NAASC Contribution to June eNews

ALMA Construction. At the end of April there were 33 antennas at the ALMA Array Operations Site (AOS), half of the final budgeted complement of antennas. Ceremonies were held to mark the occasion at the Operations Support Facility (OSF) and at the Santiago Central Office (SCO). The antennas at the AOS include a mixture of antennas from the three arrays that comprise ALMA: the main 12m array, the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) and the Total Power array. Up to twenty 12m antennas have been used for Cycle 0 observations. There are seven 7m antennas in the ACA, and one 12m antenna operating in concert with them. One of the 12m antennas has been placed on a 2km baseline for tests of long baseline phase correction; observations of 321 GHz water masers on that baseline are under analysis. As of late May, there were 40 antennas accepted and a total of 61 antennas both assembled and unassembled at the OSF.

  • The final ALMA Vertex antenna delivery--the 25th antenna base from Texas arrived at ALMA!:

The final Vertex antenna, the 25th, arrived at the OSF from Texas on 16 May; some components remain in transit from Germany. With the delivery of this antenna, the North American complement of antennas are all present on the ALMA site.

ALMA Science Operations. Observations of Cycle 0 science projects continue during sessions on alternate weeks; 15 such sessions have been completed. As the winter deepens at ALMA, the high frequency observing time increases; several Cycle 0 projects were observed at Band 9 during the most recent session. Reduction of data gathered during these sessions now includes efforts at the ALMA Regional Centers (ARCs), including the NAASC. Successful ALMA Science Verification data were also obtained in Band 9 toward the complex multiple young star forming system IRAS16293-2422.

There were 772 Notice of Intent submissions received for Cycle 1. The Call for Proposals for Cycle 1 has been issued; a separate article covers this event.

ALMA Development. In North America, a Call Studies of Proposed Development Upgrades of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) was issued in November 2011. Seventy-seven investigators associated with twenty-six institutions responded to the call with a total of 21 study proposals. The study proposals were reviewed by a panel of highly qualified members of the astronomical community. Panel members were proposed by the ALMA North American Science Advisory Committee membership; NSF consent was received for the panel makeup. None of the review panel members are affiliated with the NRAO to avoid conflict of interest.

Results of the rankings were discussed by the panel in a telecon. Available funding totaled $500K, which was sufficient to fund the top eight proposed studies. NSF consent was received for the funding of the highest ranked proposals, and successful Principal Investigators were notified of their success. Successful study proposals included ‘Second Generation Receiver for ALMA Band 6’, PI A.R. Kerr and co-Is from NRAO and U. Va; ‘Design Study for Production of the Band 2 Cartridges’, P. I. Eric Bryerton and colleagues from NRAO and U. Az; Millimeter/Submillimeter VLBI with ALMA, P. I. J. Kern and co-Is from NRAo and Haytack Observatory, ‘Increase the ALMA Data Rate’, PI B. Glendenning and co-I M. Lacy of NRAO ; ‘Ultra-wideband quantum limited amplifiers for receiver frontends ’, P. I. D. Woody and co-Is from CalTech’; A Visualization Portal for ALMA Data’, PI E. Rosolowski of U.B.C. (Okanagan), and colleagues from U. Calgary and Harvard U., ‘Unleashing Large Dataset Science’ from PI L. Mundy U. Md and colleagues from U. Ill and NRAO; and ‘ALMA Band 1 Receiver Development Study’, from P. I. P. T. P. Ho of ASIAA and co-Is from HIA, NRAO and U. Chile.

Passages. The ALMA Director, Thijs de Graauw, announced that he will be leaving his post as ALMA director when his contract expires in early 2013, after the inauguration. The search for a new director has begun as is customary for these international recruitment processes. Under de Graauw’s leadership, ALMA has progressed from a facility with no antennas to producing world-leading millimeter science.

Two highly valued ALMA scientific staff members, Dr Richard Hills, ALMA Project Scientist, and Dr Alison Peck, Deputy Project Scientist will also be leaving Chile in the near future. Their scientific contributions, managerial leadership, and collaborative roles within the observatory have made them an integral part of the Joint ALMA Observatory. Dr Hills will be completing his contract at the JAO and returning to Cambridge University in the United Kingdom in October 2012 after leading the scientific commissioning and verification activities of ALMA for five years, providing the scientific leadership and expertise needed in this very difficult role. Dr Peck will leave the JAO at the end of May and she will return to the United States to continue working for NRAO as an ARC Support Scientist in the NAASC in Charlottesville. For the past 5 years Alison has done an exceptional job as Deputy Project Scientist leading the implementation of the CSV plan and creating a strong CSV team.

ALMA Project Scientist and Deputy Project Scientist will be replaced by the new positions of Chief Scientist and CSV Project Scientist. Ryohe Kawabe has agreed to join as Chief Scientist to begin in June. A search for CSV Project Scientist is under way. The main role of the CSV PS will be to oversee the completion of the "observing modes" and similar deliverables to Operations.

AAS Splinter Session

ALMA Early Science Results & Opportunities - repeat from May issue, with image?

Meet the NAASC - Susan Loveland

susan.jpgSusan Loveland has joined the NAASC as a scientific programmer, with a focus on visualization and interactive analysis tools in CASA.

This is her second stint working for the NRAO. Susan previously worked for the EVLA developing the web-based proposal submission tool. Between her NRAO appointments, she worked as an Assistant/Associate Professor of Computer Science at Adams State College in Alamosa, CO. Her software experience also includes work at Scientific Fisheries and IBM. She has a Ph.D. In mathematics from Utah State University and worked as an Assistant/Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Alaska, Anchorage before the software bug hit her and she converted over to computer science.

She is married to Jim Jacobs, who also works as a software engineer at the NRAO in Socorro. She has also has a nine-year old son, Bryce Jacobs, who is an avid flute player at Cottonwood Valley Charter school.In her free time, she enjoys jogging with her dogs, hiking, and camping.

NRAO Proposal Preparation Webinar

June 11-12, 2012

NRAO invites astronomers interested in planning for the upcoming Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA), Green Bank Telescope (GBT), and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) deadlines to participate in a web-based seminar on "Planning a Proposal for NRAO Telescopes." NRAO staff will give an overview of the key capabilities available for each telescope at the upcoming deadlines (July 12 for ALMA, August 1 for JVLA/GBT/VLBA). They will also review the key decisions and concrete steps needed to assemble an observing time proposal for each telescope.

The event will be broadcast over the web from the NRAO sties at Charlottesville, VA and Socorro, NM. Registration via the event web page is required, as details will be distributed via email to registered participants.

In-person participation is welcome at the Charlottesville site. For in-person attendees, NRAO staff will be available for one-on-one in-person consultation regarding proposal preparation on the following day (June 12). Contingent upon interest, advanced, in-person training with proposal-related tools may also be available.

Molecular Spectroscopy in the Era of Far-IR Astronomy Workshop

Oct 28-31 2012, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Short Title: "MolSpec12"Long Title: "Molecular Spectroscopy in the Era of Far-IR Astronomy Workshop"Announcement1-1.jpg

This workshop will focus on discussing and prioritizing laboratory molecular spectroscopy needs in support of existing and upcoming Far-IR observational facilities. The strategy for the workshop is to bring together experts in laboratory astrophysics, observational astronomy, and molecular theory and computation to identify and discuss the major challenges faced in interpretation of results from the Herschel Space Observatory, and the upcoming challenges that will be posed as the SOFIA and ALMA observatories come online. A major goal of the meeting is to produce a white paper that will inform research priorities and address these challenges. The meeting will facilitate valuable discussion of the current state of the field of molecular spectroscopy in astrochemistry, and will facilitate improved coordination for future collaborative efforts.

Confirmed invited speakers:Lou Allamandola (NASA Ames), Geoff Blake (Caltech), Crystal Brogan (National Radio Astronomy Observatory), Steven Charnley (NASA Goddard), Frank C. De Lucia (Ohio State University), Brian Drouin (NASA JPL), Maryvonne Gerin (Eric Herbst (University of Virginia), Jon T. Hougen (NIST), Timothy Lee (NASA Ames), Darek C. Lis (Caltech), Michael C. McCarty (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA),David Nesbitt (U. Colo), Karin Oberg (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), JohnPearson (NASA JPL) , David Plusquellic (NIST), Anthony Remijan (NRAO), Goran Sandell (NASA/SOFIA) Jonathan Tennyson (University College London), Floris van der Tak (SRON, Netherlands), Catherine Walsh (Queen's University Belfast), Susanna Widicus Weaver (Emory University).

The First Year of ALMA Science

The Joint ALMA Observatory announces that the international conference

"The first year of ALMA science"

will be held in Hotel Cumbres Patagónicas, Puerto Varas,Chile on December 12-15, 2012.

ALMA Early Science operations have started at the end of September 2011. Over one hundred high science profile projects have been identified as high priority for execution. The first exciting scientific results from Science Verification datasets and Cycle 0 observations are coming out in refereed journals since the beginning of 2012. At the end of the year, the ALMA users community will be in a position to review the first science results produced by this new and unique facility. The conference will cover all the ALMA Science topics covered by Early Science observations, from observations of the Solar System bodies to objects in our own Galaxy, the local to high redshift Universe. While the conference will obviously focused on ALMA observational results, we plan to include presentations and discussions on related theoretical implications and predictions as well as relevant complementary data from other major facilities. The conference will also be an ideal venue to discuss the scientific priorities for the ALMA development plan upgrades in the context of the first results from Early Science.

To allow more ALMA users to propose contributions based on results from their Cycle 0 projects we selected a late deadline for abstract contributions on Oct 27, 2012.

Important deadlines:- Registration opens:June 1st, 2012- Abstracts deadline:Oct 27, 2012- Contributed talks selection:Nov 16, 2012- Conference dates:Dec 12-15, 2012

Conference website: Conference email:

The conference is co-sponsored by the Joint ALMA Observatory and the ALMA partners (ESO, NAOJ and NRAO) with additional support provided by the EC-FP7 Radionet3 project.

2013 Rocks!

Tony Remijan

Short Title: "2013 Rocks!"Long Title: "Transformational Science with ALMA: the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems" alma2013rocks.jpg

ALMA, the world's most complex ground-based astronomical observatory, is opening a window into cosmic origins from previously inaccessible cold and dark parts of our universe. With its anticipated 66 antennae, ALMA will deliver astonishing imaging capabilities and sensitivity that will surpass any other telescope at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. Even while still under construction, the first light observations from ALMA starting in late 2011 are exciting astronomers with new views of gas and dust harboring young stars and planetary systems. We are on the threshold of an explosion of observations that will transform our knowledge and understanding of how solar systems, planets, and life all begin.

In this workshop, we will explore the evolution of material in protostellar disks from formation to dissipation. A focus will be the processing of the gas and dust components, and the growth of planetesimals. We will also explore chemical changes, and radiative signatures at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. We will showcase results from ALMA early science projects and feature synergies with other telescopes that can help to advance this field, particularly those sited on the island of Hawaii.

Specifically, this workshop will address the following questions:

When do circumstellar disks first form and how?How does gas evolve in circumstellar disks?What is the origin of the gaps and holes in "transition disks"?What are the observational signatures of embedded planets in circumstellar disks?What is the process of grain growth and evolution?Can we fully ascertain the physical and chemical processing of planetary materials, and their connections to meteorites, planetesimals, comets, and KBOs?What is the full extent of disk chemistry and what is the detectable limit of molecular material in disks?What do millimeter continuum and spectral line observations tell us about solar system bodies?Polarimetry and magnetic activities in the protostellar envelopes and inner disksInstruments in Hawaii that could facilitate the sciences featured in this workshop

Finally, there will be three discussion sessions that will help connect the dots and stimulate future synergies of sciences with millimeter and submillimeter astronomy. This workshop will prepare us for the exciting adventures ahead in the new era.

Molecular Emission at High Redshift Comes of Age

Al - please confirm the title.The title on our working wiki is different from the title on the working website/registration page.

Save the Date: September 13-15, 2012 in Charlottesville, Virginia

Molecular Emission at High Redshift Comes of Age: A Celebration of the Career of Paul Vanden Bout

NRAO will host a conference entitled "Molecular Emission at High Redshift Comes of Age" in Charlottesville, Virginia, September 13-15, 2012. The venue is the NRAO Headquarters, conveniently located on the grounds of the University of Virginia.

Workshop focus items will include all aspects of the study of molecular emission at high redshift.More information will be made available as the structure of this conference evolves.

Brown and vanden Bout published a detection of CO emission from a galaxy at z=2.3 using the NRAO 12m telescope in 1991. In the 21 years since its detection, radio emission lines have become an indispensable tool for tracing molecular gas throughout the Universe. Today molecular and atomic lines at many wavelengths provide complementary insights into the structure of the ISM in galaxies early in the history of the Universe. New observing capabilities enrich our understanding of the evolution of galaxies through galactic time, using modern instrumentation available at new and expanded facilities worldwide. The workshop will examine the current status and future directions of research using spectral lines to probe the high redshift Universe.

-- LyndeleVonSchill - 2012-05-16

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Announcement1-1.jpgjpg Announcement1-1.jpg manage 608 K 2012-05-22 - 13:50 AlWootten MolSpec12 Poster
Blob9025.jpgjpg Blob9025.jpg manage 311 K 2012-05-29 - 23:22 AlWootten The final ALMA Vertex antenna delivery--the 'blob' from Texas arrived at ALMA!
alma2013rocks.jpgjpg alma2013rocks.jpg manage 260 K 2012-05-22 - 13:17 LyndeleVonSchill  
susan.jpgjpg susan.jpg manage 2 MB 2012-05-23 - 10:35 LyndeleVonSchill  
Topic revision: r11 - 2012-05-30, AlWootten
This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding NRAO Public Wiki? Send feedback