ASAC Telecon Notes: July 13 2005 C. Wilson, Scribe
Present: C. Wilson, Mundy, Turner, Carilli, Blain, Testi, van Dishoeck,
Richer, Mardones, Yamamoto, Wootten, T. Wilson
Minutes accepted for previous meeting.
Agenda accepted for present meeting.
1. Project news/updates AW
* Antenna procurement status
AW: Contract for North American share of ALMA antennas has been signed.
The contract is for up to 32 antennas and the first antenna is expected to
arrive in early 2007. More details are in General Dynamics Press release
(link sent by AW by email). Press release says $169M and 25 antennas.
JR: So is cost per AN $169M/25?
AW: a large part of costs are the tooling costs. If another partner chose
same vendor, tooling costs per partner would be cut in half. Thinks this
would save significant amounts of money ($10M's). It may also be
attractive to retrofit prototype ANs, but won't be discussed in detail
until kickoff meeting in Dallas in late July.
TW: Discussed antenna situation at monthly management meeting at ESO
yesterday. ESO Committee of Council meets Sept 16, ESO Council Sept 29; both
meetings will discuss ALMA rebaselining and procurement. So the earliest
ESO could go ahead with an antenna contract would be Sept 29.
AW: there are daily telecons to go over the IPT sheets to scrub them and
improve the cost estimate. After this is finished they will have an
excellent idea of the cost to complete ALMA; there will almost certainly
be an over-run of 20-25%. The process in the U.S. is that M. Turner would
present this to the National Science Board, then the external committee
comes in and does the invasive review (held in Europe in the last two
weeks of October). In the end, the NSB will be asked to come up with
additional money to fund the cost to completion for ALMA.
JR: ESO will be asked to both sign the antenna contract and approve the
cost to completion for ALMA in Sept. With the external review in Oct,
might it not be attractive to ESO council to defer decision on the antenna
AW: that wouldn't be a good strategy for buying the largest number of
: it's important that the cost estimates be presented to ESO Council in
a way that looks very solid and with no surprises from the scientific
point of view either. It would be dangerous to have a proposal in
September that the scientists did not agree with. It's important that
Beasley join the ASAC telecon in August to consult on how to present this.
JR: it would be useful to European members of the ASAC to have the
material from the rebaselining before the ESO Council meeting, as it would
help in lobbying individual council members. Also important that ALMA not
go to ESO with a project that has been descoped scientifically.
: ESO strategy working group (a group of Council members) will look at
the issue of funding for ALMA versus funding for other projects in early
Sept i.e. ESO strategy next 5-10 yrs. They will try to find a balance
between the various projects; that's why we need to know at early stage
what the overrun in ALMA is.
ACTION: LT to email and phone Tony Beasley about this issue and the
general need for care and clarity in what is presented to ESO council.
Hans Rykaczewski has taken over as project manager in Europe.
Jeff zivick has taken over as antenna lead for North America.
Pierre Cox has rotated off the ASAC (replaced by Pepe Cernicharo).
ACTION: LT to send an email to Pierre Cox to thank him for all his work on
2. Board Communications
* New Charges
LT: We have not yet received revised charges from the Board. There are
still four charges, #1 is the most important. Progress in the two
Charge 2: (Time Allocation etc)
AB: has emailed a set of notes, but hasn't had comments back yet; focus
should be on general principles/ideas rather than specific details
LT: last time we were a bit stuck on role,responsibility of ITAC; should
have some discussion of that in the subcommittee first, and then discuss
at next ASAC telecon
ACTION: AB and subcommittee to discuss ITAC responsibility in preparation
for next ASAC telecon
Charge 3 (Demonstration Science)
CW: no work done yet
LT: add EvD
to subcommittee; she can provide comments, especially in light
of the APEX work
Charge 4 (Science Specifications and Requirements)
CW: this is also important; we should try to read it and discuss
ACTION: ASAC members to read Science Specifications and Requirements
document (linked to July agenda) in next month; will discuss in one of
next telecons if there are major issues.
* Organization of Meeting-- Date: 1-2 October 2005, Venue: Santiago,
LT: Who do we invite? Beasley most important; maybe Laing for
demonstration science; EvD
- could also give an update on science
verification; also maybe Dave Silva?
ACTION: LT to email Robert Laing and Dave Silva inviting them to ASAC F2F
DONE: both can attend
LT: logistics: email from Massimo's secretary asking about when we arrive,
booking hotels, etc.
ACTION: LT to circulate email to ASAC on logistics
ACTION: ASAC members to respond to Massimo's secretary directly with their
schedules for attending the ASAC meeting in Santiago
3. Science IPT Report (Wilson, Wootten, Kawabe)
AW: have finished science specificationss and requirements document. Have
a document on nutator specs, another on frequency switching specs.
Have just received new configurations document from Conway; excellent
performance, some differences in very large array. It's hard to get the
same response (especially sidelobes) with fewer antennas. Holdaway
exploring these options. It is possible to add 11 additional pads to give
excellent imaging for 64 AN as well. Within a few weeks will go to site
and see if it's practical
Band 4 and Band 8 review went very well. Front end delta PDR in Garching
last week; major item was window over receiver and Cassegrain hole
currently Gortex; works well at 3 mmm but not so good in submm. Will work
with antenna IPT to set requirements for window; current material has 18%
attenuation at highest frequency.
System requirementss review will occur in CV in late July; just about
everything in ALMA has been built/prototyped; will go through total error
budget and see if will meet specs
TW: amplitude calibration work from semi-transparent vane, report is due
soon. The current thinking is that with the non-linearity of receivers,
dual load calibration is probably the best.
: is anyone still working on simulations?
AW: ongoing topic, but Mark currently fully occupied with configuration
stuff. Have massive star forming region and protoplanetary disk images
that will use for future simulations.
* ESAC Report
: most discussion in ESAC has dealt with recent ESO council decision;
have ESAC F2F
on Sept 14; optimal in that should have received
rebaselining report from Tony, but 2 weeks before Council; charges same as
ASAC, but in addition want them to look at issue of two vs one type of AN
in array; went back to ASAC report, very well written, think should stick
with that; a few more people were going to look at things like
polarization to see how that would be affected; difficult to quantify
without knowing all details of ANs
: on EU side, are still organizing workshops; one in October (link),
line surveys will be spring/early summer 2006, most likely in Denmark
* ANASAC Report (Wootten)
AW: Crutcher elected as new chairman; wrote letter to NSF on AN contract
issue for ANASAC; discussed charges at F2F
meeting June 12 and will have
some input to ASAC from their discussions
* Madrid Meeting -- (Testi, Carilli)
LT: received an email from PC saying plans to release first announcement
of conference in mid-September; SOC will start discussing things this
: we should organize a poster on ALMA and astro-chemistry at IAU
6. Next Meeting 2005-August-3 15:00 UT
- 27 Jul 2005