Table of Contents

This agenda is available at

NAASC Organizational Meeting, Feb 3 2010

Contact Information

  • Call date: Wednesday, Febuary 03, 2010
  • NO MEETING; Presentation to Directors Council today
  • Call time 13:00 ET or 18:00 UT
  • Duration: 1.5 hr
  • Locations: NEW! CV-ER230/TUC-N525/Soc280(SO-conf2)/JAO-Alsacia/JAO-OSF(Science)/NRC
  • Connection for Video:
    • NEW! From NRAO select "CV-ER230"
    • NEW! 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

Attendees NONE. No meeting today

Action Items from past meetings (RED=OPEN)

  • 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: Post Simdata walkthrough and 6 recipes

Action Items from this meeting:

    • WHO:
    • DUE:
    • DONE:


  • NAASC News (Hibbard/Lonsdale)
    • Sheila Kannappan from UNC arrived in January and will be visiting us until June
    • Shortlist for NAASC Scientists has been made; interviews proceeding
    • Tony has made his offer for the next NAASC postdoc, to help support splatalogue while Tony is in Chile
    • We have one more postdoc position to fill. Emphasis will be on simdata and training materials
    • AOP is being updated to VersE. JH racking up the miles working on this:
      • Feb 3-4 meeting in Charlottesville for summary/status presentation to Directors Council
      • Feb 10-12 AOPvE WG f2f meeting in Santiago (draft maintenance plan and "executable" budget reviewed; Scenarios costed)
      • Feb 19-20 HoA f2f meeting in Santiago (full-up budget presented to Heads of Admin; JH will not attend; TM/GC/MP)
      • Feb 22-26 JH taking vacation (slacker)
      • Mar ??: Draft AOPvE due to Board
    • NAASC plan still being drafted. Draft due to AUI by March 5
    • JH attended CIPT planing meeting in Socorro Jan 11-12, to review s/w functionality being delivered for releases R8.0 & R8.1 (June and Dec 2010)

  • NRC News (Schieven)

  • ANASAC (AWootten)
    • Report distributed to Lo and Lonsdale. Needs response.
    • Last telecon held on Jan15. Agenda

  • Main Event:
    • None. No meeting today.

  • Reports from Cognizant Leads
    • Pipeline (Remy)
      • User Test 6 (UT6) is now scheduled to start in Feb. This external test exercises: mosaics, continuum subtracted imaging, group gain calibrations, improved flagging, and improved imaging algorithms
      • NAASC testers: Official - Rachel, Crystal. Unofficial - John, Brenda, Kartik. JH: ask Ed Fomalont
    • CASA (Crystal)
      • Public release (R3.0) is out
      • ALMA related CASA tutorials are being planned in Taiwan for March and in Socorro in June (at Summer School)
    • ObsPrep (incl. ObsTool=OT) (Harvey & Kartik)
      • OT "Auto-Deployed" version. Can be used now to get experience with OT, but its a very unstable version and not always available
      • User test 7.0 released to testers on January 26, with feedback requested by Feb 16. This test will concentrate on Phase I and will use the archive in Santiago. Proposal that are submitted will be important for PT test in March. We have to get many people to take part, and coordinate feedback through Harvey. Planned testers: HL, ML, AW, Adam L., KS? (plus Baker, Johnstone from ASAC)
      • Beta release April 2010.
    • Technical Assessment WG (Harvey, Todd, Jeff, Crystal):
      • I think this effort may have completed? Replace this with Ph1M activities?
    • Casapy simulator (Remy)
      • Remy organized and hosted project-wide simulation workshop Jan 11-12 in CV. Meeting clarified and set priorities from user support perspective; discussion on work on web interface (EU), discussion of atmospheric corruption with Bojan, etc. Summary posted at
      • Eelco van Kampen is trying to amass a simulation library: proposed ALMA projects that will be used primarily to create simulated datasets to put into the archive for testing, but which we also want to use for OT tests, PT tests, and developing tutorials. We need people to contribute to this; Remy should collect what projects NA is working on. Tony R. will organize NRAO postdocs to contribute. Eelco's Website for this effort:
      • A really excellent example of how these might proceed is at (why isn't this on casaguides?)
      • Simdata examples being posted to Need Remy to post his ppt walkthrough and scripts for the other six examples (see AI).
    • ALMA Archive (Mark L)
      • 5 yr archive plan was finished and written up for NAASC proposal
      • Kelly Sharp is approaching proposed solution for joint ALMA/NRAO Helpdesk solution in kayako
      • Group planning a trip to Garching in March to see ESO archive and attend plone tutorial
    • Splatalogue (Tony)
    • NEW TASK: Project Tracker (PT)
    • EPO (J. Stoke)
    • Science User Outreach/Webpages (M. Adams/A.Evans)
      • Expect to get part-time support for science web very soon
      • Miami AAS meeting:
        • May 24-27 in Miami. NAASC attendees: CL, JH, AW, AR, ML, MA, AP. NRC?
        • Monday evening special session on Preparing for ALMA
        • Abstracts must be submitted by Feb 16
      • June Summer School:
        • NAASC effort being organized by AE. Planned activities:
        • Thursday: CB lecture on mm observing
        • Thursday evening: elective "Preparing for ALMA" and "Meet the NAASC" session
        • Friday: CASA tutorials. NAASC staff will support the EVLA high-frequency tutorial
        • Tuesday: elected sessions which will include another CASA tutorial including a CARAM
        • Rachel & Crystal will prepare ALMA relevant CASA tutorials. Remy will prepare simdata tutorial. NAASC staff must train up on these before so they can support. NAASC attendees: Crystal, Rachel (not Tues), Todd, Adam, John, Aaron, Brian, Remy, Mark L. To ask: AR? KS? DM?
    • NAASC Workshops (Aaron)
      • Next workshop will be something on high resolution spectral line observations
      • Tony and Al will be co-SOC chairs, along with someone from ANASAC
    • 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 January Monthly report

Hiring activities
  • Conducted interviews for NAASC science positions, CASA developer, NA Archive technician
  • Posted advertisements for NAASC postdoc and administrative assistant
  • Arrangements to support a pre-doc student for 6 month term appointment to assist with observing project simulations

JAO support
  • NA CSV Liaison K. Sheth continued tours at OSF
  • Produced ALMA memo describing the most important frequencies in Band 6 for polarization work (SCID- to inform the ongoing tests on Band 6 performance at NTC
  • Attended CIPT planning meeting in Socorro Jan 11-12
  • Attended FE M&R workshop meeting Jan 15
  • Attended and provided input to AOPvE meeting in Santiago Jan 18-21
  • Attended SciOpsIPT f2f in Santiago Jan 22
  • Participated in biweekly telcons for OT, Ph1M, PT, AOPvE, SciOpsIPT

Software Development & testing
  • Continued participation in CASA testing and cabal prioritizing meetings and support of CASA helpdesk
  • Led several meetings about HPC and the CASA viewer.
  • Wrote NRAO eNews article on CASA release 3.0
  • Worked on VLA and ATCA ammonia pathway through CASA
  • organized and hosted project-wide simulation workshop
  • prototyped use case/user guide to simulation on casaguides wiki (
  • gave tutorials on CASA simdata at UVa & AAS
  • Participated in discussion with ALMA Science Pipeline subsystem scientist to clarify and prioritize simulation requirements from pipeline group
  • Began OT test (H. Liszt, M. Lacy, K. Sheth, A. Leroy, T. Hunter)
  • Continued "on-the-fly" testing of the OT
  • Continued improvements to OT exposure time calculation
  • Re-cast the technical assessment forms and circulated for comment
  • Conducted gap analysis for Kayako helpdesk system against ALMA requirements; participated in ALMA Helpdesk requirements & planning meetings with helpdesk developer
  • Built SLAP (Simple Line Access Protocol) client in PHP for use in accessing Splatalogue (and other VO compliant spectral line databases) from CASA, and in IDL for more general use

Conferences and workshops
  • Attended January AAS meeting; presentation on ALMA and NAASC at NRAO Town Hall. Presented posters on ALMA Status, ALMA Science, CASA, Splatalogue and CASA at ALMA Special Session sponsored by NAASC. Produced and debuted Splatalogue "infomercial" (search for "splatalogue" on youtube), ALMA mousepad, and ALMA Primer (contributed by Canadian Partners from HIA)
  • Began planning the Fall 2010 NAASC science meeting with ANASAC: suggestion of `Long-wavelength spectroscopy in astrophysics', to tie in Herschel, ALMA, eVLA & GBT interests

  • Refined draft of NSF proposal to fund NA share of ALMA Operations 2012-2015 and sent for review to NRAO and AUI management
  • Hosted visit by Bob Hanisch, VAO project lead, to discussed synergies between VAO and ALMA data mining at NRAO
  • Conducted ANASAC telecon Jan 15; they provided input on the suggested array reconfiguration rate reduction scenarios
  • Participated in US Astro2010 Decadal panels
  • Sabbatical visitor Sheila Kannappan (UNC) joined NAASC for 5 month visit

-- JohnHibbard - 2010-02-05
Topic revision: r5 - 2010-02-07, JohnHibbard
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