Date: May 14, 2020

Time: 11:30 am Mountain, 1:30 pm Eastern
Phone: 434-817-6468 ext 228111#
Room 220, Socorro (but Socorro people should call-in too)

NRAO: Jim, Mark C, Walter,
USNO: Nicole, Stewart, Chris, Lucas, Andy, Megan, Dave, Phillip?
  • VLBA Observations
    • Daily Observation Report (N-series)
      • Four reobservations in April, two due to MK reported as bad and two due to PT reported as bad. One bad one at PT was due to weather and the redo was also reported as bad but USNO says they got fringes on both the original and the redo.
      • The N-series isn't getting as good data quality as the F-series so maybe change the setups? If change N also change O.
      • S-band filters will probably be pulled off of receivers in the near future, might affect quality.
    • Other Intensive Observations
      • "Holiday" intensive observations at MK
        • Will be substituting MK for Kokee on federal holidays in 2020 such as 5/25/20.
        • Project code for these observations will be IYYDOY.
      • A MK-WZ observation series ran on Saturdays beginning December 7, 2019 through Feb 22, 2020.
        • Project code for this observation will be QYYDOY.
        • Involves a new post-observing procedure for operators to copy the data to correlator in Japan.
        • Might restart towards end of calendar year (possibly - awaiting approval.)
      • O-series test of HN-OV baseline continues
        • Will run simultaneous with the N-series observations but will not interrupt other observing.
        • Possibly expand to include another baseline like SC-BR or SC-LA (avoiding S-band RFI at BR.)
        • Possible oscillation/tracking issue at HN recently detected, suspect an elevation encoder issue.
          • Only seen at low temperatures, hasn't been noticed since January.
    • Post-Monthly Report Review:
      • No backlog from March that needed to be caught up in April.
      • Sowders replacement observation only used 7.06 hours out of requested 8 hours in April.
      • A new observation of similar type (but 6cm instead of 13cm) had requested 16 hours for April but used none of it.
      • Project ud009u did not observe, no files were sent by PI.
    • Pre-monthly request
      • May request added a new intensive test series on the HN-MK baseline every other day, tentatively called the P-series, this did not get started on time.
        • First observation, P20135, ran today. Initial observation was one hour, future runs will be 1.5 hours after the goUSNO program is updated to makes files of that duration with the desired frequency setups.
      • May request also asks that all of the 24-hour S/X observations no longer be made publicly available, excepting the RDV observations. Project ug003x will be the first of these to run in May, scheduled for the 12th.
        • Initial procedures for making the correlated data available without being publicly available are being tested.
        • Is keeping information on these projects in password-protected files and databases okay or should we remove identifiable information? Yes.
      • June request looks pretty much like the May request. Mark Claussen did note that the total time request is wrong, it says 213 hours when it is only 165.5 hours.
  • Open issues
    • USNO emails to ut1 list are not being forwarded along to other USNO people.
      • Mail is being blocked at the Dept. of Defense level, working with them on that.
      • New email addresses for all USNO people was tried. Not fixing the issue. More efforts to investigate it underway.
    • HN-OV baseline is more precise than any of the others USNO has data for, not sure why. Plus with all the recent problems showing up at PT maybe when fiber available to HN switch the N-series to them and PT-MK to the O-series?
      • HN fiber probably won't be in place until late July. The work is expected to begin sometime this month. HN fiber speed expected to be 2.5 Gbps.
        • LA fiber may be at 10 Gbps when it's installed, might impact consideration towards future use of it in baselines.
      • Adding BR to the F-series for testing of additional baselines. S-band RFI might be a problem though, similar to what PT was recently experiencing but worse. Mitigation work on BR's S-band RFI probably won't happen any time soon given current situation.
        • Several of the F-series runs with BR have been correlated. Initial checks last month it looked like only one S-band channel had to be dropped so the RFI may not be that bad with the F-series setups (which are different from the N-series setups). No new updates.
    • USNO needs to renew support contract for MK fiber.
      • First invoice approved recently.
    • Networking Support Contract: Contract will be renewed for FY2020.
      • Working on renewal, might involving changing some dates on it to avoid bunching all USNO contracts up at the same time of year. VLBA might all be bundled together at a different date. Moving forward.
    • Correlator Refresh Contract
      • Lustre filesystem and second set of nodes still awaiting installation.
      • The new "BeeGFS" file system still needs to be configured and tested in Socorro.
      • The second set of nodes cannot be installed until USNO is off of their old correlator first, waiting for confirmation from USNO that they have done so. Have started parallel testing of old and new correlator. Seeing some differences, tracking down what might be causing them.
      • Install likely on hold due to COVID-19 work and travel restrictions, though a remote installation is a possibility.
        • The old Lustre filesystem can't be updated and is viewed as a security concern so there's pressure to get this done.
      • A follow-on to the support contract is being worked on. Walter will coordinate with USNO for NRAO's side. Has been resubmitted and is moving forward.
    • USNO is moving to new ingest data server and IP address is not working even though it's on NRAO's whitelist. USNO reports attempts to transfer data to the .179 address does not work. Looks like problem might be firewalls at USNO end.
      • Started approval process to fix problem (new firewall).
    • Transition to Mark6 recording system is done, including 4 Gbps capability.
      • Tests for transitioning to the higher data rate, perhaps with C-band, will be considered. (Though C-band has ionosphere problems.)
        • Mark Claussen will provide some 4 Gbps setups for USNO to look at for the tests. Hasn't happened yet.
      • Might be some USNO funding for more Mark6 disk drives/packs. NRAO doesn't currently have a need for more disk packs but that could change in the future once more 4Gbps observing starts. USNO has around 70 Mark6 disk packs not being used, mostly 32 TB. Could be used for RDV data copying at Haystack or small global runs.
    • New IVS session code naming structure (long-term issue)
      • There is likely to be a change to format of the IVS "session code", but maybe not until 2021. As the USNO works to make the VLBA intensives look like IVS sessions we want to discuss what impacts such a change might have on this effort. This particularly relates to the 'exper_name' in the .vex files.
      • Intensives are all now using the xYYDOY naming format (ie, N20001, O20001, etc)
      • New IVS codes will be similar to existing codes but perhaps slightly longer, for example "NYYYYDOYNN". USNO & Goddard have discussion about it, length will be more than six characters. NRAO has already used some seven character length codes (such as "N20014B") without it causing any problems.
    • VLBA able to participate in CONT2020 (Nov-Dec 2020). Won't be a full 15-day session, maybe a "mini-CONT" of around five days. (Long-term issue)
      • If this happens will it still be in the November-December timeframe? USNO will check with IVS.
    • Peculiar delays - VLBA has a delay compared to Kokee that perhaps should be checked out. Maybe put some VLBA stations into a KK observation as tagalongs so comparisons can be made. Walter reached out to some people, says it looks like it would be a bigger effort than anticipated and may have to wait until things return to normal.
    • Alan Fey retired as of last Friday and John Spitzak has also transitioned from USNO recently so some roles at USNO are being shuffled around.
    • Next meeting June 11th.

-- JimOgle - 2020-05-11
Topic revision: r8 - 2020-05-14, JimOgle
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