-- KartikSheth - 2010-10-10

I. "Train The Trainers" session all day of Nov 9th & 10th.

GOAL: Bring all the NAASC staff up to speed on ALMA project status, user tools and preparations for serving the community from Call for Proposals through Proposal Review.

CONFIRMED PARTICIPANTS: Staff: J. Hibbard*, S. Schnee, A. Kimball, R. Friesen, A. Evans, R. Pulliam, J. Di Francesco, G. Schieven (both visitors from Canada, in Rm 302), J. Braatz, S. Corder, K. Sheth, C. Brogan*, H. Liszt*, C. Lonsdale*, A. Wotten*, A. Remijan*, Nagayoshi, Sheng-Yuan, Shigehisa, Chin-Fei (all 4 visitors from ASIAA - staying for the whole week, housed in Rm 211), R. Indebtouw*, M. Aravena, Dong Chan Kim, B. Matthews (Remote), A. Leroy (remote), J. Mangum

Guests: H. Intema, V. Impellizzeri, Lihang Yao, Ming Sun, George Privon, Anya Bilous, Greg Sivakoff, A. Reines, Meredith Drosback, Wendy...

* -- people giving talks / leading sessions


- ACTION: Kartik to reserve the auditorium for these days -- DONE

- ACTION: Everyone coming to the tutorials should have OT, CASA installed on their laptops - please do so by Oct 30 so we can address any installation issues asap. Please write down installation issues on this wiki (on a page that will be created).


1) CASA 3.1 is to be released imminently so C. Brogan advises that we wait until the new version is released. However CASA 3.0 has much of the functionality already available so please install it if 3.1 is not released by the time of the workshop. For those at NRAO sites, the casapy-test version on your desktops should be the 3.1 "to-be-released" version. The general CASA website for downloading the public version is here: http://casa.nrao.edu/casa_obtaining.shtml

2) The last version of the OT (7.2) is deemed to not be useful for the this session and the next version (8.0) won't be available till the end of November. So H. Liszt suggests that we do the best we can with the auto-build version that is deployed every night (I am hoping we can get one version that we can put on a stick or as a gzipped tar ball somewhere but still working on it). Until then participants can download a version here: http://www.eso.org/~mschilli/auto-ot-head/out/

Linux version of the OT may not work from the web-start link. You may need to start the OT directly on the command line.

- ACTION: Everyone who is coming to the workshop should try to submit (or simulate submitting) their own favorite proposal BEFORE coming to the workshop. Questions they encounter should be sent to me before workshop (preferably by the morning of Nov 2).

- ACTION: Each participant should have worked through a CASA Guide example (preferably a ALMA test data) and a ES SIMData example. Comments should be made here on this wiki by Nov 4.

- ACTION: Each participant should have read the ALMA Primer and looked through the Science Web pages esp. as related to ALMA

Time Topic Presenters DescriptionSorted ascending Presentation
Tuesday November 9, 2010
Wednesday November 10, 2010
Tony Remijan + John Hibbard
An overview of the helpdesk, how to log in for a user and for staff, how to manuever the tool, what are the expectations for the treatment of tickets, i.e. the workflow, and how the staff will answer the tickets. Also address how the knowledgebase will be set up, expectations on how and when tickets are answered and by whom etc.
Donuts and some dessert will be there. For coffee people should get the regular NRAO coffee or espresso for $0.75 upstairs.
ALMA Science Operations
John H.
Important information all of us should know (timelines, relevant players, acronyms, ALMA project structure
James and Chin Fei give 30 min and 40 min talks respectively over at UVa
Welcome to the NAASC
NAASC & its relationship to users and other trainers
ALMA ES Capabilities Overview
Overview of what will be available at ALMA ES: correlator modes, observing modes etc.
Tech Assessment + Project Tracker
John H.
Performing technical assessments for proposal review, using project tracker.
Q&A session with Crystal - if any one has any issues with CASA or any problems they encountered running it - they should come prepared and Crystal and others will try and address this. This assumes people have done at least one CASA guides example. See Note [3]
Sandwiches or Pizza will be ordered -- Al will give a talk on ES preparation as part of a TUNA talk
Walk through basic functionality / use of Splatalogue esp. as it relates to how we would need to communicate its utility to the users
16:00-17:00 (NAASC ONLY)
Tour of ALMA Test Data
Walk through of ALMA Test Data reduction (NAASC ONLY)
OT-ph1 Walkthrough+ open discussion of issues raised
Harvey (30--45 min overview)
Walk through the OT step-by-step (demo) for a planned simple observation. Go through the checklist of things users should go through: point source vs. extended, configuration, resolution, largest scale, dynamic range, correlator set up, uv-coverage, calibrations, early vs. full science. Address any questions NAASC staff encountered in setting up their phase1 proposal. See note [1]. Most of the time is saved for hands-on experimentation by the participants.
SIMData+ open discussion of issues raised
Remy (30--45 min overview)
Walk through the SimData step by step (demo) for a planned simple observation. Go through the checklist of things users should go through when using SIMdata - ES vs full, noise realistic, input model realistic? Data rate? Address the questions NAASC staff encountered in their own test. See note [2]. Most of the time is saved for hands-on experimentation by the participants.
simdata.ttt.pdf: simdata.ttt.pdf
Mm/Submm considerations
Crystal leads discussion
We will have a discussion of all of the various considerations that users (and ourselves) should keep in mind for proposing to use ALMA at ES. This would include things like UV coverage, calibration strategies etc. Crystal will lead this discussion - everyone should come prepared to think of how they might write the technical justification for various science cases and make them strong with these mm/submm considerations.
Wrap up of OT Tool.

Note [1] - OT-ph1 Walkthrough: Discuss the following most likely observing modes amongst us. We should put ourselves in the shoes of the user and think of possible user questions and concerns.
  • Continuum: Basic point source observation set up with the broadest bandwidth set up for continuum observations of a point source, number of point sources, should there be track sharing - is this capability possible? how does this compare to full array? should one wait?
  • Continuum: Basic mapping observation - Discuss the ES capabilities for configurations, what will and will not be available, tracks and UV-coverage, frequency coverage, input from site on current gotchas for this type of an observation.
  • Spectral line observation - One Galactic and one extragalactic example - use an early science case example. Look at how we set up correlator - narrow and wide windows - what is available? how do you set this up (if you can) in the OT. How do you choose a line (splatalogue)? Calibrators at high frequencies? No ACA so what does this mean for extended flux? Can you do frequency switching or resetting of correlator during a track? UV-coverage? Wait till full array vs. now?

Note [2] - SIMData+ open discussion: Discuss the following most likely use of SIMdata with examples from Science Cases. We should put ourselves in the shoes of the user and think of possible user questions and concerns.
  • Continuum: Dynamic range issues? Baseline errors? Cleaning and sidelobes - best practices for simulating this? Offset pointing?
  • Mapping observations - Limitations of SIMdata vs. actual observations? Spectral line and mode set-ups possible in SIMdata vs. actual array.

Note [3] - CASA: Discuss the following most likely use of CASA by users.
  • Reducing CASA data from SMA, CARMA, PdBI, ALMA Test data.
  • Visualizing data gotchas - what will users look at most frequently. What new ALMA-related capabilities should they be aware of (as opposed to what is available in MIRIAD for instance)
  • Calibration & Imaging - standard steps to calibration users will follow - any common mistakes users might make?

Training Items listed by JEH at SciOpsRR

  • ES capabilities - previously not included in strawman plan but now included in Al's talk
  • OT-ph1
  • Simdata
  • Splatalogue -added
  • helpdesk operation & service rules
  • Tech. Assessment instructions & Ph1M use - added
  • tour of ALMA test data from Tiger Team - added

-- KartikSheth - 2010-10-10

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
ALMAEarlyScienceOnly.pptxpptx ALMAEarlyScienceOnly.pptx manage 6 MB 2010-11-15 - 13:06 AlWootten ALMA Early Science--Al
TraintheTrainer_ALMAOps.pdfpdf TraintheTrainer_ALMAOps.pdf manage 1 MB 2010-11-10 - 16:01 JohnHibbard ALMA Science Operations in 20 slides or less
TraintheTrainer_Helpdesk.pptppt TraintheTrainer_Helpdesk.ppt manage 2 MB 2010-11-10 - 09:06 KartikSheth Tony & John's TTT presentation
TraintheTrainer_ProposalReview.pdfpdf TraintheTrainer_ProposalReview.pdf manage 3 MB 2010-11-10 - 16:02 JohnHibbard Proposal Review Process overview
mm_considerations.pptppt mm_considerations.ppt manage 4 MB 2010-11-10 - 09:46 KartikSheth Crystal's talk on mm/submm considerations
simdata.ttt.pdfpdf simdata.ttt.pdf manage 4 MB 2010-11-11 - 22:02 RemyIndebetouw  
Topic revision: r24 - 2011-01-23, KartikSheth
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