telecon notes: August 3 2005

Present: C. Wilson Mundy Turner Carilli Blain Testi Cernicharo van Dishoeck Schilke Mardones Wootten T. Wilson Emerson Laing Beasley Kawabe Rykaczewski Vila-Vilaro

(I'm not sure which Japanese members were on the line?) Fukui Yamamoto Momose

1. Project news/updates (Beasley)

Antenna Procurement:

  • kickoff meeting with Vertex last week went very well; no major issues at the moment; some deliverables (documents, plans) due in one month
  • in Europe, are preparing a series of committees to look at rebaselining information and come to a decision, hopefully by late September/early October; European bids expired June 30, extension requested.
  • Other construction progress:
  • OSF has been out to bid, expecting to wrap up call for tender in 10 days; then evaluate, hope to wrap up soon; is now on critical path;
  • bid went out for transporter for AN, only one bid in the end; significant problem since ALMA will need a transporter Q1 2007 and takes 18 months to deliver; looking into other options for first 1-2 AN
  • contracts signed for high site building foundation and shell; workers on site this week; ground-breaking probably in first few weeks of Sept
  • rock anchor design for AN foundations is done but one of vendors came to different conclusion about length of rock anchors; put on hold for a little while to understand difference
  • would like to build 20-25 pads this summer; cost at high site 70-100k apiece, including a multiplication factor for work at high site; by doing some, can figure out exactly what will cost
  • configurations: central config analysis is good; crew is on site next two weeks staking the area out; a few concerns about Y+ array, current design will be very expensive i.e. great positions for AN pads but significant road work required, especially western part of site; should define some good roads to west and situate AN near them, while retaining scientific quality ; might be able to save quite a bit of money;
  • FE group has made recommendation on FE integration plan; parallel plan i.e. centers in Europe and NA capable of integrating all 4-6 bands
  • BE tidying up PMCS info; interaction with ALMA-J and ACA has been an issue; if want to cross-correlate ACA AN in our correlator, question is laster synthesizers are different even though are driven off same oscillator; thinks should be fine, but are looking into it
  • first quadrant of correlator essentially completed; now have to worry about how to store it
  • computing went through CDR3 recently; most recent integration cycle went much better than previous one
  • system engineering had requirements meeting last week; excellent meeting

Rebaselining (Beasley)

  • baseline change proposals (BCPs) have to be delivered to Board with good budget numbers in first week of September; Board has to make as many decisions as they can by last week of September, when documents for cost review need to be delivered
  • proposed dates for cost review are Oct 13-16, Munich; in light of this has cancelled face-to-face IPT meeting in Santiago, will reschedule to first week December
  • documents will be description of project status, budget, changes to budget; information on changes made as part of rebaselining
  • as develop BCPs over next 4-6 weeks, will figure out a way to make science-relevent ones available to ASAC for discussion
  • net gain from scrubbing process is maybe couple $M
  • new items for rebaselining, new options to consider: from science viewpoint, nothing has been identified that ASAC is not already aware of, discussed in February 2005; those large items are what is still on the table; it is those items Board will be deciding amongst
  • other things have turned up will save money i.e. residence will be expansion and upgrade of ALMA camp; savings in location of contractors area; savings in interaction with PPARC, ESO contracts with some external organizations

LT: things we said are not acceptable are back in the possibilities? TB: the list of BCPs has 3 categories: recommended (obvious stuff), identified (could be done i.e. sub-arrays), major (some marginally acceptable, also ones ASAC said unacceptable); not his role to drop them, it is the Board's LT: Board will be taking decisions in Sept, before our f2f meeting, much before our report TB: ASAC needs to negotiate its role in this with Board

TB: cost review process is for funding agencies to develop confidence that our revised costing is credible; most of major pieces will be resolved by that time, but Euro AN situation probably won't be resolved by cost review; info going to cost review will be the sum of the rebaselined 50 AN project plus the recommended plan; discussion at cost review will probably include fact that some of these BCPs will still be out there, decision not taken; doesn't think Board will have taken ALL decisions in September; thinks will have done the simple ones and the ones with no science impact, but more difficult and controversial ones will still be out there

LT: other question is what will be presented to ESO council; difficult for them to take decision without having clear idea on final envelope of project; doesn't sound like this will be available at end of September TB: his take on ESO process in Sept is following; will move forward on summarized but draft information presented to Board in early September; EvD: are a series of meetings before ESO Council: ESAC, EAB, another committee of council; only a few days before Sept 8 when info should be available and when those meetings start; ESAC has same charges as ASAC LM: will TB have "a package" that is the JAO recommended package TB: thinks so; couple diff grades of BCPs; Massimo has final say on what JAO rebaselining package will look like; deliverable is summary of budget; summary of changes to budget implicit in rebaselining; BCPs (3 category); 2-3 scenarios (if took this option, this is what the budget would look like); error bars on budget going down, but rebaselining numbers haven't moved around dramatically; amount of additional $ required, info really out there since feb/march; packages presented to Board, overrun numbers not a lot different from what we've been talking about; only 10-20 science relevant BCPs, total bundle of BCPs something like 30-40; few hours of work to understand them

LM: ASAC tried to put things off the table, and they seem to be back on TB: decision goes back to Board; i.e. ASAC has been clear that 1 IF is unacceptable, TB agrees, has heard same comment from the funding agencies; in terms of presenting a consistent package, have to put it all in front of Board; in terms of JAO preferred option, there will be an "A package" i.e. best option, requires extra $ to execute; Board responsibilitiy to add/subtract to that package

TB: have asked guys to implement rebaselining as a 50 AN budget

EvD: compromise package JAO will put forward will not contain any of the level 3 painful items? just to be clear TB: not sure; similar to numbers discussed in Februqary based on all recommended, suggested, one or two of hard ones ie something like decrease scope of computing by 15% (people may not be happy, but saves you one AN). Recall that this is for items EXCEPT antennas, for which all contracts are not yet in hand. EvD: on European side, since many meetings happening before ASAC meets, would be helpful to know if any awful things in package; bad to go to European ALMA Board and Council with package not supported by Euro scientists

TB: recent result of NA proceeding on AN contract is a very good thing; but has economic impact to proceed with 25, rather than 25+25; if European contract headed to same contract with same vendor, basically a lot of costs recovered/reduced; if Europe decides to go in a different direction, has substantial impact to project budget; increase to rebaselining numbers is substantial; seems unlikely we would be able to avoid all the hard options.

Board Communications

New Charges (Testi)

Old Charge 4 (New Charge 2) Science Requirements (Testi)

LT: did anything relevant to this charge happen at system reqs review? DE: no major surprises; more taking stock of where we are

  • Charge 1 Rebaselining (Testi)

LT: charge on rebaselining discussed enough already? LM: ASAC schedule is again out of synch with what is going on in other committees; would like ASAC to consider writing an unsolicited letter to Board reminding them what we said in past; re-inforcement that we still agree with what we said before; when we see in September what's proposed, ESAC will have chance to write a letter at that point, maybe ASAC and ANASAC could do that too at that point; but thinks we should write a letter now LT: good idea to do something before F2F; question is whether we want to do it NOW (reinforcing what we said in past) or wait for package and write essentially support/no support/support up to certain point after we receive package TB: he could send email by Monday with clear listing of all science-relevant BCPs they anticipate working on over the next few weeks CW, EvD: like idea of writing letter; timing is the issue; TB list would be useful LM: would like to send letter in August

CC: worried about writing a letter based on new informal list from TB; if has new things on it, would have to reconsider LT: will there be anything dramatically new? TB: hasn't racked down some of solar stuff; none of major painful ones have changed; good exercise for him to make list anyway, will send it to LT; can decide whether chose to respond to it or to previous info

LT: important to have a telecon after rebaselining material received but before ESAC meets

ACTION: TB to send list to LT by Monday, August 8

ACTION: LT to draft letter and circulate to ASAC with TB list next week

  • Old Charge 2 (New Charge 3) Time Allocation Issues (AB)

AB: he hasn't had more information than had last month; hope to receive some comments soon; then will recirculate something drafted up to match charge LT: in ESAC discussions, Waalkens (spelling?) expressed interest in contributing to this charge; he was involved in board discussions of this a few years ago; will send AB his email

ACTION: LT to send AB email for Waalkens (spelling?)

ACTION: ASAC members to comment on AB material on time allocation

ACTION: AB to draft some text to match Board charge after receives comments; aim for draft report section by next telecon

  • Old Charge 3 (new Charge 4) Demonstration Science (C. Wilson)

CW: described process followed to arrive at writeup that was sent around yeseterday; see writeup for details of what is suggested LM: impression was demonstration science being downplayed; he thinks of verification science as being smaller than it seems to be here? does SV data become public? yes, would have to in this scheme EvD: could say something about scope of projects we consider; i.e. can we have multiple configs? RL: do have to test these modes, including testing patching configs together

CW: propose continue discussion by email, with subcommittee and ASAC; collect enough thoughts, maybe even draft text before September

ACTION: CW to send summary of information from background documents to whole ASAC

ACTION: ASAC members to read and comment on charge 3 writeup

ACTION: CW to revise writeup based on comments and actual text of charge from Board; aim for draft report section by next telecon

Organization of Meeting- * Date: 1-2 October 2005

LT: not many people have replied to tell Alejandra we will attend; need to know even if don't have exact travel dates, because need to know size of room needed (JAO room is not huge)

ACTION: ASAC members to reply to Alejandra to say if will attend or not

ACTION: LT/AW to draft agenda for meeting before next telecon

* Visit to site 29-30 September? (Wootten, T. Wilson)
  • has had queries from some of ASAC members; don't know if can arrange it
  • need to make plans to go to San Pedro early, as planes fill up

ACTION: ASAC members interested in visiting site should email AW

Science IPT Report (Wilson, Wootten, Kawabe)

AW: have discussed new config; various links to that document, also links to nutator specs etc, Sci 05Q2 Report

TW: review of Cal devices in Grenoble Aug 25; mainly tech review

Kawabe: in light of cancelled IPT meeting, have cancelled ACA system PDR in Santiago; rescheduled to Nov 10-11 in Japan; will send info to ASAC by email later on


ESAC Report (van Dishoeck)

  • telecon yesterday, discussed many of these same issues; prepping for
Sept 14 meeting, especially additional charge on 1vs2 types of AN in array; still support old ASAC report; PC working on polarization issues, trying to summarize in small document; useful to circulate to ASAC; hard to find any show stoppers or quantify problems for two AN, all agree one AN would be better

ANASAC Report (Wootten)

  • next scheduled meeting is end of August; ANASAC should be made aware
of package from TB when available, might meet earlier

Madrid meeting (Cernicharo)

  • have sent all funding requests; will contact SOC members after mid-August; idea to send first announcement middle Sept; full scientific program by mid-Dec; from LOC point of view, everything is practically done


  • nothing

Next Meeting 2005-September-7 15:00 UT

Respectfully submitted, Christine Wilson, Vice Chair

-- AlWootten - 04 Aug 2005
Topic revision: r3 - 2005-08-24, AlWootten
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