This agenda is available at

NAASC Organizational Meeting: Wednesday Aug 1, 1-2:30pm ET (1700-1830UT), Lammas Day, CV-ER311/TUC-N525/Soc280(SO-conf2)

Meeting Information

  • Call date: 2007-08-01 (Wednesday)
  • Call time 13:00 ET or 17:00 UT
  • Duration: 1.0 hr
  • Non toll-free number: 434-244-6834
  • USA toll-free Number: 866-675-5385
  • Outside USA Number: +1 517-444-6916
  • Passcode: 8445333
  • Leader: Carilli


  • CV: Wootten, Remijan, Indebetouw, Reid, Mangum (phone)
  • Soc: Carilli, Shepherd, Glendenning, Myers
  • GB:
  • NRC:
  • TUC:
  • Canada: di Francesco, Knee
  • SCO:

Action Items from past meetings

  • ACTION: Write ad for next NAASC hires (coordinate with SAA/DO?). To be advertised in the Fall. This will be our CSV experts (3-6mo/yr in Chile for 2009-2011), on board by May-July 2008. Also, first NAASC postdoc is in plan for April 2008.
    • WHO: C. Carilli/Hibbard
    • DUE: Jan 11 2007=>June 2007 -- send to AAS by Aug 15
    • DONE: July 25 (see Supplemental Material at end of agenda) -- Waiting for input from Fred Lo
  • ACTION: Arrange for pdf of ALMA articles from NRAO Newsletter to be sent out electronically to
    • WHO: J. Hibbard/M. Adams -> Carilli, Adams
    • DUE: Next Issue (~July 1) -> Aug 15
    • DONE: pdf was produced by July 20. Discussion on what to send out and to whom. See draft text at end of agenda under Supplemental Material. Discuss and send out.
  • ACTION: Discuss idea of UVa/NAASC liason with D.O.
    • WHO: J. Hibbard
    • DUE: end of summer
    • DONE:
  • ACTION: Enter details of your talks using NAm ALMA Calendar
    • WHO: All staff
    • DUE: on-going
    • DONE: Close, assuming everyone now knows what to do
    • Notes: To do this, us=admin, pw=admin
  • ACTION: Move items from to Science Meetings under NAm ALMA Calendar
    • WHO: A. Remijan
    • DUE: End of summer
    • DONE: Aug 01. Please view new Meetings/Events link to make sure the events list is complete. To add to this list, enter the event in the NAASC calendar under the category "Science Meetings".
  • ACTION: BG requests that RR sends email to JMcM, CB, BG about concerns on alma simulator.
    • WHO: R. Reid
    • DUE: Aug 1
    • DONE: Done -- enter JIRA ticket
  • ACTION: Canadian input to enews
    • WHO: James Di Francesco
    • DUE: Aug 10
    • DONE: Done -- provide link to Canadian CASCA news letter of Wilson
  • ACTION: Canadian MOU draft to NRAO
    • WHO: L. Knee
    • DUE: Aug 5
    • DONE: Aug 1 -- currently under review at NRAO/AUI
  • NEW ACTION: Need DB server for splatalog
    • WHO: Remijan -- talk to E2E
    • DUE: Aug 15
    • DONE:


  • NAASC News (Carilli/Hibbard)
    • Big NSF reporting effort coming up by Aug 1. Need: summary of 2007 activities. Planned 2008/9 activities. Long-range 2008-2012 activities. Should be milestone driven. Due today. Extensive list of 243 milestones available if anyone wants to see them. Ask Hibbard. Reporting has been submitted, based on the NAASC plan.
    • Science Talks/visits:
    • Upcoming NAASC Science Colloquia and Meetings
      • EU ALMA Community Day/Surveys for ALMA Sept 3-6 2007, Garching (JH will attend, to also attend ARC Manager f2f)
      • Many people went to URSI and heard about CCAT, and pol leakage... but most of discission was on SKA there.
      • ANASAC will discuss next NAASC workshop at their f2f (Aug17 - see below). NAASC should have input, will ask Evans

  • Main Event: Electronic ALMA Newsletter?
    • Agreed to keep this simple and start with Al's email list, but should eventually expand to reach non-radio astronomers. Will look more like HST email that just has link to info, as opposed to TMT glossy email. Will also include link to CASCA enews of C. Wilson. Will send out by Aug 15.

    • face-2-face meeting: Fri, Aug17 in CV. Dinner Thurs Aug 16? Looks like ~7 ANASAC attendees. Carilli, Brogan, Wootten & Peck will be here. Lo, Hibbard, Neighbours unavailable. Jennifer will make arrangments beforehand, and Billie will help during meeting. The anasac meeting seems to be under control. Presentations are set. Charges are set. Travel is set. S/W charge from board has been delayed.
    • Tentative charges and agenda given in last months agenda. Summary of charges:
      • User Grants
      • ANASAC Terms of Reference
      • Next NAASC Workshop
      • Chair/new membership
    • Planing demos of Splatalogue by Remijan and Casa by Brogan. Maybe obstool.

  • Reports from Working Groups
    • Software Testing
      • CDR5/NSF/NAOJ Review happened. Some concerns on how releases are happening. Should tie more to functionality rather than calendar. Glendenning says this issue is closed and can be removed.
      • Pipeline testing: nothing new here.
      • Offline testing:
        • Debra and Joe's tutorial are in Garching went well, but summary notes seem to imply strong desire for more tutorials for more people. Radziwill is leading group discussing beta release expectations and possible NAUG/NAASC/EVLA assisted support. Debra took exception to 'imply strong desire for more tutorials...'. She does not recall this, and doesn't see the imperative. But NAASC plans to get this going next year. We (NAASC) and S/W need to get this coordinated -- do we need tutorials next year? First scheduled on master milestone list is Dec2007. Crystal is now offline subsystem scientist taking over from Deb.
        • August 15 Patch 2 (Development Freeze)
        • Developers will visit CV in Aug 20-31 for another intensive round of NAASC testing. See NAm ALMA Calendar for schedule.
        • September 30 Tentative Beta Release Date
      • ObsTool. Whats next? Testi will have test with a few people -- not major
      • Casapy User Interface: Currently the coordination duties are being done by Steve Myers.
      • Casapy simulator: RR Working on web-page mock-up for input parameters.
    • Calibration Group (JeffMangum): Calibration
    • Imaging Group (AlWootten):
    • MM Calibrator/Spectral Line Databases (Tony Remijan)
      • F. Lovas joined us July 2 to help add/edit content to Splatalogue. Aided by programmer William Cassidy.
      • Updates to Splatalogue from July 1, 2007 include:
        • Added 229,221 new/updated lines from Frank's own list. Of that, 12,332 lines (or an addition of ~2000 lines) were added to the Lovas/NIST Recommended Rest Frequencies of known astronomical transitions. To these added lines, we have run diagnostics on the 4 lists for overlaps on transitions, frequencies, formulae and chemical names and have come up with a common way to display and designate each individual species. We have eliminated errors from the Lovas/NIST list. To date, NRAO has the most accurate and complete database for radio/mm/submm astronomical spectroscopy.
        • Search Filters have been added that will eliminate transitions of atmospheric and "potential" astronomical molecules from being displayed. Search filters are also planned that will allow the user to display they type of line strength (Aij, Sij, Sijmu^2, AstIntensity, JPL/CDMS intensity) or energy (K, cm^-1) preferred, what list they want displayed, as well as upper limits to the errors on transitions. As such, we are working on a new "face" for Splatalogue. Please check out The "New Splatalogue" (currently internal only) and comment on the form and functionality displayed. NOTE: while the functionality may be displayed, it may NOT be active yet!
        • Lovas/Remijan have flagged transitions of the known interstellar molecules and their isomers as representative of the NRAO Recommended Rest Frequency. This is will be the default display returned from a query so only 1 frequency will be displayed from the known astronomical molecule list.
        • Additional fields have been added so it is clear from each transition whether the listed frequency and error is measured (lab data) or calculated (bootstrapped from measured lines). Also, each molecule/(some transitions) has a reference as to where the numbers came from. These were added from the JPL/CDMS sites as well as from Lovas'/Remijan's own library.
        • Frank De Lucia from The Ohio State University contacted Remijan and is expected to post his laboratory data from OSU on Splatalogue as to effectively disseminate it for public use. In addition, Remijan and Markwick-Kemper are going to propose to Herschel for funding for the ongoing maintenance and additions to Splatalogue in anticipation of Herschel and ALMA.
        • The alpha release of Splatalogue was in Feb 2007. We are expecting a "beta" release of all the new functionality, as well as some new surprises, by Dec 2007. Remijan will present the "New Splatalogue" to the ANASAC on Aug 17th and Remijan and Markwick -Kemper will give a "world-wide tour" of Splatalogue next year. The first unofficial stop is in the Fall to the NHSC. Plans have yet to be made yet, however.
        • Outstanding issue: With the database currently at ~4 million records and the anticipation of the single dish archive also using the databases at NRAO, the NAASC, E2E and Computing divisions of NRAO should consider purchasing a dedicated database server if NRAO wants to continue to house/update the Splatalogue database.
    • Webpages (Tony Remijan):
    • EPO (Adams/J. Uson)
      • Ad for ALMA EPO specialist Posted.
    • NAASC Workshops (Evans)
      • ANASAC will advise
    • ALMA Meetings: (Wootten)
      • NAm URSI meeting next week in Ottawa. LK, DE, JM, RR going.
      • U.Calgary meeting "Observing with ALMA" May 26-27 2008, organized by Rene Plume. Place to demo casa, alma simulators?
      • Other Meetings of interest listed at

Supporting Material

Ad for next two NAASC hires:

The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) is currently under construction in Northern Chile. ALMA is one of the biggest single advances in astronomical observational capabilities ever, providing an order of magnitude, or more, improvement in capabilities in all areas of submillimeter interferometry. The North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC), located at NRAO headquarters in Charlottesville, VA, is the center for ALMA user, technical, and scientific support in North American.

As part of building up the scientific staff at the NAASC to support ALMA, the NRAO invites applications for one or more Assistant Scientists, to participate in ALMA Commissioning and Science Verification (CSV). These positions include 25% time for independent research. Commissioning of the first ALMA antennas in Chile will commence in 2008, in preparation for early science in 2010. The NAASC is looking for candidates with experience in millimeter astronomy, with the goal of acquiring the requisite expertise for long-range user and telescope support at the NAASC.

The duty station is Charlottesville, VA, however the first few years will require substantial time in Chile (roughly 30% to 50%), training as part of the CSV team. Successful participation in CSV activities in Chile places the candidate in a strong position to play a leading role in user and telescope support at the NAASC once early science begins, and to capitalize on the scientific capabilities of ALMA.

The terms of the appointment are standard for NRAO scientific staff, with an initial appointment of 3 years starting in the Spring of 2008. These positions are expected to be long-term, based on performance reviews, with advancement opportunities to Associate and Full Scientist levels. These positions will be afforded all of the standard NRAO benefits including vacation accrual, medical insurance, retirement benefits, and a moving allowance (see, as well as research support for scientific travel (conferences and observing) and page charges. For exceptional applicants, these appointments may be made at the Associate Scientist or Scientist level.

Candidates should have a PhD in astronomy, physics, or a related field, and should have a strong plan of continuing independent research. Applications should include a statement of planned research, a description of any software, or instrumentation experience, a curriculum vita including a publication list, and the names of three scientists who have agreed to provide letters of reference. All material should be submitted as a single PDF file of the form "LastNameFirstInitial.AssistantScientist.pdf" via email to: Please reference "Assistant Scientist Position" in the subject line. All applications received by November 31, 2007, will be given full consideration, but applications will continue to be accepted until the positions are filled. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Possible text for NRAO ALMA Newsletter announcement

Subject: NRAO ALMA News available on-line

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Construction of the international Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) is well underway, with early science operations planned to begin in the first half of 2010, and full science operations planned for late 2012. ALMA is among the largest advances in observational capabilities ever made, in terms of combined improvements in sensitivity, frequency coverage, resolution, imaging, and spectral capabilities, and will operate at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths.

The North American ALMA Science Center, a facility of the NRAO, is located at the NRAO Headquarters in Charlottesville, VA, and will provide support to the ALMA user community in North America. The quarterly NRAO Newsletter includes articles on ALMA construction progress, operations planning, and community events. We have collected these articles from the current NRAO newsletter (July 2007) in an on-line document, which can be accessed at:

The complete NRAO Newsletter is available at:

General information on the international ALMA project can be found at: and

General information on the NAASC can be found at:

Chris Carilli and Mark Adams NRAO/NAASC

-- JohnHibbard - 07 Aug 2007
Topic revision: r2 - 2007-08-09, JohnHibbard
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