - 04:34 RichardHills  
The_ALMA_Proposal_Review_Process.pdfpdf The_ALMA_Proposal_Review_Process.pdf manage 59 K 2009-10-12 - 07:50 RichardHills  
Wootten_enhancements.pdfpdf Wootten_enhancements.pdf manage 143 K 2009-10-12 - 03:35 RichardHills  
Topic revision: r26 - 2009-10-15, RichardHills
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