ALMA North American Science Advisory Committee

Contact Information for those calling in.

* Call date: 2018-2-13 1:00 pm EST or 18:00 UT (Tuesday (Wednesday in Taipei))
  • Duration: 1 hr
    * USA Number: 866-692-3582
    • Passcode: 5862937 #
  • Leaders: S. White, P. Jewell, A. Wootten
  • CV Room: PRJ office

  • Attendees:



  1. Old Business
  2. New Business under Discussion.

Discussion Items

  1. Student Observing Support, expanding ALMA userbase, ALMA Ambassadors (see eNews article linked above)
  2. ALMA science key indicators
    • 930 refereed ALMA publications.
    • 1222 post-proprietary project data are available in the ALMA Archive.
    • 332 ALMA papers published in 2017, 34 so far in 2018.
  3. ASAC f2f Meeting. ASAC members contact for authorizations, reimbursements
    • New Charges The ALMA Board requests the ASAC to address the permanent charges as outlined in its Terms of Reference, as well as the following ad-hoc charges:
    • 1. Assess whether ALMA’s level one science goals have been met and whether the proposed new fundamental science drivers as stated in the ALMA Development roadmapare appropriate.
      • The current primary science goals are: * The ability to detect spectral line emission from CO or [CII] in a normal galaxy like the Milky Way at a redshift of z=3, in less than 24 hours, * The ability to image the gas kinematics in protostars and in protoplanetary disks around young Sun-like stars in the nearest molecular clouds (150 pc), * The ability to provide precise high dynamic range images at an angular resolution of 0.1 arcsec.
      • (1) Assess Roadmap science goals. (2) Close assessment of the scientific trade-offs between 2 and 3-year configuration schedule, while considering science motivations. The JAO shall provide a draft plan for both options.
        • Updated science goals*
          • Origins of Galaxies
          • Trace the cosmic evolution of key elements from the first galaxies (z>10) through the peak of star formation (z=2–4) by imaging their cooling lines, both atomic ([CII], [OIII]) and molecular (CO), and dust continuum, at a rate of 1-2 galaxies per hour.
          • [This is the ASAC version.]
          • Origins of Chemical Complexity
          • Trace the potentially diverse evolution from simple to complex organic molecules through the process of star and planet formation down to solar system scales (~10-100 au) by performing full-band frequency scans at a rate of 2-4 forming Sun-like stars per day. [This replaces 10x better sensitivity with "2-4 forming Sun-like stars per day”, as in our original version. The ASAC suggested "10x better sensitivity", but we are concerned that is a relative measure, and does not indicate what is the benchmark.]
          • Origins of Planets
          • Image protoplanetary disks in nearby (150 pc) star formation regions to resolve the Earth forming zone (~ 1 au) in the dust continuum at wavelengths shorter than 1mm, enabling detection of the tidal gaps and inner holes created by planets undergoing formation.
          • [This is similar to the ASAC version, with minor word changes to avoid using "us".]
    • 2. Deeper assessment of the scientific motivations for 2-year versus 3-year configuration schedule.
    • 3. ASAC Terms of Reference (ToR) permanent charges:
        • 2.2.1 The permanent charges are:
          • a) Assessment of the performance of ALMA scientific capabilities: The ASAC shall indicate what information is required from the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) to perform this assessment.
          • b) Assessment of the technical aspects of the ALMA system performance: The ASAC shall indicate what information is required from the JAO to perform this assessment.
          • c) Assessment of the science outcomes from ALMA: Statistics on publications, citations, press releases, web sites, etc. collected by the Executives shall be collated by the JAO, and analyzed by the ASAC.
          • d) Recommendation of ways to maximize ALMA's scientific impact: This includes review of the scientific effectiveness of the Proposal Review Process after each Proposal cycle.
          • e) Reporting on operational or scientific issues raised by the wider community as communicated by the three regional Science Advisory Committees (ANASAC, ESAC and EASAC).
          • f) Assessment of the scientific impacts of the ALMA Development Program, and particularly of new projects that are proposed.
    • ASAC Report October 2017
    • John — JAO’s wishlist
      • 1) configuration schedule (see above)
      • 2) Possible new proposal review model for Cycle 7
      • 3) ASAC recommendation on two development projects: a) correlator upgrade and b) simulation development platform.
      • 4) Set of standard plots
        • A gap will open in the 7-m array schedule in ~ April.
        • In October, Carpenter said this was unlikely to happen, but three things conspired to create a gap: i) We are spending less time on EOC for the 7-m array than scheduled; ii) we are spending less time on calibrations; iii) ~ 600 h of 7m time was marked as completed as resubmissions finished in Cycle 4.
        • For Cycle 5, we will award ACA time to 12m+ACA Cycle 5 projects that were not schedule because the 12m time could not be scheduled.
        • In the f2f, we will discuss various long term options to handle the situation.
    • KPI Plots: KPIplots_2018Feb7.pdf : plots.pdf
  4. NAASC
  5. ALMA Development
    • Development update.
        • Two North America Projects were selected for advancement. Correlator PDR is in Santigo 28Feb - 1 Mar
          • A Significant Upgrade to the ALMA Correlator, Principal Investigator (PI) Rich Lacasse (NRAO), co-Investigators Escoffier, Greenberg, Saez, Ojeda, Baudry, Webber. An upgrade to the 64-antenna ALMA correlator is proposed which will: (a) increase the frequency resolution by a factor of eight, providing extended high resolution spectral grasp while providing the increased resolution needed for the lower frequency bands; (b) provide four-bit correlation, improving efficiency and achieving the same sensitivity as currently but in 30% less time; (c) double the processed bandwidth; and (d) provide higher time resolution. Auxiliary upgrades to the archive, receivers, and digital part of the system will also be needed to realize all of these. Together, these improvements make ALMA significantly more efficient at all bands.
          • Lacasse Correlator Upgrade presentation at URSI GASS
          • Prioritization of Correlator modes being incorporated into ALMA Correlator Upgrade: Staging of Science Capabilities
          • Current priority:
            • Increased sensitivity, decreased observing time. 4bit mode, may require higher data rates (but we have an unimplemented 4 bit mode now!).
            • Improved spectral grasp at high spectral resolution. Requires higher data rates, archive expansion.
            • Higher spectral resolution. Can require higher data rates, archive expansion.
            • Broader bandwidth, additional spectral grasp. Requires upgrades to receivers (some capacity now at B6, B9, B10). Requires upgrades to digital path.
            • Higher time resolution. May require higher data rates, archive expansion.
          • Enabling New Science with the ALMA Phasing System (APS) Phase 2, PI Lynn Matthews (MIT), co-Investigators Crew, Fish, Hecht. The objectives of the APP Phase 2 are to further improve APS operations and enable a significantly greater diversity of scientific capabilities with a phased ALMA. Major components of the proposed Phase 2 work include: (a) improving the management of baseband delays in the correlator to enhance sensitivity and simplify data analysis; (b) enabling spectral line Very Long Baseline Interferometry; (c) extending the frequency range where phasing is offered to encompass Bands 1-7; and other enhancements. This was approved by the ALMA Board in November and is in process.
      • New NA Studies Call closed 1 May 2017
  6. Press Releases
  7. ALMA Papers (choose ALMA)

Events of Interest

26-27 Feb 2018
ASAC meeting
14-16 May 2018
NRAO Users/ANASAC meeting

See also google calendars:
  1. ALMA Science Meetings

-- AlWootten - 2017-08-08

-- AlWootten - 2018-01-24

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
AEDM_2018-001-O_Boards_response_to_ASAC_and_charges_for_february_2018_(APPROVED).pdfpdf AEDM_2018-001-O_Boards_response_to_ASAC_and_charges_for_february_2018_(APPROVED).pdf manage 109 K 2018-02-09 - 10:41 AlWootten ASAC Charges for Feb 2018, and Response to Oct 2017 Report
ALMA- ALMA- manage 130 K 2018-02-13 - 12:11 AlWootten Commissioning Plan for the Correlator Upgrade
ALMA- ALMA- manage 494 K 2018-02-13 - 12:10 AlWootten Science with the Upgraded ALMA Correlator
ASAC_Development_NAFeb18updatev1.pdfpdf ASAC_Development_NAFeb18updatev1.pdf manage 3 MB 2018-02-12 - 19:51 AlWootten NA Development Projects and Studies for Sustaining ALMA Science
Ad_hoc_2_ConfigurationSchedule.pdfpdf Ad_hoc_2_ConfigurationSchedule.pdf manage 1 MB 2018-02-12 - 16:04 AlWootten Configuration Schedule Long Term Considerations (Carpenter)
Charge_6_SimulationPlatform.pdfpdf Charge_6_SimulationPlatform.pdf manage 41 K 2018-02-13 - 12:11 AlWootten Hardware-in-the Loop (HIL) Simulation Platform
DistributedPeerReview.pdfpdf DistributedPeerReview.pdf manage 422 K 2018-02-12 - 11:37 AlWootten Distributed Peer Review
KPIplots_2018Feb7.pdfpdf KPIplots_2018Feb7.pdf manage 955 K 2018-02-07 - 07:36 AlWootten KPI Plots
ProposalReviewModels.pdfpdf ProposalReviewModels.pdf manage 672 K 2018-02-12 - 11:37 AlWootten Proposal Review Models
Topic revision: r13 - 2018-02-13, AlWootten
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