ASAC Telecon: minutes by JSR/CW

Wed 16 Nov 2005 at 2100 UT

On line: at least

Chris Wilson Tom Wilson Al Wootten Peter Schilke Chris Carilli Ewine van Dishoeck John Richer Lee Mundy Ryohei Kawabe Susanne Aalto

Perhaps some others I missed.

Apologies: Pepe Cernicharo, Leonardo Testi

0. Old business

Minutes of the October meeting were accepted without changes.

Yamamoto-san introduced Dr. Toru Yamada who is replacing Momose-san on the ASAC; he works on high-redshift galaxies and is primarily an optical astronomer

1. Project news/updates

Massimo Tarenghi reported. The ALMA Board met in Santiago, Nov 1 and 2 this year.

- Most importantly, it approved the European antenna procurement by Alcatel consortium. Difficulties this raises were recognised. But 50 antennas now approved. 64 antennas is still a goal - both contracts have options for 32 if further funding forthcoming - the Board are very clear on this issue.

- Alcatel consortium contract currently being negotiated. Several meetings with consortium happening, hope to sign contract by early December.

- The Board has asked for a calculation of the extra costs associated with 2 antenna manufacturers. There will be a meeting in mid-January 2006 in Washington to review this cost - the co-called delta cost review. Results in report to JAO.

- There will also be an NSF review of NA management at the same time.

- Within the last few weeks, reviews of Japanese antenna have taken place. Significant re-design of the structure is taking place. Future 12-m antennas will be different - will e.g. use direct drives, many BUS modifications.

- The 4th 12-m antenna will be retrofitted - currently being dismantled at OSF site. Will be somewhat different to the 3 new 12-m antennas.

- Rebaselining process now essentially finished. A few BCPs were approved and are being incorporated into the project plan.

- Hope to see NSF pronounce the NA side is affordable in around March next year

Al Wootten/Board issues:

- ACA system review last week. Documents available on EDM. Committee is writing its report. Al's view was that it was quite successful, and the culmination of a great deal of the work.

- Board adopted $17M descopes: site characterisation, 2 subarrays (but expecting 2 more to come during operations), some others. Leonardo had presented this from ASAC purview well at the Board.

- 2 antenna designs have different quadrupod geometry, but both have low (1%) blockage. Mark H simulations show difference very small. Draft doc on Sci IPT website. Site impact is regarded as minimal.

- Other aspects of the ASAC report have not been responded to. In particular, there has been no reply on the Time Allocation issue. Not in the new charges. Will await the new ASAC report.

Peter Schilke asked if the new Japanese 12-m antenna will meet the fast-switching spec. Al said it will be a little slower than main array (1.8 rather than 1.5 s); it will meet that spec; will only affect main array when all antennas used together.

Chris Wilson: new charges for January 2006 meeting in draft form - not yet finalised by the Board. Do we need subcommittees to address these?

- especially for third (performance of hybrid ALMA), would science IPT like a small sub-group to make suggestions? - for software, do we need a small group to sort through existing documentation (there is lots) and suggest any additional reports needed? - is there similarly a lot of documentation for ACA? I know some on software side; maybe documentation for recent ACA system review would be useful? small group to sort through docs available?

Charge 3: Al says that work is in progress on inputs to this charge on imaging. Using models or measured beams for the Vertex, Alcatel and Mitsubishi antennas. Is this charge urgent? asks MT. It won't change the outcome of antenna choices now. AW said Sci IPT report will be finished soon. Will not be full imaging solution, but try to establish the basic imaging properties.

Charge 2: ACA intregration. MT pointed out that software already very integrated. The challenge is to integrate the ACA into the baseline array to make a single imaging machine. Also look at how the compact array can be utilised as part of the main ALMA array. Much documentation exists on ALMA EDM. CW will look at the EDM documents and report back. Memos will be most interesting as attack science questions i.p. cross correlations of the 16 ACA antennas and all 50 ALMA antennas. 30% reduction in integration times possible in this mode.

Charge 1: Agreed to focus on the science software aspects. Lee Mundy asked about the budget - is it fixed? Has it been descoped? No says Massimo.

Yamada-san asked what is meant by top level requirements. CW said those defined in the SSR requirements document.

CW: Face to Face meeting: Best date is 28-29 January. CW will send out the proposal and se if we can fix up on this.

3. Science IPT report

Al: nothing much haven't covered already; will try to keep site equipment going with occasional visits, no special travel from abroad to get there - meeting this morning from System Requirements review in July; will be revising Sci Reqs document in light of this and ASAC comments - planning for Calgary AAS meeting in June; joint ALMA session

Tom: activity on FP6 program on molecular universe, want to join meeting in Denmark in May - Laing and he occupied with selecting ALMA fellows (2 in Chile, 2 in Garching); factor of 2 oversubscription (normal ESO fellows oversubscription is factor of 4), but all candidates are excellent

Kawabe: discussing how to share work with Taiwan; management meetings.

4. Outreach (various reports)

ESAC: Ewine: brought up to date by telecon, email updates from Board; another telecon soon; had workshop in Sweden org. by Suzanne; had some very active discussions on what kinds of models to use and when; will be a white paper on this in next couple of weeks

ANASAC: Chris C: one telecon, agenda on web; focused on Lo's report from cost review and where things stand; focused on statement by M. Turner that ALMA will be 50, 40, or 0 antennas; need to show strong support for project now; discussed how to go about doing that; also discussed Jan town hall meeting, poss. change of focus from NAASC to funding issues etc.

JSAC: Yamamoto: preparing two regional ASAC meetings; Jap-Taiwan workshop Dec 15 in Taipei; Jap-China workshop Dec 8; will discuss science of ALMA in asian community.

Massimo Tarengi reported that the ALMA Board want to see a better presentation of the project in the world; they actioned him to "develop plan to better communicate status of ALMA as a unified project to the global astronomical community". There were concerns that there is insufficient participation by ALMA in conferences by ALMA as a global project, and that ALMA's web presence does not represent status of ALMA in global sense. In addition, some major contracts/events merit greater press coverage. MT aksed for our help; he is developing a plan for December, a series of proposals will be put in front of the Board.

ACTION: Massimo to circulate his draft plan to ASAC when ready

Al and Massimo aksed ASAC members to let them know when they talk about ALMA, and they will be happy to help with up to date slides etc.

5. Date of next meeting: 2005-Dec-7

-- AlWootten - 11 Jan 2006
Topic revision: r1 - 2006-01-10, AlWootten
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