2005-Apr-19 ASAC telecon


ASAC: C. Wilson Mardones Mundy Blain Turner Carilli Testi van Dishoeck Cox Richer Momose Yamamoto

Project: Wootten T. Wilson Tarenghi Beasley

Not sure if present:

Schilke Fukui Kawabe

  1. Project news/updates (Tarenghi and Beasley)

Tarenghi - they survived the Board, AMAC meetings; lots of work has been done in the last month on rebaselining; the project is in a difficult phase, have to take serious decisions; it is clear we have to see the project in 2 steps: what is available/possible now; 2nd phase when more resources are available - there has been lots of progress in the Japanese contribution; contract for correlator, contract for antennas with Mitshubishi, major progress in Band 4 and 8, also R&D in band 10; it's enormous progress and very impressive

Beasley (rebaselining) - AMAC review was an intensive analysis of rebaselining; looked at the tools and methodology we are using; went reasonable well, AMAC impressed projecton is on the right course; - they had a look at the actual numbers, but these hadn't changed substantially since ASAC meeting in February - they are continuing to revise the cost estimate sheets etc.; they are about to begin transferring the revised cost estimates back into the project budget (PMCS version); the goal is to have a budget in place that represents the revised budget - from the Board and AMAC, he didn't get a sense of how endline of rebaselining will take place; it's clear more resources are required to finish project; when/how money turns up and how they will e take current information and track that remains to be seen

Tarenghi - Board discussion of antennas and number of antennas to be ordered; Board agreed cannot be <50 and want to retain possibility of 64 - present version of Operations Plan (version A) adopted as base for further improvement; Board gave instructions how to discuss/solve remaining problems - have been receiving limited number of applications for Project Scientist; will have meeting with search committee; some authority from Board to try to find other possible solutions if can't find a suitable candidate from present pool - Execs (both ESO and AUI) have sent their documents to Finance Committee and NSF(respectively) identifying acceptable supplier for antennas; he understands is same supplier for both

Questions: LGM: does that put us on June for AN contract? A: yes, hopefully

JT: is deadline being missed for AN contract? thought was May ... A: ESO schedule is May 10-11 Finance Committee meeting; has to also be analyzed by ESO Council (1-2 weeks later), then can be concluded; earliest time can be signed is first-second week June

EvD: say more about endgame rebaselining; timescale for when Board will discuss? A: next opportunity for serious discussion is Board Face to Face in June; hoping will have cost estimate nailed down and # options costed; in Pasadena meeting one action item was to generate list of cuts that could be made to project to stay within current budget; issue is going ahead with AN contract with rebaselining on-going; starts with list ASAC recommended all the way down to a long list of items that no one finds acceptable; in June will look at list to arrive at "comfort level"; next deadline is invasive review NSF requested, which is likely to happen in Oct-Nov timescale; that is the gate we have to pass through to attract more funding; working backwards, that means they need to have made decisions by Aug-Sept i.e. 2005 Q3 will be when rebaselining endgame is played

  1. Board Communications (Turner, Testi)

* Response

- no formal response from the Board to our report yet; informal response at the meeting was very positive; everyone seemed to like it; NSF people have this review coming up and need positive documents for that; our document was very positive on science

- EvD pointed out draft Board minutes say ASAC chair emphasizes 40 AN unacceptable; JT will contact Pat Donahue to get that corrected to something more like "putting primary goals at risk"

- the Board approved Leonardo Testi as next chair

* New Charges

- no new charges from Board yet; JT made the following list of possibilities: - revisit Charge 2 from last time - focus on demonstration science (AFS suggested Debris Disks as a topic that maybe is overlooked) - look over Science Verification Plan now things are settling into place - maybe look over Operations plan too? - also something on software

- Long discussion on software; would be good to hear what is happening i.e. a report but probably not a charge; are some concerns about software in the community i.e. timing, when is it going to be ready, what's going to be ready, etc.; concerns because we don't know what is happening/planned? might be a good time to look at delivered software roadmap in rebaselined project i.e. would Pipeline have caught up and be available for Early Science if it is delayed past late 2007?

- Summary: 3 most likely charges: revisit Charge 2; demonstration science; Science Verification Plan; JT will pass these on to Hesser and Wade as suggestions

- also might consider inviting Hesser and Wade to sit in on ASAC telecon in future especially when we are considering suggestions for charges

* Term of rotation of the Chair

- term currently 6 months; Board would like input from us by next telecon on reasonable term - longer term could make chair more effective; alternative is having repeat chairs - wording in bilateral agreement clearly says rotate every 6 months between Euro and NA side - consensus seemed to be that we prefered to have repeating chairs rather than have a longer term for the chair as a way to build expertise/continuity

* Next ASAC face-to-face meeting

- brief discussion, consensus was should set date ASAP and probably meet in September if possible, given Board face-to-face meeting in early November - EvD will make sure proposed new European ASAC members are kept in the loop on planning for the meeting - JT offered to host the meeting in the L.A. area - MT emphasized the project is going through difficult time with rebaselining and the invasive review; very important ASAC discuss directly with the Board to sort out schedule and charge; needs to be raised at (or in advance) of the Board telecon next week.

  1. The Board on Physics and Astronomy of the US NRC Report on ALMA (Turner, van Dishoeck)

- A committee has been appointed to provide a letter on rebaselined ALMA project considering effects on Level I science goals; letter requested by NSF; leading up to a review going to National Science Board in August; chair is Blandford; JT and EvD talked to committee; we think letter has to be submitted in May and presented to NSB this summer.

- EvD feels is a constructive committee, trying to help make case for ALMA as strong as possible; she has collected ASAC responses on questions she circulated and sent it on to the committee. JT thinks ALMA will cover such a large range of topics, hard for any committee to grapple with it and its impact

  1. Science IPT Report (Wootten)

- Conway is redesigning ALMA configuration for 50 AN, leaving open the possibility of it being used for 60-64 AN; working on new intermediate configuration now ; will be done with whole thing by end May - discussed Semi-Transparent vane tests with Martin-Pintado in Pasadena; he understands this is a very urgent item, trying to get report out ASAP - WVR review coming up in few weeks - ACA correlator review end May; trying to understand if specifications and requirements are still compatible with the baseline correlator+tuneable filterbank; this is a major question for that review

  1. Astronomer Outreach: * ESAC Report (van Dishoeck)

Nothing new, ESAC hasn't met since our last telecon; ESAC report has gone up to EAB; issue of orginization of Euro ARCs has gone up to S&T committee of ESO

* ANASAC Report (Wootten, Carilli)

Are considering next ANASAC chair; telecon April 29th; face-to-face meeting in June.

  1. Next Meeting 2005-May-3 14:30 UT

-- AlWootten - 05 May 2005
Topic revision: r2 - 2005-05-05, AlWootten
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