South African SKA Project Office (SASPO) Visit
November 8-11, 2010
The top level outcomes of the meeting are summarized in this summary
Logistics / Web Site / Mailing List
All participants should make all of their own travel arrangements.
can assist with local CV accommodation and other arrangements. Jessie Taylor
and Shirley Curry
can help with local GB accommodation and other arrangements.
This web site is publically visible
, although not particularly well advertised. If you have any concerns about this, send mail to Richard Prestage
. To request / make changes to this page, send mail to Richard Prestage
, or register for this wiki at UserRegistration
We also have our own NRAOSASPO Mailing List
(visit the Subscriber List
). This is only visible to list members, again send mail to Richard Prestage
if you wish to subscribe. This list should not be confused with the SKA-NRAO mailing list, which is for internal to NRAO, more general SKA discussions.
This page is to coordinate a visit by members of the South African SKA Project Office (SASPO) to NRAO Charlottesville and Green Bank during the week starting Monday November 8th 2010. Basic information about SASPO can be found at the South African SKA web site
; latest news is available from the SKA Newsletter
Memorandum of Understanding
Here is a copy of the MOU Between NRAO and SASPO
Sun. 7: Arrive
Some participants arrive in CV on Sunday. No formal plans for dinner; but Richard Prestage
can co-ordinate if desired. Remember Daylight Saving Time ends in the United States on Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 2 a.m.
Don't get your clocks confused!
Mon. 8: Introductions; Dish Verification Programs; Pulsars and NanoGRAV
In CV-230, Breakout Room CV-245, by video to TUC-525, GB-137 and Socorro AOC-West (Session One); Portable Video Unit (Session Two and Three)
- Breakfast in Residence Inn
- 08:00 - 10:00 Pre-meeting informal discussions as desired
- 09:00 - 10:00 [Fred Lo and Bernie Fanaroff meet privately]
- 10:00 - 10:30 Refreshments
- 10:30 - 13:00 Session One: Introductions and Overviews
- (30min) Jonas: Update on the SKA international project; summary of the SKA timeline, MeerKAT design, science & schedule
- (30min) Fanaroff: Review of the MOU (why it was put into place, what the goals are, provisions for engineer exchange and cooperative development). Accomplishments to date.
- (30min) Prestage / Dickman: NRAO current and future perspective on MOU and collaboration plans
- (60min) Open Discussion
- 13:00 - 14:00 Catered Box Lunch
- 14:00 - 15:30 Session Two: Dish Verification Program
- Motivation: SASPO will be prototyping a 13.5m offset Gregorian dish. The fully outfitted dish, receiver, feeds, etc
will be tested against the KAT 7 array. Is the NRAO interested in participating in this programme?
- (30min) Jonas: Overview of the production and commissioning timeline for the 13.5 m offset Gregorian. The system to be built includes- e.g.- the antenna, receivers, digitization, phase monitoring, an integrated control and monitoring system optimized to minimize power consumption.
- (30min) Myers Overview of current NRAO related activities
- (30min) Open discussion. Potential topics:
- What aspects of the SA antenna development and verification program would NRAO be interested in? High frequency receivers?
- Would NRAO want to provide resources for this program?
- 15:30 - 16:00 Refreshments
- 16:00 - 17:30 Session Three: Pulsars and NanoGrav
- Motivation: SASPO would like to work closely with the NRAO pulsar researchers to explore the use of the MeerKAT as the primary instrument in the Southern Hemisphere for this research and pulsar research in general
- (30min) Jonas: Overview of MeerKAT planned pulsar surveys and KAT-7 opportunities to observe pulsars.
- (30min) Ransom Overview of NRAO pulsar observation program
- (30min) Open Discussion
- 17:30 - 19:00 Rest / Email break
- 19:00 Dinner - Boathouse Restaurant, 101 Seminole Ct. Charlottesville
Tue. 9: Next Generation Interferometric Data Processing; PAPER and HERA; Commissioning of KAT and MeerKAT
In CV-230, Breakout Room CV-245, by video to TUC-525, GB-137 and Socorro Portable Video Unit
- Breakfast in Residence Inn
- 08:00 - 09:00 Available for pre-meeting informal discussions as desired
- 09:00 - 10:00 [NRAO internal discussion meeting]
- 09:00 - 10:00 SASPO staff available for discussions
- 10:00 - 10:30 Refreshments
- 10:30 - 12:00 Session Four: Software I: Next Generation Interferometric Data Processing
- Motivation: Collaboration on parallelisation of CASA with particular focus on GPU technology; general scalability testing of a parallel version of CASA; further development of the CASA simulator applicable to MeerKAT; on-line automatic flagging of RFI
- (30min) Horrell: Provide a summary of discussions to-date with NRAO software groups and how we propose to further this collaboration in the MOU. Focus on wide-field imaging, polarization imaging, parallelization efforts within CASA. Provide a summary of what we are doing with others (e.g., ASTRON & MeqTrees), where relevant.
- (30min) Kern: Current status of CASA and current NRAO development work.
- (30min) Bhatnagar: NRAO Algorithm Development
- 12:00 - 13:00 Catered Box Lunch
- 13:00 - 14:30 Session Five: PAPER and HERA
- Motivation: SASPO has committed to hosting the PAPER array and participating in the project. We would like to discuss the future plans and what will be expected from the SASPO.
- (30min) Bradley: NRAO Current status and future plans for PAPER. (requested, details on SAs involvement in the science, the process with the MWA and HERA going forward)
- (30min) Jonas: SKA Africas commitment to the PAPER project.
- SA-local production of future PAPER antennas is viable. Is there any interest in this?
- (30min) Open Discussion
- 14:30 - 15:00 Refreshments
- 15:00 - 16:30 Session Six Commissioning of KAT and MeerKAT
- Motivation: The role of the NRAO has been invaluable. SASPO would like to discuss the continued involvement of the NRAO in the commissioning and science verification activities.
- (45min) Shepherd: The commissioning program scope, where we are and where we are going; NRAOs contribution to KAT-7 commissioning and MeerKAT
- (45min) Open Discussion
- 16:30 - 22:00 Drive to GB, light dinner (sandwiches) in Residence Hall on arrival
Wed. 10: GB Site Visits; SKA Colloquium; Massive Data Sets and Heterogenous Computing; Radio Quiet Zones; Summary and Action Items
In GB, GB-137/Auditorium, by video to CV-230 (morning), CV-209 (afternoon), TUC-525 and Socorro Portable Video Unit
- Breakfast in Cafeteria
- 08:00 - 10:30 Session Seven: Tours of Visitor Center, GBT, PAPER and Facilities
- 10:30 - 10:45 Refreshments
- 10:45 - 12:00 Colloquium - Justin Jonas / Debra Shepherd "SKA - South Africa".
- Jonas (20 min): SKA-SA/MeerKAT introduction Science and Engineering
- Shepherd (20 min): The road to MeerKAT KAT 7 commissioning and how NRAO fits into it all.
- 12:00 - 13:00 Lunch in Cafeteria
- 13:00 - 14:00 Session Eight: Software II: Data Mining for Massive Datasets; Heterogenous Computing
- (30min) O'Neil / Shelton: NRAO handling of massive data-sets
- (30min) Ford NRAO heterogeneous computing development
- 14:00 - 15:00 Session Nine: Radio Quiet Zones
- (30min) Beaudet: Logistics of the WVRAZ/NRQZ and enforcement policies and mechanism
- (30min) Open Discussions
- 15:00 - 15:30 Refreshments
- 15:30 - 17:30 Summary of Meeting; Conclusions; Action Items
- Fanaroff/Prestage Provide a summary of the meeting and identify draft action items
- Open Discussions
- 17:30 - 22:00 Dinner in GB Residence Hall for those interested.
Thu. 11: In GB or travelling; informal discussions only
Veteran's Day Holiday for NRAO
Informal discussions; please agree your own arrangements ahead of time.
- Amy Shelton (Head of Software)- Horrell
- Jay Lockman (GBT Principal Scientist)- Jonas
- John Ford (Head of Electronics) - Jonas and Horrell
- Sue Ann Heatherly (Education Officer) - Shepherd
Fri. 12: All Done
The following staff are expected to attend some or all of the meeting, either in person or via video. Others may be added if it seems appropriate.
Note: "location on date x" is referring to the daytime. It does not refer to the evening, so if someone is e.g. in CV on Monday, they may arrive on Sunday evening or Monday morning, and may depart on Monday night or stay over Monday night. Please check with Heidi Winter (CV) or Jessie Taylor (GB) if you want to (re-) confirm your actual hotel bookings.
Thursday 11th is an NRAO holiday. GB Residence Hall accounts must be settled on Wednesday. I assume only NRAO staff marked as "in GB" are available for discussions on that day.
click on a column name to sort by that column
The following Admin Assistants are also on the NRAOSASPO email exploder, but not attending the meeting:
Dish verification programme
SASPO will be prototyping a 13.5m offset Gregorian dish and testing it against our KAT 7 array. Is the NRAO interested in participating in this programme? If so, how?
SASPO has committed to hosting the array and participating, and would like to discuss the future plans and what will be expected from them.
SASPO would like to work closely with the NRAO pulsar researchers to explore the use of the MeerKAT as the primary instrument in the Southern Hemisphere for this research and pulsar research in general.
Collaboration on parallelisation of CASA with particular focus on GPU technology; general scalability testing of parallel version of CASA; further development of the CASA simulator applicable to MeerKAT; on-line automatic flagging of RFI
Commissioning of the KAT 7 and MeerKAT
The role of the NRAO has been invaluable. We would like to discuss the continued involvement of the NRAO in the commissioning and science verfification activities.
MeerKAT and other science
Use of the KAT 7 for VLBI and pulsar research
Radio Quiet Zones
Discuss logistics of the WVRAZ/NRQZ and enforcement policies.