Contact Information

  • 2009-Sept-09 13:30 UT
  • Note: Line noise may be muted by pressing *6 which works thru the call center.
  • Duration: 1 hr
  • Toll Number: +1-203-320-9891
  • USA Toll Free Number: 877-874-1919
  • Passcode: 185064
  • Leader: Richard Hills

Old Business

  1. Agenda, Minutes: Agenda and Notes of July meeting. Notes and Minutes of older telecons may be viewed at the ALMA EDM site Sitescape.

New Business

  1. Membership (Hills)
    • The Board have agreed with the appointment of Munetake Momose from the East Asian side and Gordon Stacey from North America.
    • Our thanks to John Bally and Kotaro Kuhno who have rotated off the ASAC.
    • Please check the Membership Listing to see if contact details, etc., are correct.
  2. Project Report
  3. Schedule: Latest schedule
    • We still expect to have three antennas operating at the high site before the end of the year. The first one is expected to be moved up on 17th September. The plans are however having to be re-worked continually to take account of problems and delays.
    • The management team has agreed a plan which would enable us to achieve the goal of having 66 antennas and associated systems completed by the end of 2012. The schedule to achieve this continues to be under great pressure and the credibility is low while many short-term deliveries continue to slip. The most problematic item continues to be the acceptance testing of both the antennas and the front ends.
    • The current management focus is on controlling costs and in particular coming up with a revised estimate for the final cost to complete the project. Many items are coming in over budget, especially those associated with the infrastructure on the site. It seems likely that these and other items like the residencia will use up most of the contingency. The possibility of purchasing additional antennas now seems to be ruled out.
  4. Reviews.
    • The review of the Plans Commissioning and Scientific Verification took place at the OSF on September 2nd and 3rd. The panel was chaired by Bob Wilson and the other panel members were Nario Kuno, Peter Schilke and Melvyn Wright. Claire Chandler served as an external advisor. The presentations and papers can be found at CSV Review. The report from the panel is expected later this month.
    • The Implementation Plan for Operations will take place on September 29th and 30th in Santiago.
    • Plans for updating and reviewing the Systems Requirements are being worked on.
    • The revised version of the Scientific Requirements document will be made available before the face to face meeting.
  5. Items for discussion
    • The proposal for phasing-up ALMA for VLBI. Phasing_ALMA_for_VLBI
    • Other Development Plan items, e.g. additional receiver bands.
  6. Change Requests
    • A significant change request has recently come in Band 6 CRE. This relates to the Band 6 performance and in particular requests that the range of IF frequencies over which the performance is assured be limited to 6 to 10GHz instead of the original range of 4.5 to 10GHz. The instantaneous bandwidth was always limited to 4GHz so the main effect is to reduce flexibility in making simultaneous observations of two or more lines. In particular it will no longer be possible to observe 12CO J = 2-1 and 13CO J = 2-1 at the same time.
  7. Discussion of Board Charges. These are the current (draft) charges:
    1. Continue to monitor the readiness of the ALMA software system. Of special interest at present are: 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.
    2. Continue to review the progress and schedule of the AIV/CSV process, especially with respect to readiness for Early Science. The Board would appreciate a report on the status of plans for Commissioning and Science Verification and for obtaining “ALMA Public Images”, and commentary on the outcome of the Review of CSV plans which will take place in September.
    3. Discuss the revisions to Scientific Requirements and Specifications, which are in preparation, and make a recommendation to the Board on approval.
    4. Report on the status of the plans for the proposal review process and on what is being done to ensure that all the necessary software and procedures will be established and tested in readiness for the Call for Proposals for Early Science.
    5. Report on the readiness of the ARC’s to support early science proposals and the of the ALMA helpdesk, and on the plans to reach out to the communities to encourage early science proposals, and to inform the communities about realistic capabilities and performance.
    6. Provide further commentary on the prioritization of the items that are being considered for funding from the Development Budget, in particular those that might be considered for the first call for proposals.
    • Other ASAC activities which are not formal charges from the Board.
    1. Community sounding on expectations for early science, and ALMA information resources for the general community.
    2. ASAC will continue to look for 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. Status Report: Proposal Review Process
  9. Reports from regional Project Scientists (Testi, Morita, Wootten)
  10. and from the advisory committees:
    • ESAC Report (Tacconi)
    • ANASAC Report
    • EASAC Report
  11. Astronomer Outreach: Main JAO website, ESO Newsletter, NAOJ News, NRAO Newsletter, NRAO ALMA Calendar.
  12. AOB
  13. Next Meeting
    • Face to face in Garching 2009 Oct 13-14th. Leonardo writes:
    • The meeting will be held in Garching on Oct 13 and 14. The room reserved for the meeting is L130 within the Max Planck premises (see attached map). To reach the meeting room, if you are not an expert of the campus, the easiest route is to enter at the MPI gate (just left of the south exit of the underground Garching-Forschungszentrum station), guards at the entrance should have the list of all attendees, turn rightfollowing the fence until you arrive at the end of the road and follow it to the left over then bridge and past the canteen you should see the ESO signs when you reach the correct building. L130 is on the first floor (there should be signs on the stairs). This is basically the red-blue path in the map below, the IPP/ ESO Kinderkrippe is at the Campus entrance and you want to reach the DMO/SDD building.
    • We are organizing a dinner in Munich for Oct 13 evening. We need a headcount, so please let us (Leonardo and alma_admin) know if you are planning to attend the ASAC meeting and the dinner.
    • I assume that some of you on intercontinental flights will have to fly out on Oct 15. If you like, there is the possibility of organizing a guided tour (in English) to the Munich Residenz ( and then go to dinner together in the city center on Oct 14, if enough people are interested (every participant will need to pay for the entrance ticket, 6 Euro/person, share the cost of the guide, 95 Euro). Please let us know if you would be interested and if we reach a reasonable number we can book this. We will make a decision on this by the end of next week.
    • We have made block reservations for the hotel in Garching, so please mention "ASAC Meeting" when booking, the block reservation is up to the 14th, so if you need to fly out the 15th please book the hotel and tell them that you need an extra night as soon as possible. Hotel Garni Maria's Inn, Neufahrnerstrasse 5 - 9, D-85748 Garching, Tel. + 49 89 329 32 0, Fax. + 49 89 320 67 22, Emai:
    • Remember that you should arrange your travel following the rules for your region.
    • Dates of Board Meetings 2009

Science Corner:


Day Date Time Event location details
Sep 21-25
Assembly, Gas Content and Star Formation History of Galaxies
Oct 13-14
ASAC f2f
Nov 3-6
From Circumstellar Disks to Planetary Systems
Garching, Germany

Events of Interest

(see also Al's ALMA Biweekly Calendar)

Upcoming Meetings

See ALMA related meetings.

-- RichardHills - 2009-09-07
Topic revision: r9 - 2009-09-14, AlWootten
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