These minutes available at

NAASC Organizational Meeting: Wednesday July 11, 1-2:30pm ET (1700-1830UT), CV-ER311/TUC-N525/Soc280(SO-conf2) Had to move due to non-standard day

Table of Contents

Meeting Information

  • Call date: 2007-07-11 (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: John Hibbard


  • CV: AW, RI, AH, RR, AR, JM, JH, NR
  • Soc: BGlendenning
  • GB: THunter, CBrogan
  • NRC: JdiFrancesco, LKnee, JHesser
  • TUC:
  • SCO: APeck

Action Items from past meetings

  • 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
    • DONE: July 25
  • ACTION: Arrange for pdf of ALMA articles from NRAO Newsletter to be sent out electronically to
    • WHO: J. Hibbard/M. Adams
    • DUE: Next Issue (~July 1)
    • DONE: Carilli is second guessing this strategy. Prefers jazzed up version
  • 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:
    • 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:


  • NAASC News (Carilli/Hibbard)
    • There was a f2f meeting of CSV-interested personnel during disk07 meeting. See notes under "Supporting Material". We will discuss this as part of the "Main Event" today.
    • 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. Carilli and Hibbard are working on this.
    • 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)
      • ANASAC will discuss next NAASC workshop at their f2f (Aug17 - see below)
      • 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?

  • Project News (Wootten if available)
    • Best wished to Al for a speedy recovery from his recent neck surgery.
    • OSF Warehouse View The OSF Technical Facility warehouse is approaching completion. See other images and animations and alma gallery.
    • EA antennas arrive in 2 weeks. 5 by sept.
    • Board Meeting:
    • Beginning mid-August until mid-September, the NA antenna `I'PT will need our support leading to handover of the antenna to AIV. This will involve holography and OPT testing of the antenna. ATF also needs scientist support. CC available from Aug on. CB & TH available early sept. People w/ATF experience: AH, TH, JM, AW, DE, DS, AP, RL, CC
    • Status of Change Requests: ATF extension to June 2008 granted. See main event
    • Nutator CDR: Happened.
    • Once the response of the authors is in, the DRSP2.0 will go on-line without password protection.
    • Current Science IPT Schedule. Current Operations Schedule. IPS Pictorial View(2007 May 31). optical pointing at OSF by Nov 2007; radiometric pointing in early 2008
    • ALMA Biweekly Calendar
    • ALMA Construction Photogallery

  • Main Event No.1: staffing needs for ATF, CSV
    • See notes on CSV meeting (Supporting Material, below), as well as ATF Change Request (submitted by Al and approved by the project)
    • Also, R. Hills email to SciIPT (also under supporting materials below); Action items from Beasley and response by Wootten and Shepherd
    • Discuss: who can be where, when? Who leads ATF effort, and how much time will people be given before they go? How will they know they will be able to do something useful when they are there?
    • ATF will turned over to CIPT from Sept07-June08. Jeff Kern is line manager of s/w people. Deb Shepherd organizes things. DE, AW, AP, RH, RL will schedule astronomer visits. few day visits not very useful. 1 month much better. Some people from HIA want to take part. They should email Richard (see email request under Supporting Material).
  • Main Event No.2: New ALMA EPO Video.
    • See email from Mark Adams under Supporting Material, below
    • Al had lots of opinions on this. Will point Mark to him.

    • Latest telecon scheduled for Friday July 13 2007. Agenda
    • face-2-face meeting: Fri, Aug17 in CV. Dinner Thurs Aug 16? Carilli, Brogan, Wootten & Peck will be here. Lo, Hibbard, Neighbours unavailable. Jennifer will make arrangments beforehand, and Billie will help during meeting.
    • Tentative charges and agenda given under "Supporting Material" below. Summary of charges:
      • User Grants
      • ANASAC Terms of Reference
      • Next NAASC Workshop
      • Chair/new membership
    • Demo of splatalogue by Remijan and Casa by Brogan would be good. Maybe obstool if available.

  • Reports from Working Groups
    • Software Testing (Hibbard):
      • CDR5/NSF/NAOJ Review? Happened. Some concerns on how releases are happening. Should tie more to functionality rather than calendar.
      • Pipeline testing: Test4 Jan 10 to April 16 2007. Still haven't seen final report.
      • Offline testing: The current tentative schedule for the Beta is:
        • June 15 Patch 1: Intensive NAUG/NAASC testing took place during week of June 26-29. George & Claire in CV for this test. CB, AR, RR, RI, JH tested. Follow up meeting for cookbook comments?
        • Debra and Joe are currently in Garching doing CASA tutorials
        • August 15 Patch 2 (Development Freeze)
        • Joe & Kumar will visit CV in late august for another intensive round of NAASC testing.
        • September 30 Tentative Beta Release Date
        • CB is new ALMA CASA Subsystem Scientist. EVLA counterpart is Rupen. Se will plan testing efforts next year.
      • ObsTool. Whats next?
      • 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. BG requests that RR sends email to JMcM, CB, BG about concerns of simulator
    • Calibration Group (JeffMangum): Calibration
    • Imaging Group (AlWootten):
    • MM Calibrator/Spectral Line Databases (Tony Remijan)
      • F. Lovas joined us July 2 to help add content to splatalogue. Aided by undergraduate William Cassidy
    • Webpages (Tony Remijan):
    • EPO (Adams/J. Uson)
      • Ad for ALMA EPO specialist Posted.
    • NAASC Workshops (Brogan)
    • ALMA Meetings: (Wootten)

Supporting Material

J. Hibbard's Notes from f2f meeting of CSV-interested personnel during disk07 meeting:

  • Attendees: Hills, Peck, Beasley, Testi, AW, JM, JH, CB, EF, DS, DE (phone)
  • The FTEs in the CSV document do NOT reflect the expected effort available at OSF. Peck has action to figure out what real available FTE is from Sci IPT and ARCs. This table should include real names.
  • ARC CSV specialists should expect to spend minimum ~2mo duties 2-3x/yr in SCO.
  • EU and NA Commissioning Scientists (TBH) will have SCO duty station.
  • Sci IPT will look in having EU and NA "person(s) D" also assigned to SCO.
  • Sci IPT manpower also needed to support (1) Antenna IPT work and (2) ATF work from Aug through next summer.
  • After Peck's manpower table is produced, the Project Scientists (AW, LT) should generate budget change request to add commissioning staff in Chile.
  • JAO will investigate idea of "Hotel Santiago" for touring CSV staff.
  • JAO is trying to get "ISM package" doc together so executive staff have idea of typical conditions, benefits, etc for Chile deployment.
  • DS/AP should make sure HW & SW commissioning/calibration plans are aligned.

T Beasleys action items from CSV meeting, with response by Al & Deb 7/6/2007

  1. Alison Peck offered to expand the table, including breaking the table in quarter years, (b) detailing the SciIPT components as a fn. of time, (c) expanding the ARC components - inserting names, duty stations, ?? as appropriate. STATUS:?? (06July07): Al says: Alison--we can discuss 1c) at the Weds meeting if you need to...
  2. AW/LT: resolve outstanding SciIPT positions with RH, proceed, feed info back to Alison for Staffing Table. STATUS:?? (06July07 AW) Al says: I think I did point 2 before going under the knife, including feedback from JP. I am still working on the question of whether I can make a whole person from the pieces of Holdaway and Myers, or even whether I have pieces.
  3. TB: Acquire ISM package doc for NA. STATUS(06July07): AI has been taken over by Bob D'Angio, to be reviewed and distributed after HR manager's meeting last week of July. Al adds: Item 3 is critical for progress on some items. I'll try to corner Bob on this. LT adds: I have investigated with our personnel office the options on our side for (3). We will use standard mission or temporary transfer of duty station for ESO staff and probably Paid Associate status for non-ESO staff. So it seems that the rules and conditions are defined on our side.
  4. DS/AP to investigate alignment of commissioning/calibration hardware & software requirements with CIPT/hardware IPTs plans. STATUS:?? Deb says: Some progress, so far separate activities but we are getting ready to merge. I have a first draft plan of computing activities at the ATF through the end of Aug and some ideas about what we want to do after that. List sent to PSI to coordinate ATF resources and make sure they agree with the proposed schedule - in review. I also drafted first thoughts on planning, coordination and what we need for operations at the ATF. This is in review within CIPT. I'll send this to Sci IPT/AIV today so they have some ideas to work from. I've talked to Richard Hills on Sci IPT/CIPT coordination. I have a meeting set up with Robert Laing next Thursday in Garching to get his thoughts on the matter. I have not yet received feedback on Sci IPT priorities but I think they are working on it. I gave Alison, Richard & Al a copy of the AIV requirements Rick Murowinski gave CIPT a year ago. They can use this as a starting point. The next step will be to take CIPT, PSI and Sci IPT priorities and determine a plan that is consistent with commissioning/calibration hardware & software requirements.
  5. AW+RH to confirm ATF support for next 12 months at ATF. STATUS: DONE (Change request was accepted).

Al adds: And I have drafted the job description for Comm Sci but I do need to work on that some more I think before circulating. I think we have job descriptions for all non-JP positions.

Email from R.Hills requesting info on support for CSV

Subject:[Almasci] Participation in continuation of the ATF and in early testing in Chile
From: Richard Hills <>
Date:Wed, 04 Jul 2007 15:28:45 +0100
CC:Alison Peck <>

Dear Colleagues,

I am not quite sure who this mailer goes to, but this message is 
addressed to everyone who considers themselves to be members of the 
Science IPT, especially those whose salaries are being paid by ALMA.  I 
hope that this mailer at least reaches all of them.

As I expect you all know, the plan now is to extend the testing work at 
the ATF through until the end of May 2008.  This will make it possible 
to do much more thorough tests of the system and in particular to test 
out a great deal more of the ALMA software in a real-world situation 
than if the ATF were to be closed sooner.  The plan is for the 
"ownership" of this activity to transfer from the PSI group to the 
Computing IPT in about September (after the installation of a number of 
hardware components, including a new correlator, which are much closer 
to the final production versions that those currently in use at the ATF).

I am sure that you will agree however that it is very important that we 
(Science) are strongly engaged with this process as well as the Computer 
people.  We need to make sure that the system is really doing what it is 
supposed to do, that we can in fact carry out the sort of tests that we 
will need to do to commission ALMA in Chile, and that the systems are 
robust, intelligible and efficient.  The ATF testing will of course also 
give us an opportunity to learn about the systems before we have to 
start dealing with them in Chile.

All this will however require a good deal of effort to be committed to 
the activities at the ATF - both in people actually spending time there, 
but also in working on data that is taken there, writing things up and 
organizing the work.  At the same time, the first test activities will 
be starting up in Chile - e.g. holography and pointing tests on the 
first antennas - and that will also be making a call on the fairly 
slender resources we have in the Science IPT.

In order to get a better grip on what commitment we can and should make 
to these activities, it would be really helpful if you could all answer 
the following:

Between now and the end of May 2008, how much time do you feel you will 
be willing and able to spend:
1) actually at the ATF participation in tests?
2) working on data, writing reports, planning, etc., relating to the ATF?
3) actually working at the OSF?
4) working on results, etc., from the OSF?

Probably best to work in terms of weeks spent actually doing things 
(remembering that the travel, holidays, attending meetings and 
conferences, even doing real research *all* have to be covered somewhere 
else in your plans).

It would also be very helpful to know on the level of commitment 
attached to these estimates, on a scale of something like:
a) I am already committed to doing this because it has already been 
agreed with some other IPT leader;
b) I am very keen to do this and will be very disappointed if I am not 
c) I would like to help but I have other things to do that really should 
be my priority;
d) you would have to twist my arm very hard to get me involved in this.

Also, major conditions such as "only if ALMA takes over my salary and 
pays for me and the family to move to Chile" should be noted.  We can 
sort out the minor ones like "I can't be away between Christmas and New 
Year" later.  I reality the scheduling of all this will be a nightmare 
and you should be prepared for the fact that it may turn out not to be 
possible to schedule your involvement at times that fit round your other 
activities, so choices will have to be made over who goes and who does what.

Note also that we will have to do things like make sure that, on their 
first visit, people who have not worked at the ATF before are 
accompanied by people who have.

You don't need to reply to this general mailer (unless of course you are 
keen to announce your wishes) but please send your response to both me 
and Alison.

Best Richard

Email from M. Adams on 7/09/2007, about new ALMA Video:

I will unfortunately be traveling Wednesday from Socorro to Charlottesville.
But IF Delta Airlines is on time, I will arrive ATL at 2:00 pm EDT, and will
try to call in to the NAASC mtg as soon as we are on the ground.
The primary item I would like to contribute is to let the group know that I
am beginning production planning for a longer (approx 15 minute) high-def
video that will compellingly describe ALMA science and technology, as well
as construction status. So I would like to ask for NAASC input re what to
include in this video, esp with regard to science and science images (we
need cool stuff, not contour plots, of course!).
From production planning through video acquisition to completion of
post-production (editing, etc)  will take several months, but we have some
flexibility. So what is the right venue to target for this video's debut?
And what are the key ALMA construction milestones/science/technology that we
want in this video, and (hence) what will the cutoff date be for video
acquisition. One interesting possibility would be to debut this video at the
NRAO Town Hall at the AAS meeting in Austin in early January 2008. If so,
then all the video must be in hand no later than approx 15 Nov 07.
It's still early, but I am mtg again with Paladin Media Group on Thu
afternoon to discuss production planning for this video, and the input re
science and science images is key.
I also want to remind/notify the group that we are hiring an ALMA EPO
Program Officer, and ask them to point good candidates our way.

Tentative charges & agenda for ANASAC f2f meeting:

Charges to the ANASAC from NRAO and the NAASC

CHARGE I. User Grants program: This charge continues from previous
meetings. We repeat the original charge, but revise the specific
issues to be addressed at the meeting, based on the subsequent
ANASAC discussions.

Previous charge: the grants program is a recommended priority by the
decadal committee.  NRAO can act as an advocate for the community in
this regard, but the real impetus must come from the community.  The
Grants should not be considered funding for NRAO, but should be
considered funding for support for community use of ALMA.  Does the
community want a grants-with-observing time program associated with
ALMA?  What is a reasonable starting amount for such a program?

Result from previous ANASAC deliberations: The ANASAC has endorsed a
User grants program with ALMA time, and has written a detailed report
recommending: (i) a funding request level ($6M/year 2006 dollars),
(ii) funding guidelines, and (iii)  two potential funding models for
the NSF. See the ANASAC report:

NRAO thanks the ANASAC for their previous efforts.  The ANASAC has made
this issue a priority, and this new charge reflects their desire to
continue  discussion of the issue.  In particular, the ANASAC
will address the following two issues:

 1. Clarification of NSF policy and potential models that are acceptable
    to the NSF, subsequent to the NSF ALMA operations review?

 2. User community advocacy of a grants program: Coordination with
    astronomers who use other NSF facilities (e.g. EVLA, current and
    future  large OIR projects)? Use of the AAS as a means of

CHARGE II: Terms of Reference for ANASAC. The primary roles of the ANASAC,
according to the current terms of reference

 1. A conduit of communication for ALMA project status to a broad User

 2. Input to the NAASC on User support and science issues in North

An issue that has arisen in the latest ANASAC meetings is the question
of the interaction between the ASAC and the ANASAC -- should the
ANASAC provide more input to the North American members of the ASAC on
charges to the ASAC from the ALMA Board?  This duty is not currently
in the ANASAC terms of reference. Does the ANASAC want to expand its
role to include a closer connection to the ASAC and the ASAC charges?
Note that this would be in addition to the existing NRAO terms
requesting that the ANASAC provide detailed input into North American
ALMA User-related and science issues.

CHARGE III. Science workshop 2008 -- The NAASC would like to continue the
successful series of science workshops relating to ALMA in 2008.  The
ANASAC is asked to suggest a timely science topic for such a meeting
in 2008, and to suggest members of the Scientific Organizing Committee.

CHARGE IV. Membership -- The ANASAC is asked to recommend new members to
replace those rotating off the committee and to elect a new chair to
start after the face to face meeting in August, 2007. Andrew Baker and
Andrew Blain have each been nominated and a vote will be taken.

Preliminary schedule for the August 17, 2007 meeting:

    * 08:00 - 08:15 Closed Session
    * 08:15 - 08:30 Welcome from Fred Lo
    * 08:30 - 09:30 Project Status (Russell, Glendenning?)
          o Construction (30min)
          o Software status (30min)
    * 09:30 - 10:00 ALMA operations and the NAASC (Carilli)
    * 10:00 - 10:15 ASAC report (Mundy [TBC])
    * 10:15 - 10:30 Break
    * 10:30 - 12:00 Charge I: Grants (Williams/subcommittee)
    * 12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
    * 13:00 - 13:30 Charge II: Terms of Reference and ASAC
                    input (Williams/Subcommittee)
    * 13:30 - 14:00 Charge III: Science workshop 2008 (Williams/subcomittee)
    * 14:00 - 14:15 Charge IV: Select new ANASAC Chair (Williams/subcommittee)
    * 14:15 - 14:30 Break
    * 14:30 - 16:00 Closed session, draft report
    * 16:00 - 16:30 Summary of draft report to NRAO Director (Williams)
    * 16:30 - close.

-- JohnHibbard - 25 Jul 2007
Topic revision: r1 - 2007-07-25, JohnHibbard
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