NAASC Organizational Meetings

  • First Wednesday of each month, 1-2:30pm ET, CV-ER209/TUC-N525/Soc280
  • USA toll-free Number: 866-675-5385
  • Outside USA Number: +1 517-444-6916
  • Passcode: 8445333#
  • Also meet to discuss current science issues after every-other-weekly Science IPT telecon each Tuesday at 4pm in CV-ER209. See ALMA/NA Science wiki for current issues.
  • Also discuss off-line reduction package/software algorithm development with NAUG/NAWG on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month for videocon Wed 3pm ET in CV-ER311.

Table of Contents


This agenda is available at https://safe.nrao.edu/wiki/bin/view/ALMA/NaascMinutes2008Jun04

NAASC Organizational Meeting: Wednesday June 04, 1-2:30pm ET (1700-1830UT), CV-ER209/TUC-N525/Soc280(SO-conf2)

Meeting Information

  • Call date: 2008-06-04 (Wednesday)
  • Call time 13:00 ET or 17:00 UT
  • Duration: 1.5 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: Hibbard

Attendees

  • CV: JH, RI, EF, HL, CB
  • Soc: CC, SM
  • GB: TH
  • ATF:
  • Canada:
  • Tuc:

Action Items from past meetings (RED=OPEN)

  • ACTION: provide revised ALMA EPO plan/staff ramp-up for NAASC EPO effort consistent with planned funding level
    • WHO: M.Adams/J. Stoke
    • DUE: Dec 15 -> Sep 15
    • DONE:
    • NOTES: Will reassign this to J. Stoke
  • ACTION: Write revised NAASC proposal: budget methodology; changes from Washington review
    • WHO: Hibbard
    • DUE: Jan-30
    • DONE: New budget done 11/13. Need text.
  • ACTION: Review NAASC webpage you are responsible for (see assignments) prior to monthly NAASC Org. Meeting
    • WHO: Everyone
    • DUE: prior to meeting
    • DONE:

Action Items from this meeting:

  • ACTION: Get Canadian MOU moving.
    • WHO: Carilli
    • DUE:
    • DONE:
    • NOTES:
  • ACTION: Get ANASAC to finalize dates of f2f meeting; push to have it in Socorro before end of August so they can see the ATF.
    • WHO: Carilli
    • DUE:
    • DONE:
    • NOTES:
  • ACTION: Send some suggested turno schedules to JHibbard
    • WHO: Brogan, Hunter, Indebetouw, Liszt, Remijan
    • DUE: September
    • DONE:
    • NOTES:
  • ACTION: Ask JAO/CSV if more than 8 days at OSF can be accommodated; minimal amount of time to be spent in SCO
    • WHO: Hibbard
    • DUE: September
    • DONE:
    • NOTES:

Agenda

  • NAASC News (Carilli/Hibbard)
    • SciOps IPT meeting in Santiago May 14-15. Hiring, s/w testing, implementation. First meeting with new JAO Director Thijs de Graauw.
    • Recently filled ALMA Ops positions:
      • JAO Head of Technical Services: R. Prestage (formerly GBT Director)
      • 2 NAASC CSV liaison: One accepted (A. Remijan, formerly ALMA postdoc w/Wootten; maintainer of www.splatalogue.net); one offer pending
      • 2 NAASC CASA developer: one accepted (R. Reid, formerly ALMA postdoc w/Wootten); other offer declined.
      • NA ALMA EPO program officer. John Stoke (formerly of STScI/JWST; originator of Viewspace).
      • NAASC Head: interviews on-going
      • JAO Operations Astronomers: 4 offers being drafted
      • JAO System Astronomers: 2 offers being drafted
      • 2 EA CASA Developers: offers accepted
      • 1 EA CSV liaison: accepted: M. Saito
      • 2 EU CASA Developers: offers pending
      • 2 EU CSV liaison: accepted: M. Zwaan, A. Biggs.
    • CSV definition - see Additional Material at end for definitions presented by Project Scientist to ALMA Board.
    • Turno for CSV: see main event
    • The Canadian MOU is still under revision. Have Chris try to shepherd this through
    • Since last meeting, had presentation to Milkey Committee and NRAO UC. See ppt presentation to NRAO Users Committee. Includes functional assignments for FY09.
  • ACTION: Get Canadian MOU moving.
    • WHO: Carilli
    • DUE:
    • DONE:
    • NOTES:

  • ANASAC (Carilli)
    • Last telecon: 23 May 2008 Minutes
    • Plans being made for next f2f meeting. We really don't want to do this in CV; ASAC f2f, workshop, other song & dance, too many tours being given by NTC. Makes a lot of sense to do it in Socorro before ATF is shut down. Have Chris suggest this more strongly to them
    • Working on charge on "Community Support".
  • ACTION: Get ANASAC to finalize dates of f2f meeting; push to have it in Socorro before end of August so they can see the ATF.
    • WHO: Carilli
    • DUE:
    • DONE:
    • NOTES:

  • Main Event: Turno for CSV
    • Anticipated start of CSV: March 2009
    • Each ARC needs to have ~1 person in Chile supporting CSV every day after that.
    • turnos longer than 8 days will not be allowed; productivity falls off.
    • Tours at least 3mo long can be done with 8+20 turno. This means 8 days at OSF, 6 days off, two regular weeks (5+2) working at JAO offices doing commissioning support work.
    • Tours less than 3 mo will do 8+x turno (8 days at OSF, x days off where x<=6). x can be <=6 so you don't have to spend all your off days in Chile. Some time on each trip needs to be spent at the JAO offices in Santiago interacting with the commissioning & ops team there, but I don't think a firm requirement has been set.
    • We'd like most NAASC staff to do some tours, but we have to overlap so there is not an increased training burden on CSV staff. Start thinking of (1) when and (2) what turno you'd prefer. I'll take some of the turno models you suggest and discuss them with CSV at our f2f meeting of the SciOps IPT in September.
    • Examples (recall, 22 days in Chile to get 15% salary bonus):
      • Minimal tour (strongly discouraged. Disallowed?): 2 (travel, SCO) + 8 (OSF) + 2 (SCO and travel home) + 6 (off, stateside)
      • 22 day tour: 2 (travel, SCO) + 8 (OSF) + 1 (off,SP) + 8 (OSF) + 3 (SCO and travel home) + 11 (off, stateside): This would be a very efficient duty cycle which would allow interaction with SCO staff at the front- and back-end of the tour (JeffMangum).
      • 3mo tour: 2 (travel, SCO) + 8 (OSF) + 2 (off, SCO) + 3 work-weeks SCO + 8 (OSF) 2 (off, SCO) + 3 work-weeks SCO + 8 (OSF) + 4 (SCO and travel home) + 14 (off, Chile or stateside)
    • People with experience (Steve at CBI, Todd at SMA) say longer than 8 day OSF tours are not unreasonable. But having a day off now and then does help. Darrel says he stays in San Pedro and drives to OSF each day. Could do this for ~3 weeks before going batty. Is this an option? What is the minimal time people have to spend in SCO?

  • ACTION: Send some suggested turno schedules to JHibbard
    • WHO: Brogan, Hunter, Indebetouw, Liszt, Remijan
    • DUE: September
    • DONE:
    • NOTES:
  • ACTION: Ask JAO/CSV if more than 8 days at OSF can be accommodated; minimal amount of time to be spent in SCO; can people stay in San Pedro during commissioning at least.
    • WHO: Hibbard
    • DUE: September
    • DONE:
    • NOTES:

  • Reports from Working Groups
    • Software Testing
      • Pipeline testing: Report of last test is in draft stage. See CIPT->pipeline wiki
      • Offline testing: Freeze & testing for CASA beta patch 2 (for NRAO summer school tutorials in June). Details on new CASA capabilities & future development targets available in ppt presentation to NRAO Users Committee. please test as much as you can for beta patch 2
      • ObsTool. Test 5 scheduled for May. I have seen no instructions yet. Official NA testers are Deb, Jeff, Antonio & James. Unofficial testers are Al, Harvey, Todd & Dana. Test started May 21. Due by June 13
      • Casapy simulator:
      • ALMA Archive: Report from last test done and will be submitted soon.
    • Calibration Group (JeffMangum): Calibration
    • Imaging Group (AlWootten):
    • MM Calibrator/Spectral Line Databases (Tony Remijan)
        • Any news on Pre-proposal by May 25?
    • Webpages (Aaron Evans):
      • New NRAO webpage is near beta release. Fred wants NAASC to pioneer science user outreach.
    • EPO (Adams)
      • We still need revised ALMA EPO plan/staff ramp-up
      • Newsletter is now electric, goes out 1/mo. Either contribute NAASC article quarterly (when we do quarterly report), or each month have a different functional assignment area generate an article. Lets discuss after Stoke joins us.
    • NAASC Workshops (Remy)
    • Upcoming Science Meetings: (Wootten)

Additional Supporting Material

Definitions used in CSV: From ALMA Project Scientist (R. Hills) to ALMA Board:

Terminology for CSV

It has become clear that care is needed in the use of titles for the various activities that will be carried out by the Commission and Science Verification team over the next few years. Similar terminology is used by different project in different ways and this can lead to confusion and create false expectations. Here are the definitions that we are working with:

Commissioning: this is the process of getting the whole system working to the point where it can make scientific observations. It involves testing the system, finding the problems with it and getting them fixed, plus optimization of performance, documentation and training the operations team. Formally the start of Scientific Commissioning will be defined by the acceptance of a three-element interferometer at the AOS that meets the engineering specifications. In practice commissioning activities form part of the overall AIV activities from a much earlier stage, as is already the case at the ATF. At present this interface is being overseen very effectively by the Deputy Project Scientist and the AIV lead, and we expect that to continue.

Science Verification: this is the process of demonstrating that ALMA meets its scientific requirements. It is basically a technical process that will typically involve repeated observations of well-known sources, so that we can verify that the data from ALMA is scientifically valid. It is an incremental process in that new modes and capabilities will be coming on-line continually. During the initial phases ALMA will clearly not meet its final goals, just due to the small number of antennas if for no other reason. In some cases, such as sensitivity, the extrapolation is straight-forward: in others, such as the imaging properties, it is much less so and we will need to develop some interim goals to enable us to judge how well we are doing.

It has been agreed that data from Science Verification will made public immediately after quality assurance is complete. Amongst other things this is important as a way of ensuring that the community can access and process ALMA data and also that the results of independent processing agrees with our own. It is however important that everyone understands that the motivation for SV is not to allow individual astronomers to pursue their own scientific programs. Any new scientific results that emerge at this stage will be essentially serendipitous. We have agreed that there will be a “call for suggestions” to the community asking people for their ideas for objects or experiments that would make good targets for SV. Adoption of a particular suggestion will not confer any special rights on the person who suggested it, although they will certainly get an acknowledgement in the report.

ALMA Public Images: these will be a subset of the data produced during SV. They will be selected as examples which will advertise ALMA’s growing capabilities to the wider community and, where appropriate, to the general public. During the early stages ALMA will have fewer antennas than the existing arrays and our system will of course be much less “shaken down”, so meeting expectations here will not be easy. Our location in the southern hemisphere, together with the high site and the expected receiver performance, does give us some advantages and will do our very best to exploit these. The community will again be asked for suggestions for targets.

Early Science: This will resemble the final operational state in that the normal procedures for submitting and assessing proposals will in place, together with proprietary rights to data. Its execution will be the responsibility of the Operations Team and it will employ those resources and capabilities that have completed the Acceptance, Commissioning and Verification processes. The difference from final operation is of course that the capabilities will be somewhat restricted, especially at the beginning. Observing efficiency may also be quite low – we might have to try some observations several times to get good results. We would not however expect to deliver invalid or poor-quality data to the users. The Early Science array will in fact be a power instrument. The plan is to have at least 16 antennas operational from the start in the bilateral array, plus some subset of ACA (details to be decided). The modes offered will be interferometry for single fields and pointed mosaics with a restricted set of correlator modes (probably continuum, medium and high spectral resolution) at baselines of up to approximately 4 km and with the option of combining total-power data from a single antenna. Polarization measurements, at least of compact sources will be possible. The plan presently calls for all sixteen antennas to be equipped with 6 receiver bands (3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9) but this may not be possible with the revised plans for Front-End assembly. It is now likely that some antennas will only have 4 bands, but we will make sure that they all have at least a band 3 cartridge and one submm band.

-- JohnHibbard - 04 Jun 2008
Topic revision: r3 - 2008-06-05, JohnHibbard
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