This agenda is available at

NAASC Organizational Meeting: Wednesday June 6, 1-2:30pm ET (1700-1830UT), CV-ER311/TUC-N525/Soc280(SO-conf2)

Meeting Information

  • Call date: 2007-06-06 (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: J. Mangum, J. Hibbard, C. Brogan, A. Wootten, A. Remijan, R. Reid, J. Uson, R.Indebetouw
  • Soc: D. Shepherd
  • GB: T. Hunter
  • NRC:
  • TUC: D. Emerson

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
    • DUE: Jan 11 2007=>June 2007
    • DONE:
  • ACTION: Submit response to Review Committee to AUI
    • WHO: C. Carilli
    • DUE: May 9?
    • DONE: May 11
  • ACTION: Send copy of review to HIA
    • WHO: C. Carilli
    • DUE: May 9
    • DONE: May 3
  • ACTION: Arrange for ALMA articles from NRAO Newsletter to be sent out electronically
    • WHO: J. Hibbard/M. Adams
    • DUE: Next Issue (~July 1)
    • DONE: June 6
    • NOTES: html or pdf? Pdf unless someone presents strong argument to the contrary. For comparison, see EU ALMA Newsletter Everyone agreed pdf is fine. Email to
  • ACTION: Discuss idea of UVa/NAASC liason with D.O.
    • WHO: J. Hibbard
    • DUE: end of summer
    • DONE:
  • ACTION: Create category for NAASC staff talks/travel on NAm ALMA Calendar
    • WHO: J. Hibbard
    • DUE: May 9?
    • DONE: June 4
  • 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:
  • ACTION: Update the NAASC webpages under your charge
    • WHO: All staff
    • DUE: on-going
    • DONE:


  • NAASC News (Hibbard)
    • Written response to NSF review has been submitted.
    • Chris gave presentation to UC May 17-18 in CV.
    • CC and JH made a fact-finding trip to SSC (Pasadena) May 30. Met with Tom Soifer & Lisa Storrie-Lombardi. Main lessons listed under "Supporting Material" below.
    • Fred Lo sent around document on suggested ALMA Proposal Review process. Discuss? Not much discussion.
    • There will be a f2f meeting of CSV-interested personnel during disk07 meeting. Hills and Peck are in, as well as Beasley. 1230pm Saturday June 23rd
    • Science Talks/visits:
      • CC gave one at OCIW
      • Al gave one at ASIAA
      • Others??? (enter into NAm ALMA Calendar; see action item listed above)
    • Upcoming NAASC Science Colloquia and Meetings
      • PPDisk07 June 22-24, Charlottesville
      • EU ALMA Community Day/Surveys for ALMA Sept 3-6 2007, Garching (JH will attend, to also attend ARC Manager f2f)

  • Project News (Wootten)
    • ASAC meeting in Tokyo: Al & Mark attended & presented. Al continued to ASIAA.
    • Al says: The first, VxRSI, antenna in Chile now is in advanced stages of assembly. Soon we will have our opportunity to greet this first ALMA production antenna and to begin its evaluation. 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. Discuss. CC available from Aug on. CB & TH available early sept. People w/ATF experience: AH, TH, JM, AW, DE, DS, AP, RL
    • Status of Receiver Band 7 Change Requests; Band 9 ripple. Scheduled discussion at next Tues mmaimcal meeting
    • Nutator CDR: Coming. Vila-Vilaro represents Science, J. Lamb (CARMA) and R. Freund (Az) external committee members.
    • Once the response of the authors is in, the DRSP2.0 will go on-line without password protection.
    • Project Scientist Report to ALMA Board.
    • Directors Program Review of ALL THINGS ALMA in SCO Sept 10-12. Will include Ops.
    • Current Science IPT Schedule. Current Operations Schedule. IPS Pictorial View(2007 May 31)
    • ALMA Biweekly Calendar
    • ALMA Construction Photogallery

    • Latest telecon occurred on Friday June 1 2007. Agenda Minutes
      • face-2-face meeting: looking for dates in late August or early Sept. Possible agenda items:
        • Project update
        • splatalog demo
        • casapy beta-release presentation/demo
        • alma simulator - demo & feedback?
        • NAASC staffing plan - who & what by when
        • AOP - give them access. What would we do with comments?
        • Grants - they've formulated a stand already. What is the next step?
    • Next telecon Fri July 27
    • Better role between ASAC/ANASAC? Discussed. Basic question: does ASAC simply inform ANASAC of its activities (if so, ANASAC meetings should follow ASAC, but no need for so many ASAC members on ANASAC), or should ANASAC be resource for NAm community to ASAC (like ESAC). Depends on Fred's wishes. Make this charge at ANASAC f2f

  • Reports from Working Groups
    • Software Testing (Hibbard):
      • CDR5/NSF/NAOJ Review?
      • 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 is needed after both of the major patches, what is NAASC availability week of June 26-29? George & Claire will visit CV for testing this week. JH, CB, AR, RR, AH are all available to test. CB may round up some more warm bodies. RI also available
        • 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
      • ObsTool. Whats next?
      • Casapy User Interface: Currently the coordination duties are being done by Steve Myers.
      • Casapy simulator: Joe & Kumar visited CV May 21-25 to work with RR, CB on three top-level casa priorities which are useful for the simulator. Plan is that NAASC staff will run simulations for people. Can we offer this to PPD meeting participants? No. 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 will spend July at NAASC helping to add content to splatalogue.
      • Can we get a link to this added here and the NAASC homepage, etc? DONE
    • Webpages (Tony Remijan):
      • Tony's done a lot of work on the NAm ALMA Calendar. Lets all try to use it.
      • Review your web charges at the bottom of this agenda and let me know if they have been updated.
    • EPO (Adams/J. Uson)
    • NAASC Workshops (Brogan)
    • ALMA Meetings: (Wootten)

Supporting Material

  • NAASC visit to Spitzer Science Center. C. Carilli & J. Hibbard meet with Tom Soifer & Lisa Storrie-Lombardi May 30. Main lessons:
    • Never planned user f2f support. Just helpdesk. Some complaints, but not much. However... they originally shoved much required work onto observers. Half of this came back. Had to scramble to figure out how to do this with existing staff. Changed priorities.
    • Main change from plans to reality: didn't plan on enough documentation. Need scientists to write. All web based.
    • User training via tutorials/workshops/university visits. Originally did Observation Planning tutorials 2/year, but now none. Instead, Data reduction tutorials at each AAS plus east coast (DC, Boston) and west coast (Pasadena). Originally 2/year, now 1/year. Science Workshops 1/year, about 250 people. University visits on ad hoc basis.
    • Main emphasis for EPO: News outlets. NSF needs to see ALMA in the news every few weeks. Professional graphics is very important.
    • Moderate community expectations. Deliver what you promise. Tom has idea that ALMA project portrays that it is like a space project; data delivered will be scientificially useful. But how do you decide data is "good enough" in a way that the proposer will agree? Doesn't matter what people are told; it matters what they think. Must really help people. A giant step in the level of support will be required. Will need lots of examples/templates for sb's, data reduction.
    • Practically no algorithm development gets done via grant support. Most done in-house. Use real programmers, not astronomers. Legacy projects produced higher-end products, not algorithms.
    • They do not have PhD's doing QA. Never did. User masters level. But originally, instrument support teams were very involved.
    • Main product of pipeline is Basic Calibrated Data (spatially rectified, calibrated to Jy or Jy/Msr, muxbleed, astrometry). Very few astronomers go back to raw data, including instrument teams.
    • Make sure you use production s/w prior to its release!!! Make SV teams use.
    • Probably don't need separate committee to coordinate Science Centers. Instead, appoint science center representatives to UC or ANASAC.
  • NAASC text for July 1 NRAO Newsletter:
North American ALMA Science Center

The NSF and ALMA Board reviews of the North American ALMA Science
Center and the ALMA operations plan are complete, and written reports
from the review panels, as well as the response to these reports by
NRAO/AUI, have been submitted to the NSF and the ALMA Board. For a
summary of the overall findings of these panels, see the previous
newsletter. The coming year will see the implementation of the
operations plan, with the first positions for NAASC staff to
participate in ALMA commissioning and science verification to be
advertised in the Fall of 2007.

The NAASC staff have also participated in ALMA software testing,
including testing of the ALMA pipeline, the CASA-PY post-processing
software, the CASA user interface (see the Newsletter contribution 
from E2E).  Software testing and documentation will be a major task 
for the NAASC in the coming two years, preparing for ALMA Early
Science in 2010.

The ALMA North American Science Advisory committee held monthly
telecons, with issues discussed including: the operations reviews, the
potential for a ALMA Users grants program, and the ASAC charges.  The
ANASAC is evolving toward a formal charge and response format,
parallel to that of the ASAC.

The 2nd annual NAASC Science Workshop "Transformational Science with
ALMA: Through Disks to Stars and Planets" will be held in
Charlottesville, June 22-24, 2007. Community interest in attending the
workshop has been very positive and we plan to hold an ALMA workshop
with a different focus every year. Stay tuned for next year's topic!

NAASC staff visited the Spitzer Science Center and the Chandra Xray
Center, to discuss general issue on Science Center operation and User
support. Also, NAASC staff gave talks on the scientific potential, and
current status, of ALMA at various institutions. If your institution
is interested in having a NAASC staff member visit and discuss ALMA,
please contact

Finally, Frank Lovas (NIST) will spend a month in Charlottesville this 
summer, helping NAASC staff further develop a molecular spectral line 
database ("splatalog", see last months Newsletter article).

Chris Carilli

-- JohnHibbard - 02 Jul 2007

This topic: ALMA > WebHome > NAASC > NAASCMtgAgenda > NaascMinutes2007Jun06
Topic revision: 2007-07-02, JohnHibbard
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