Contact Information

  • 2010-May-20 15:15 UT
  • Note: Line noise may be muted by pressing *6 which works thru the call center.
  • Duration: 1 hr
  • Toll Number: 1-203-480-8549
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  • Passcode: 3283890
  • Leader: Richard Hills

Four antennas are now at the high site and we are about to embark on the next phase of commissioning. This photograph shows the arrival of DV03 at the AOS on April 29th.

ALMA moves to the ACA pads


This picture shows a rather different aspect of working on a high mountain site.


Previous meeting

  1. F2f in Mitaka: Agenda, Minutes: Agenda. Summary of Board discussion of ASAC report, from Onishi-san email of 21 April.

New Business

  1. Membership and Logistics (Hills)
    • Jose Afonso leaves the Committee; his work has been very much appreciated. Jesus Martin-Pintado will take his place.
    • Please check your entry in List of ASAC members and report any errors.
    • The ASAC Report was presented to the Board by the Chair. A Response is pending.
  2. Project Report
    • Brief status report. Here are the CSV sections of the March and April monthly reports. Full Project Reports for previous months can be found in ALMA Monthly Reports. See Science Milestones for 'the big picture' as of end of April.
    • We are hoping to start operations with four antennas (DV01,DV02, DV03 and PM03) "any day now". Weather was a major problem last month and this has unfortunately continued into May.
      • As seen above, we had four antennas at the AOS briefly in April but in fact this was just in passing. DV03 was placed on N606 at the end of April but DV02 had to be brought down so that the front-end cryo-cooler could be refurbished. DV02 was taken back up to the high site on 17th May. This was achieved in spite of continuing extreme conditions - the temperature wasn't above -8C even in mid-afternoon and the wind was 15 - 17 m/s (that is 55-60 km/hr!). We said very big thank-you to the transporter crew and the AIV guys who pulled this off. DV03 was moved to N605 on 18th May and work is now going on to get DV02 and DV03 into operation.
      • The configuration is shown here. ACA pad occupation. We now have baselines of ~18 to 45 meters. We are calling this the "Initial Commissioning Array" configuration. This allows good tests of e.g. antenna performance at different elevations. With four antennas we can of course check amplitude closure. We expect to have 5 antennas for the first two weeks of June but then PM03 has to come down for refurbishment. We hope to have 6 antennas in July and 8 in August.
    • The astroholography campaign is ongoing. This is providing maps of excellent quality but we are seeing significant astigmatism that varies between the antennas. We think this astigmatism is arising in the front-end optics but we do not yet understand it. A recent report on out-of-focus holography (i.e. not using the interferometric phase) shows results with similar levels of astigmatism but not on all occasions, so there is more work to do here.
    • Instrumental phase stability can also be tested well on these shorter baselines and we have preliminary results that appear to show that we are not far from the specification. The periodic phase errors we were seeing earlier in the year seem not to be present in more recent data.
    • Testing of phase correction is something that this configuration is not well suited for. We are however experimenting with using the water vapour radiometers to detect the presence of clouds as well as monitoring the water vapour content in the line of sight.
    • Total power instabilities and spectral ripples were identified as being due to reflections from the membrane covering the Cassegrain hole in the primary. This was addressed by putting in a "damper" to reduce the movements and also to tilt the membrane more, but only a limited tilt is possible given the geometry. An alternate material may be deployed in the future. See Membrane Reflections for a lot more detail.
  3. Face-to-Face meeting: Charges and preliminary discussion
    • Suggestions from Baker on liaisons.
    • Information on the next face-to-face meeting in Santiago
      • It is likely that the readiness review for Science Operations will take place immediately before the ASAC meeting so the Committee like might to discuss who from among their number should attend that as well. It would be helpful for there to be at least one ASAC member there, and perhaps a few.
      • Closer to the event we will be asking about your requirements for accommodation and visiting the site. Remember that your expenses and travel arrangements are dealt with by the Executive of the appropriate ALMA Partner.
  4. Reports from regional Project Scientists (Testi, Morita, Wootten)
    • Todd Boroson is a new AMAC member from NA. Chris Langley has left ALMA to become Project Manager for EVLA; Ephraim Ford assumes BE IPT leadership/NA.
    • Proposal for NA ALMA Operations will be reviewed in Chile in July
    • Development. Regions are developing plans for the ALMA Development process.
    • Operations Plan Version E. Status presented to Board. Will be sent to Board for November meeting.
  5. and from the advisory committees:
    • ESAC Report (Tacconi)
    • ANASAC Report (Johnson) 15-17 Jan 2011 Workshop ALMA: Extending the Limits of Astrophysical Spectroscopy; in Victoria, B. C.
    • EASAC Report (Onishi)
  6. Astronomer Outreach: Main JAO website, ESO Newsletter, NAOJ News, NRAO Newsletter, NRAO ALMA Calendar.
  7. AOB
  8. Next Meeting
    • Telecon 2010 Jul 7
    • f2f meeting 13-14 October, Chile

Science Corner:

arXiv:1005.1071: Herschel and SCUBA-2 imaging and spectroscopy of a bright, lensed submillimetre galaxy at z = 2.3 Authors: R. J. Ivison (UK ATC and IfA, Edinburgh), A. M. Swinbank, B. Swinyard, Ian Smail, C. P. Pearson, D. Rigopoulou, E. Polehampton, J.-P. Baluteau, M. J. Barlow, A. W. Blain, J. Bock, D. L. Clements, K. Coppin, A. Cooray, A. Danielson, E. Dwek, A. C. Edge, A. Franceschini, T. Fulton, J. Glenn, M. Griffin, K. Isaak, S. Leeks, T. Lim, D. Naylor, S. J. Oliver, M. J. Page, I. Perez-Fournon, M. Rowan-Robinson, G. Savini, D. Scott, L. Spencer, I. Valtchanov, L. Vigroux, G. S. Wright

"Our results show that SPIRE’s FTS has the ability to measure the redshifts of suitably bright and distant, obscured galaxies via detection of atomic cooling lines such as [C ii]. However, we estimate that >10-hr integrations will be required and this is not competitive with blind, ground-based CO-line searches..."


May 17-19
Cometary Radio Astronomy
Green Bank, WV
May 19
May 20-21
NRAO Users Committee
May 24
Preparing for ALMA Session
Jun 8 - 15
12th Synthesis Imaging Workshop
Socorro, NM
Jul 7
ASAC Meeting
Jun 16
Jul 13-18
NAASC Operations Review
July 21
ALMA System Review III
Oct 7-8
CSV Status Update
Oct 11-12
SciOps Readiness Review
Oct 13-14
ASAC face-to-face
Oct 25-28
Annual ALMA External Review
Nov 10
Observatory Readiness Review
Nov 16-18
ALMA Board Meeting

Events of Interest

(see also Al's ALMA Biweekly Calendar)

Upcoming Meetings

Nix and Hydra Five Years after Discovery 11-12 May 2010, STScI. ALMA will secure their radii...

Cometary Radio Astronomy May 17 – 19, 2010 NRAO, Green Bank, West Virginia.

ALMA Special Session, AAS 216, Miami, Florida 24 May 2010

WORKSHOP: SCIENCE WITH ALMA BAND 5 (163 - 211 GHz), Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, May 24 - 25, 2010

Scientific Opportunities for New Insstrumentation SOFIA Asilomar 2010 Workshop, June 6-8 Asilomar

Synthesis Imaging School, June 8-15, Socorro.

The Evolving Interstellar Medium: Recent Progress from Space IR/Submm 1 - 4 November 2010 Pasadena, CA Hosted by the NASA Herschel Science Center, Spitzer Science Center

The impact of Herschel surveys on ALMA Early Science, Garching, November 17-19, ESO

15-17 Jan 2011 Workshop ALMA: Extending the Limits of Astrophysical Spectroscopy; in Victoria, B. C.

-- AlWootten - 2010-05-18

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
ACA_pad_occupation_6.pdfpdf ACA_pad_occupation_6.pdf manage 38 K 2010-05-18 - 16:47 RichardHills  
Blizzard.jpgjpg Blizzard.jpg manage 663 K 2010-05-18 - 14:08 RichardHills  
List_of_ASAC_members_-_as_of_May_2010.docdoc List_of_ASAC_members_-_as_of_May_2010.doc manage 96 K 2010-05-18 - 14:07 RichardHills List of ASAC Members May 2010
Membrane_Reflections.pdfpdf Membrane_Reflections.pdf manage 568 K 2010-05-20 - 11:07 RichardHills  
Science_-_April_2010.pdfpdf Science_-_April_2010.pdf manage 14 K 2010-05-18 - 15:56 RichardHills  
Science_-_March_2010.pdfpdf Science_-_March_2010.pdf manage 12 K 2010-05-18 - 11:36 AlWootten March Report
Science_Milestones_2010Apr30.pdfpdf Science_Milestones_2010Apr30.pdf manage 38 K 2010-05-18 - 11:37 AlWootten Science Milestone updte; end of April
Topic revision: r7 - 2010-05-20, AlWootten
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