NAASC Meeting for May 5, 2010

Table of Contents

This agenda is available at

Meeting Logistics:

  • Call date: Wednesday, May 05, 2010
  • Call time 13:30 ET or 17:30 UT
  • Duration: NEW! 1.0 hr
  • Locations: CV-ER230/TUC-N525/Soc280(SO-conf2)/JAO-Alsacia/JAO-OSF(Science)/NRC
  • Connection for Video:
    • From NRAO select "CV-ER230"
    • 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: JH, JM, MThornley, DC-K, BK, AR, AW, ALeroy, RF, DM, CL, RI, KSheth, JStoke
  • Soc: TH, CV
  • GB:
  • Canada:
  • Tuc: DE
  • JAO:
  • Other:

Action Items from past meetings (RED=OPEN)

  • ACTION: Send availability during upcoming Integrated Test (May 10-June 4) to JHibbard
    • WHO: All NAASC staff
    • DUE: April 17 (before SciOpsIPT f2f)
    • DONE: April 17
  • ACTION: Post abstracts for Miami AAS special session and advertise
  • ACTION: Post FAQ for new hires
    • WHO: New Admin with input from Kartik, Mark L., Aaron, other recent hires
    • DUE: Jan 1, 2010 -> June
    • DONE:
  • ACTION: Develop & deploy staff pages for the NAASC (
    • WHO: Shanika/Aaron -> D.C. Kim
    • 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 (CV/Soc/Tuc/NRC/Chile)
  • ACTION: Post Simdata walkthrough and 6 recipes
    • WHO: Remy -> D-C. Kim
    • DUE: Jan03 -> June2
    • DONE:
  • ACTION: Transfer tickets from old CASA helpdesk to kayako instance
    • WHO: CB: identify tickets to transfer. K.Sharp: transfer tickets
    • DUE: ?
    • DONE:

Action Items from this meeting:

  • ACTION: User eNews email exploder to advertise Miami AAS event
    • WHO: MAdams
    • DUE: ASAP
    • DONE:
  • ACTION: Set up run-through for Miami AAS session
    • WHO: MAdams
    • DUE: ASAP
    • DONE: May 7
    • NOTES: run-through is Friday May 28 at 4pm
  • ACTION: Get table, power for AAS booth in Miami so we can conduct CASA & simdata tutorials
    • WHO: MAdams
    • DUE: May 28
    • DONE:
  • ACTION: Post instructions for Summer School tutors and set up day for them to work through all summer school CASA tutorial datasets.
  • ACTION: Set up day for summer school attendees to work through simdata2 recipies
    • WHO: Remy
    • DUE: ASAP
    • DONE: May 7: have reserved May 28 for this activity.
  • ACTION: Take a new look at NAASC website ( and send any comments (we anticipate proposal panel to be hitting it in the coming weeks)
    • WHO: All
    • DUE: ASAP
    • DONE:
  • ACTION: Look into documentation solutions (single system that produces both web and hardcopy documents). Define requirements and ask CIS to recommend solutions
    • WHO: JHibbard/MAdams/DHalstead
    • DUE: July 2
    • DONE:


  • NAASC News (Hibbard/Lonsdale)
    • Current NA CSV turnos: HL April 18-May 15
    • Crystal and Todd are away doing EVLA RSRO April 20-June30
    • John & Kelly traveled to Japan April 18-23 for SciOpsIPT f2f meeting; see Main Event
    • Next NAASC postdocs have all accepted:
      • Robin Pulliam (UAz) will start in June
      • Amy Kimball (UWash) will start in Sept
      • Nuria Marcelino (Laboratory for Molecular Astrophysics, Madrid) to start Nov
      • Kartik has a postdoc starting in the Fall to work on S4G: Carlos Munos
    • Still looking for Administrative support
    • Still waiting for staff positions to become resolved
    • JAO 1st Integrated test will take place May 10-June 4.
      • To be tested: UP SSO-0, OT-phI, loadtest, PHY/Ph1M, PT, helpdesk
      • NAASC Participants: JHibbard, ARemijan, KSheth, AWootten, HLiszt, RIndebetouw, GSchieven, BMatthews, DJohnstone, [CLonsdale]
      • There are additional "external" testers for OT (Adam, MarkL)
    • Summer School training: End of May (TBD). All 12 people supporting summer school tutorials must take part. Set aside at least two half-days to work through 2 CASA tutorials and ~6 simdata examples.
      • Crystal says: test must be done mid may or won't be useful. Everyone needs to use linux box - thats all summer school attendees will use. All scripts will be posted to casaguides. Aaron will work with Crystal to get instructions posted and out to everyone. AI on Aaron: Post instructions for Summer School tutors and set up day for them to work through all summer school CASA tutorial datasets.

  • NRC News (Schieven)
    • Victoria will host Jan workshop (after Seattle AAS) (more details below)
    • Participants in integrated test: Gerald, Brenda, Doug

  • ANASAC (AWootten)
    • Last telecon: March 5 Agenda
    • Next telecon: May 14. Ask about potential NA panel members/chairs?
    • ASAC f2f meeting Oct 13-14 2010.
    • ESO created a couple more ALMA animated renderings. These are now online:

  • Main Event: SciOpsIPT f2f Meeting, April 18-23 at NAOJ
    • Updated near-term timeline. See main NAASC wiki under ALMALookingAhead
    • Kelly gave helpdesk demo. Went off without a scratch (discussed at a recent NAASC meeting, so won't go over here). Simple single-server deployment will be used for upcoming Integrated Test. ARC Managers have until June 15 to finalize configuration (choosing between single-server and distributed server models; see attached presentation for details).
    • We were also given a demo of the first tools of the "Phase I Manager" (Ph1M). These include:
    • We refined the list of "End User Documentation" that the ARCs are expected to produce by the Operations Readiness Review. These are posted off of the DSO Wiki and listed at the bottom of this agenda. Responsibilities were assigned. NA has responsibility for items listed in red
    • Action Items for NA:
      • Create page on DSO wiki and post useful things for sharing (ALMA Primer, "Preparing For ALMA" talks", tutorial schedule and materials, summer school lectures)
      • Create document reporting ARCs plans for community outreach prior to early science (see supporting material under last months meeting for the start of this; other ARCs have to contribute)
      • Identify ~25 NA community candidates for first ALMA proposal review panels, spread among 4 science categories. Not necessarily mm experts. Identify good potential chairs. Due May 24. (Engage ANASAC?)
      • provide test matrix for ALMA helpdesk for upcoming integrated test (due May 5; Kelly has a whole set of actions to follow up on for rolling out the helpdesk this summer)

  • Reports from Cognizant Leads
    • Pipeline (Remy)
      • User Test 6 (UT6) is now scheduled to start May 14-June 21 This external test exercises: mosaics, continuum subtracted imaging, group gain calibrations, improved flagging, and improved imaging algorithms
      • NAASC testers: Official - Remy, Rachel. Unofficial - John, Brenda, Kartik.
    • CASA (Crystal)
      • R3.0.1 is out. Developing patch 3.0.2 for use at Summer School.
      • Tutorials will be given at the upcoming summer school on June 11 & 15.
    • ObsPrep (incl. ObsTool=OT) (Harvey)
      • New timeline from SciOpsIPT f2f meeting (see also ALMALookingAhead): R7.1 ("pre-beta") will be used for upcoming integrated test. There will be a "Public Preview" release July 20, to be part of Aug staff "training" (will documentation be based on R7.1, or "Public Preview"??). Finally, R8.0 is due to be released Oct 20, just before ESDP (Nov 22).
    • Phase I Manager (Ph1M) (Harvey):
      • Demo at SciOpsIPT f2f (see main event)
    • Casapy simulator (Remy)
    • ALMA Archive & Helpdesk (Mark L)
      • Helpdesk will be used during upcoming integrated test. Test matrix is being finalized.
    • Splatalogue (Tony)
    • Project Tracker (PT)
      • Will be tested in upcoming integrated test
    • EPO (J. Stoke) (left over from last month, but we didn't get a chance to go through it so lets see it again)
      • On Wed, March 31st, JS, AR and Brooks Pate had a dinner meeting with Chris Hoelzl, VP of programming at the Smithsonian networks. The topic was to make a pilot program (~90mins) on ALMA for Smithsonian network television. This program is intended to capture and highlight the construction and science of ALMA. It may also be expanded in to a series if the pilot goes well. We received the following email from Chris on 4/1...
        • "I came away thinking that we should be putting together a plan to create not just a documentary but something bigger that can link to all the various ways the public might experience the ALMA project and the science and data that will result. I very much want Smithsonian Channel to be a part of this and I’d be happy to meet with you again with or without NSF. I briefed my boss, David Royle, on our dinner and he’s providing me the support I need to move this forward. We’d be happy to walk you through the way we are structuring the Titanoboa initiative and bring in other SI partners, including the Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Books, SITES, etc."
        • Remijan will head to DC most likely next week to talk with C. Hoelzl. They are ready to start the project.
      • General dynamics (vertex) will fund educational web stuff associated with ALMA
      • may 13 visit from students. 9 days in GB, 1 at NAASC/NTC/CCU
      • Bill Saxton (Graphic Designer) now based in CV
      • BBC filming GB may 18 for a documentary on astrobiology
      • Writing script for ALMA virtual tour
      • ALMA EPO WG will meet f2f in Chile (when?)
    • Science User Outreach/Webpages (M. Adams/A.Evans)
      • Dong-Chan Kim has been steadily updating content on NAASC science website
      • Miami AAS meeting (May 24-27):
        • NAASC attendees: CL, JH, AW, AR, MA, AP, Kelsey
        • Monday evening special session on Preparing for ALMA:
          • Carol: welcome
          • Al: science
          • Kelsey: Users view
          • Alison: status
          • Tony: tools
        • We need to collect abstracts and post (see AI). Need to promote
        • Carol says to do CASA and simdata tutorials at booth. Need laptops, tables & power: AI on Mark
      • June Summer School June 8-15 in Socorro. NAASC effort being organized by AE. Planned activities (see "Supplemental Material" from last months meeting for schedule):
        • Michele, 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: Al, Crystal, Rachel, Todd, Adam, John, Aaron, Brian, Remy, Mark L., Tony, Kartik, Al
      • ARC Managers are discussion what to use for documentation. Want a single user-friendly system to edit that will produce acceptable web and pdf versions of documentation. We need to specify requirements, CIS/Comm will recommend solution. Look into what Spitzer has. AI on John H, Mark A, David H.
    • NAASC Workshops (Tony & Al)
      • Next workshop will be ALMA: Extending the Limits of Astrophysical Spectroscopy. See email from Tony under "Supporting Material" below. Needs posted to NAASC science web. Website located at: Article has been posted to the recent NRAO eNews and the SOC has been selected. Current status:
        • NEW dates confirmed - Jan 15-17, 2011
        • May 10 - "ping" SOC on recommendations for invited speakers.
        • May 17 - work on poster design
        • June 1 - finalize poster design, get to NRAO for printing and mailing
        • July 1 - Go "live" with full website with pre-registration option.
    • Upcoming Science Meetings: (Al)
      • A 'Science with ALMA Band 5' (163-211 GHz) workshop will take place May 24-25 in Rome.
      • Other Meetings are 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 April 2010 Monthly report

Hiring activities
  • Offers made for NAASC scientific staff positions

JAO support
  • A. Remijan, A. Wootten & H. Liszt provided support to CSV in Chile
  • Served on search committee for JAO Operations Astronomers
  • Participated in Science Operations IPT f2f meeting in Mitaka, where NA presented live demonstration of ALMA helpdesk

Software Development & testing
  • C. Brogan led the 2nd ALMA CASA Coordination Group meeting, a meeting to facilitate coordination between AIV/CSV and CASA interferometry and single dish
  • Software testing: OT (SB generation), CASA Simdata, CASA R3.0.1
  • Supported CASA helpdesk

Conferences and workshops
  • Helped organize NRAO Synthesis Imaging Summer School, including "Preparing for ALMA" session and CASA tutorials
  • Defined topic, SOC, LOC for next NAASC workshop: "ALMA: Extending the Limits of Astrophysical Spectroscopy", to be held Jan 15-17, 2011 in Victoria, BC (immediately following January AAS meeting in Seattle)

  • H. Liszt met with SUBTEL (Chilean Telecom authority) regarding ALMA radio quiet zone legislation and recent developments
  • Wrote article for NRAO eNews
  • Updated NAASC science user website

Email from A. Remijan about Victoria workshop

Hey all,

Just want to confirm that the new dates for the NAASC meeting in Victoria will be: Jan 14th - Arrive in Victoria Jan 15th - Full day of meetings Jan 16th - Full day of meetings Jan 17th - 1/2 day of meetings

This is because the venue is not available starting in the 14th. We need this confirmed by the EOB today...there really is not much to discuss though except if there should be 3 full days of meetings

Second, this is for James Di Francesco, can you please post the following off a webpage in Victoria and send me the web address:

ALMA: Extending the Limits of Astrophysical Spectroscopy

Over the next several years, NRAO facilities will provide the scientific community with unprecedented advances in high spatial resolution observations. What is not currently emphasized is at the same time, these observations will also provide broadband, high spectral resolution data in frequency ranges that are sparsely covered by any other astronomical facility. Spectroscopy is a vital tool to obtain a better understanding of the nature of astronomical objects. Spectroscopy allows science to investigate physical and chemical environments, probe kinematics and dynamics, and explore the high red-shifted universe all the while obtaining abundances, concentrations and temperatures of exotic molecular species. ALMA will be able to record over 2 GHz of instantaneous bandwidth at high spectral resolution and provide high fidelity, high spatial resolution images that are well suited for studies of all astronomical sources.

As such, the North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC), the Center for Chemistry of the Universe (CCU) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) are planning to host a meeting in Victoria, B.C. Jan 15-17, 2011. The capabilities of new ALMA instrumentation will be highlighted at this meeting using a series of science-based invited talks from wide-ranging disciplines including astronomy, chemistry and physics. Below we list specific areas the conference will plan to focus on:

Conference focus areas:
  1. The Atomic Universe: Atomic Spectra as Probes of Cool Gas
  2. The Molecular Universe: Dense Star-forming Gas
  3. Isotopic Variety in Interstellar Medium
  4. Our Molecular Origins: Prebiotic Molecules

  • Gordon Stacey/ASAC/ANASAC/Cornell - chair SOC.
  • Al Wootten/NRAO - co-Chair
  • Gerald Schieven/NRC - co-Chair
  • Anthony Remijan/NRAO - co-Chair
  • Doug Johnstone/NRC - /ANASAC/ASAC
  • Hsien Shang/Taiwan - ANASAC
  • Deborah Padgett/IPAC - ANASAC
  • Xavier Prochaska/UCSD - ANASAC
  • David Wilner/CfA - ANASAC
  • Yancy Shirley/UofArizona
  • Susanna Widicus Weaver/Emory University
  • Jean Turner/UCLA
  • Rachel Friesen/NRAO
  • Brooks Pate/UVa

  • Schieven - Chair
  • di Franscesco - co-Chair
  • Friesen - NAASC
  • Remijan - NAASC
  • Scott Schnee
  • Brenda Matthews
  • Brenda Parrish

Thanks, Tony

List of Documents to be produced by DSO and the ARCs

From DSO wiki ( bold =done; red=assigned to NA; green=unassigned; maybe not for OpsRR), Note: SciOps Readiness Review Materials due Sept 28 2010.

  • Observing with ALMA: Early Science Capabilities (along with CfP) - CSV
  • ALMA, end to end quickstart guides
    • Workflow (preparing, proposing, observing, retrieving, analyzing): NA ARC
    • Preparing (CfP/where to find info on available capabilities/modes, ETC, simdata): DSO & NA ARC
    • Proposing (OT-ph1 quick start; where to get more info): EA ARC
    • Observing (OT-ph2 quick start; PT; where to get more info): EU ARC
    • Retrieving (ASA): DSO
    • Analyzing (description of pipeline script; CASA quick start): NA ARC
    • For more information (where to find examples, guides, manuals): NA ARC
  • Proposing "recipes" (including examples with ETC, alma simulator) - Under discussion
  • Observing with ALMA (how to do different types of observations - spectral surveys, absorption line obs, if/when to use ACA) - ?? Not for OpsRR
  • Observing Tool
    • OT Users Guide/Cookbook - EU ARC (is this necessary? Quick start and UM/RM may be sufficient. PA will check)
    • Observing Tool User Manual - delivered by CIPT
    • Observing Tool Reference Manual - delivered by CIPT
    • OT-Ph1 recipes- ARCs & DSO
    • OT-Ph2 recipes - ARCs & DSO
  • CASA
    • CASA Cookbook - NRAO
    • CASA for ALMA observers - all ARCs (not for OpsRR?)
    • CASA Task Reference Manual - delivered by CASA
    • CASA Toolkit Reference Manual - delivered by CASA
    • CASA Reduction recipes - ARCs
      • just post to Casaguides? Includes simdata recipes
  • ASA Users Guide - EU ARC
  • User guide of each ARC (proper to each ARC) - each ARC
    • Guide to NAASC User Services (helpdesk, visitors, tutorials/schools, student support)
  • Science Operations User Web Pages - DSO
    • including links to multimedia Tools/demos - All ARCs
  • ALMA Frequently Asked Questions (serve from knowledgebase; develop as experienced gained)

-- JohnHibbard - 2010-05-04

-- JohnHibbard - 2010-05-19
Topic revision: r5 - 2011-01-05, JohnHibbard
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