Contact Information

  • 2009-May-13 13:30 UT
  • Note: Line noise may be muted by pressing *6 which works thru the call center.
  • Duration: 1 hr
  • USA Toll Free Number: 877-874-1919
  • Toll Number: +1-203-320-9891
  • Passcode: 185064
  • Leader: Richard Hills

Old Business

  1. Agenda, Minutes: Agenda of February meeting. Informal notes are available. Agenda and Minutes of older telecons may be viewed at the ALMA EDM site Sitescape.

New Business

  1. Membership
    • The Board have approved that Toshikazu Onishi should take over as Chair of ASAC from 1st July 2009.
    • Our thanks to Susanne Aalto and Pepe Cernicharo who have rotated off the ASAC.
    • It is likely that the ESO Council will appoint Linda Taconni and Rob Ivison as the new European members.
  2. Project Report
    • The team working on "connectivity" did a great job to produce "manual" fringes: Fringes Mars Time.png;
    • See also other images.
    • Here is a brief status report ALMA_Status_May09
    • Much more detail can be found in ALMA Monthly Reports
    • Despite prolonged efforts the Project was not able to get a satisfactory agreement with the power companies that would enable us to go ahead with the power line. The short term alternative is to install turbine generators that can use multiple fuels. Solar and wind power can now be pursued with a clear understanding of the background situation.
    • On the issue of initial configurations, see Early Configurations
  3. Schedule:
    • Thanks to an incredible coordination and planning effort by Joe McMullin there have been only small delays in the "accelerated CSV " program (CSV = Commissioning and Scientific Verification although this is really accelerated AIV = Assembly, Integration and Verification) and we still think we can have three antennas operating at the high site by the end of the year.
    • Most of the critical hardware is now available - see Delivery Schedule - so it is mainly a question of working through all the testing phases and getting the software up and running. Getting power and communication fibers to the foundations in time remains a concern.
    • So far the setting of the antenna surfaces has gone well but we have been having problems confirming the pointing performance. We now think that one of the optical pointing telescopes may be a big part of that problem.
    • The performance of the receivers is looking good, although getting them set up is complicated.
    • As far as the longer term schedule is concerned, the Schedule Control Board has been running for about 6 months and now has a tight grip on the situation. There is still a good deal of slippage with respect to the reference schedule. The most recent report said. "The average (unweighted) delay forecast for 6,907 deliverables is 35 days when comparing the Forecast schedule to the Reference schedule" which does not sound too bad. But it goes on, "Out of 800 items scheduled to be delivered between 2008Oct31 and 2009Apr30, 463 (59%) have been delivered".
    • The Front Ends remain the pacing item. In the short term the limitation continues to be the testing at the Front End Integration Centers but the forecast still says that we are likely to run out of some cartridges (receivers for individual bands) at later stages.
  4. Change Requests
    • Most of the recent ones have been very technical in nature. For instance, there is one pending on tilting the windows and IR filters on the receivers to reduce standing waves. Probably the most significant is the proposal to modify the Band 3 optics slightly to increase the aperture efficiency by a few percent.
  5. Reviews. There will be a big effort in the next few months to make sure that all the requirements have been properly identified.
    • Operations Software Requirements review will be held June 1st and 2nd.
    • The annual software CDR (#7) takes place June 22nd to 25th.
    • Review of CSV plans. This will take place at the OSF on September 2nd and 3rd and will be chaired by Bob Wilson. This will give us the opportunity to think hard about what we are undertaking. What ASAC involvement would be appropriate?
    • The (final?) Systems Requirements Review will take place in September. Although there has been a good deal of work on revising the Scientific Requirements that is not yet ready to be sent to ASAC. We must do that in tiem for the next telecon.
  6. Discussion of Board Charges. These are the current (draft) charges:
    1. Continue to monitor the readiness of the ALMA software system. The archive, the interface between the observing tool and the archive, and the capture of necessary proposal information by the observing tool, in the context of ALMA operations planning, are of special interest at present.
    2. Continue to review the progress and schedule of the AIV/CSV process, especially with respect to Early Science. The Board would appreciate a report on the plans and procedures set up by the Project Scientists for `Demonstration Science', and on their revised specifications for science requirements.
    3. Review the status of the plans for the APRC proposal review process.
    4. Review the preparedness of the ARCs to support early science proposals and the ALMA helpdesk, and review the materials they have prepared to reach out to their communities to encourage early science proposals, and to inform their communities about realistic capabilities and performance.
  7. Further items for ASAC that are not specific charges:
    1. Community sounding on expectations for early science, and ALMA information resources for the general community.
    2. Continuing development planning.
    3. Encourage ASAC to consider ways in which ALMA construction and operations might be more environmentally friendly, especially in terms of energy use (without compromising science). Issues of energy use are discussed in the Marshall et al. Decadal Survey white paper at
  8. Reports from regional Project Scientists (Testi, Morita, Testi, Wootten)
  9. and from the advisory committees:
    • ESAC Report (Afonso)
    • ANASAC Report (Blain)
    • EASAC Report (Kohno)
  10. Astronomer Outreach: ESO Newsletter , New ALMA/JAO website, NRAO Newsletter ALMA News. NAOJ News. NRAO ALMA Calendar
  11. AOB
  12. Next Meeting

Science Corner:


Day Date Time Event location details
Herschel launch
May 26-29
Advancing Chemical Understanding thru Astronomical Observations
Green Bank
Jun 1-2
Ops software requirements review
Jun 8-12
mm and submm Astronomy at High Angular Resolution
Sep 2-3
CSV Review
Sep 21-25
Assembly, Gas Content and Star Formation History of Galaxies
Oct 13-14
ASAC f2f

Events of Interest

(see also Al's ALMA Biweekly Calendar)

Upcoming Meetings

Advancing Chemical Understanding thru Astronomical Observations May 26-29, Green Bank

Observing with ALMA June 1-3, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Millimeter and Submillimeter Astronomy at High Angular Resolution June 8-12, Taipei, Taiwan.

IAU, Rio de Janerio, Brazil 3-14 Aug 2009

Assembly, Gas Content and Star Formation History of Galaxies Ch'ville Sep 21-25

See ALMA related meetings.

-- AlWootten - 2009-05-01
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
ALMA_Status_May09.pdfpdf ALMA_Status_May09.pdf manage 758 K 2009-05-12 - 22:11 RichardHills  
Fringes_Mars_Time.pngpng Fringes_Mars_Time.png manage 74 K 2009-05-12 - 19:43 RichardHills The famous first fringe
Topic revision: r6 - 2009-05-13, RichardHills
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