Table of Contents

This agenda is available at


Contact Information

  • Call date: Wednesday, December 02, 2009
  • Call time 13:00 ET or 18:00 UT
  • Duration: 1.5 hr
  • Locations: CV-ER209/TUC-N525/Soc280(SO-conf2)/JAO-Alsacia/JAO-OSF(Science)/NRC
  • Connection for Video:
    • From NRAO select "Conf Hub IVR"
    • hub ip=
    • alternative ip for Chile only, if above drops:
  • 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


  • CV: TH, JH, CL, HL, BK, JM, RF, AW, AR, AE (phone), RI, CB, MA
  • Soc: BG
  • GB:
  • Canada: GS, JdF, DG
  • Tuc: DE
  • JAO:
  • Other:

Action Items from past meetings (RED=OPEN)

  • ACTION: Send possible CSV support travel dates for CY2010 to JHibbard
    • WHO: Brogan, Hunter, Indebetouw, Mangum, Lacy, Liszt, Sci13-15
    • DUE: Nov 13
    • DONE:
    • NOTES: see NAASC2Chile. Only need JM & Sci13-15
  • ACTION: Post FAQ for new hires
    • WHO: Shanika with input from Kartik, Mark L., Aaron, other recent hires
    • DUE: Jan 1, 2010
    • DONE:
  • ACTION: Develop & deploy staff pages for the NAASC (
    • WHO: Shanika/Aaron
    • DUE: preliminary page ready Nov13; new scope: include non-CV sites?
    • DONE:
    • NOTES: Carol needs to decide how to incorporate all the different sites & advise Aaron/Shanika (CV/Soc/Tuc/NRC/Chile)
  • ACTION: Provide feedback on NRAO science web ( and naasc web ( Comments to (NRAO) or Aaron (NAASC web)
    • DUE: Nov 30, 2009
    • DONE: Dec 03
    • NOTES: Comments welcome up to ~Dec 15
  • ACTION: Collect input from all NAASC for update to ALMA primer
    • WHO: DJ/GS
    • DUE: Nov 13
    • DONE: Nov 13
  • ACTION: Send any changes made to ALMA primer material as it is incorporated in NAASC webpages to DJ/GS
    • WHO: A.Evans
    • DUE: Nov 13
    • DONE: Dec 03

Action Items from this meeting:

    • WHO:
    • DUE:
    • DONE:


  • NAASC News (Hibbard/Lonsdale)
    • New application developer Kelly Sharp started work. Will work on ALMA User Portal and helpdesk solution, and will be based in e2e office
    • NRAO is trying out installation of kayako helpdesk. Take a look. File a ticket. Will be used for EVLA, and most likely ALMA.
    • Tony is back from 3mo tour in Chile; Kartik started 4mo tour
    • Speaking of trips to Chile: ARC staff are subject to JAO Non-disclosure rules. This means facebook too! Should be added to Chile FAQ.
    • AOP is being updated to VersE. JH will travel to Chile 12/6 to work on this. Bigger meeting in Chile Jan 19+ to finalize it
    • Carol will have draft of proposal to NSF for North American ALMA Operations and NAASC for review very shortly. Needs good eyes.

  • NRC News (Schieven)
    • James dF finished a 1mo tour in Chile

  • ANASAC (AWootten)
    • Report distributed to Lo and Lonsdale. Needs response.
    • Telecon held on Nov20. Agenda

  • Main Event:
    • As detailed in previous meetings, NSF requires us to include specific development projects (and their costs) with the NAASC proposal to be submitted in March. These need to be items that were identified by the community as being the most scientifically promising. Inclusion in our proposal has no bearing on whether these will be the development projects supported by the international project (although we do expect proposals for these to be submitted for Board consideration when the call for development projects eventually goes out). Todd & Al both worked a lot this month on see which of the ANASAC/ASAC identified development project would fit within the guidance development funding profile for 2012-2015, and will present a summary here. Here is a strawman version that fits the funding profile.

  • Reports from Working Groups
    • Pipeline (from eSSR wiki)
      • User Test 6 (UT6) is on schedule to start in mid Jan2010. UT6 is the primary focus for pipeline testing right now. Pretesting (done by the developer) is expected to finish up this month (this is a critical step in test preparation). The test scope includes calibration, imaging improvements, small mosaics, and will involve outside users. There may be 6-8 testers (very preliminary number). There has also been significant changes to the user documentation, which will certainly result in user feedback to improve it.
      • NAASC testers: Official - Rachel, Crystal. Unofficial - John, Brenda, Kartik. JH: ask Ed Fomalont
    • CASA (Crystal)
      • Next release (3.0) will be December. This is a VERY IMPORTANT release, as it will be the version used for EVLA early science. Will need LOTS of real-world testing. Developer freeze in Oct, test in Nov.
      • important test targets: cvel, clean, importasdm, asdm2ms, exportuvfits
    • ObsPrep (incl. ObsTool=OT) (Harvey)
      • OT "Auto-Deployed" version. Can be used now to get experience with OT, but its a very unstable version and not always available
      • Beta release April 2010.
    • Technical Assessment WG (Harvey, Todd, Jeff, Crystal):
      • Harvey sent out email on this; recipients should provide feedback to him
    • Casapy simulator (Remy)
      • Remy gave walkthrough demonstration on Nov 19 to an international viewership, followed by discussion of future priorities. Summary include under "Additional Items" below
      • REMY SHOULD POST HIS PPT PRESENTATION. Incorporate receipies into
      • Jan 11/12 CV: implementation workshop - more detailed tutorials on working with simdata and Simulator, work on web interface (EU), discussion of atmospheric corruption with Bojan, etc.
      • Early science configs will be delivered in 3.0 - updated examples are being posted at the wiki
    • ALMA Archive (Mark L)
      • UP developer hired; DBA, Archive Tech jobs being defined
      • Group planning a trip to Garching early next year
    • Splatalogue (Tony)
      • Once Tony gets back from Chile, will start process of defining subset of spectral lines that should be included in CASA & Obstool for offline use (email from CIPT).
    • EPO (J. Stoke)
      • Mark A., John S, Jeff Hellermann, A.Russell going to OSF next week to shoot video for ALMA
    • Science User Outreach/Webpages (M. Adams/A.Evans)
    • NAASC Workshops (Aaron)
      • Topic and timescale for next meeting was discussed by ANASAC. They want one in Fall in CV.
    • Upcoming Science Meetings: (Al)
      • A 'Science with ALMA Band 5' (163-211 GHz) workshop will take place in March in Rome.
      • Other Meetings are now listed on the google ALMA Science Meetings calendar
    • Upcoming NAASC Science Visitors (see google calendar NAASC Visitors)

Additional Supporting Material

NAASC items submitted to JAO for November Monthly report

Hiring activities
  • Software Application Developer K. Sharp joined NAASC to work on ALMA helpdesk and User Portal solutions
  • Search Committee for next three NAASC scientific hires met
  • Posted advertisement for NA Commissioning postdoc
  • Issued job requisition for System Administrator to manager NAASC Archive and Compute systems
  • Hosted/Invited colloquium speakers interested in NAASC staff positions. (Remijan)

JAO support
  • Continued CSV liaison duties in Chile including turnos to the OSF: A. Remijan finished 3 mo tour; J. di Francesco provided 1 mo tour; K. Sheth started 4 mo tour.
    • provided observing support and preparations of the data for the "first fringes" at the high site press release. (Remijan)
    • submitted DV02 Correlator Report to AIV team before the move to the high site. (Remijan)
    • investigated issues related to the 1st quadrant correlator and reported to AIV and CORR-IPT. (Remijan)
  • Provided input for response to the Science Operations Review panel report
  • Worked on revision of ALMA Operations Plan, Ch. 11
  • Provided input for ALMA Board meeting
  • ALMA Science IPT telecon was held

Software Development & testing
  • Completed new CASA imfit code & regression tests for fitting two dimensional gaussians
  • Developed new CARMA filler and tested end-2-end CARMA reduction/imaging pathway through CASA
  • Worked on VLA ammonia pathway through CASA
  • Configured NRAO-hosted mediawiki site and posted first "CASA guide"
  • Worked on VLA continuum survey and plotms CASA guides
  • Extensive pre-release testing of CASA software
  • CASA User support: 10 new tickets received
  • Participated in CASA semi-annual face-2-face planning meeting in Socorro
  • CASA simulator development - corruption of data by atmospheric delay screen, thermal noise, complex gains with various statistics, cross-polarization, etc.
  • Held walkthrough demonstration of CASA ALMA simulator task simdata and ALMA simulator planning discussion, including participants from Europe and Japan
  • Participated in testing of NRAO instance of Kayako helpdesk (under evaluation for ALMA), and setup area for CASA support

Conferences and workshops
  • Developed material for use at January AAS Meeting, including quick reference guide for ALMA, video, ALMA fact-sheet magnet

  • Drafted preliminary version of NAASC 2012-2015 proposal to NSF
  • Evaluated cost and phasing of highly rated ALMA development projects for inclusion in NAASC proposal
  • Conducted ANASAC telecon at which the ANASAC report was discussed, along with development, the NAASC proposal and 2010 workshop possibilities
  • Continued definition of computing needs and budget for Charlottesville Science Data Center (which will host the NA ALMA mirror archive)
  • Issued PO for system racks and power distribution needed for Phase I of NA ARC archive systems
  • Placed upgrade order for NA ARC network link from 100Mbps to 1Gigabit/s (install due in December)
  • Evaluated possibilities for and potential costs of sharing a proposed 10Gigabit research network link from Chile-US
  • Completed redesign of NAASC website and filled in content, for debut at January 2010 AAS meeting
  • Participated in US Astro2010 Decadal panels
  • Published ALMA article in NRAO eNews
  • Led discussion on water masers at frequencies other than 1.3cm.
  • Prepared and delivered lecture on nitrogen isotopes in the solar system and in the interstellar medium
  • Gave ESO colloquium on the lab and astronomical detection of trans-methyl formate in Chile. (Remijan)

R. Indebetouw Summary of Nov 19, 2009 videocon on ALMA CASA Simulators

Thanks for everyone who participated in the our discussion last week. Here is my summary of what occurred - please comment or clarify if you wish.

simdata/Simulator development summary (Indebetouw):
  • we are building quite a bit of flexibility into the Simulator tool, to corrupt data in various ways.
  • first implemented are the full corruption - i.e. not yet calibrated data. "residual" corruption i.e. after calibration is future work.
  • only thermal noise and phase screen will be promoted to the task in the immediate future
  • simdata suggestions:
    • task interface could just have a "turn on atmosphere" switch that invoked thermal noise, time-variable Tsys and phase delay
    • task could leave "gaps" in the time sequence, so one could run simdata twice and concat to fill the gaps with more complex sequences
    • optionally the gap could contain an unresolved calibrator (single clean component) at some distance and flux from the science mosaic

sdsim development summary (Sugimoto):
  • built on simdata as prototype, with some details changed, but well-suited to be combined with simdata in the future
  • adds thermal noise using an older section of the code
  • sdsim issues identified:
    • Simulator's new system of corruption by VisCal will require that autocorrelations are turned on in setApply, so that the same VisCals can be applied to single dish data
    • pointing errors are likely a more important source of corruption for single dish than interferometric data, and should be raised from their previously lower priority

library of simulations (vanKampen)
  • Needed for:
    • archive population (relatively low fidelity i.e. if some fields are filled with zeros thats ok for now)
    • obObs tools e.g. project tracker
    • examples/tutorials for users
    • pipeline/heuristic testing (high fidelity - all fields e.g. consistent weather with phase corruption of visibilities)
  • plan:
    • identify a group of scientists at the ARCs (vanKampen will start a list of a subset of the DSRP on a wiki for us to all sign up for ~3)
    • design the project in the OT (APDM out), and also create the simdata inputs (ms out; Petry will work on ms2asdm in ~Jan/Feb)
    • combine APDM+ASDM

Web interface / enhanced sensitivity calculator (Heywood)
  • using as a template, design a simple web interface that runs the simulator task directly.

Action items:
  • Indebetouw: fix sdsim.setnoise (DONE)
  • Indebetouw: debug and clean up Simulator improvements
  • Indebetouw, Sugimoto, Bhatnagar: design& code pointing error corruptions
  • Sugimoto: update sdsim with new simdata improvements
  • Sugimoto and Indebetouw: design ATM, sdsim regression tests
  • Moellenbrock and Indebetouw: activate AC corruption via VisCal
  • vanKampen: start list of sims to perform wiki
  • Liszt: check what projects the OT might be mature enough to handle, and if it makes sense to turn this activity into an OT user test in Feb
  • Petry: ms2asdm
  • Wicenec: APDM+ASDM combination script (after ms2asdm, ~Feb)
  • Indebetouw: support Heywood
  • Indebetouw: update simdata cookbook and documentation (~Dec)
  • all: test simdata and simulator in next week?'s release candidate.
  • all: comment on availability Jan 11-12 (RI will verify Nikolic schedule)

-- JohnHibbard - 2009-12-02
Topic revision: r2 - 2009-12-10, AnthonyRemijan
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