CASA/JIVE VLBI Coordination Meeting

Minutes in bold

2020 May 27 @ 1400UTC

Attendance: George, Mark, Des, Ilse, Ryan, Justin


  • Future Meeting dates (usually last Wed of the month):
    • 2020 Jun 24 @ 1400 UTC
    • (2020 Jul 29 @ 1400 UTC, TBD wrt vacations..)

General Admin

  • General Status w.r.t. Coronavirus measures
    • NRAO/ALMA:
      • NRAO in North America embarking on "Return to Full Operations" from June 8, with strict protocols for site/lab/office safety
        • Phase 1: Jun 8 - Sep 4, "Transition"; Ramp up facility-access for hardware people, continue work-at-home for 60-70% of office staff.
        • Phase 2: Sep 5 - Dec 31, "Steady-state" in "New Normal", maybe some travel, F2F meetings; consider 2021+ according to conditions
      • ALMA (and Chile, in general) a few months behind North America, science operations unlikely to resume before ~Dec 2020.
      • Staff working at home at least until ~start of June.
        • Science/programming staff likely to remain in work-at-home, for now.
  • CASA Release Schedule
    • CASA 5.7/6.1: Release branch ~this week or early next.
    • CASA 6.1.1 expected in a few months with pipeline patches specific to ALMA
    • CASA 5.8/6.2 planning ~complete
  • (Mark) Requirements collation status?
    • Document (2020 May 07) in good shape (should we link from here?)
      • (yes, Mark attempting to do so...)
    • Includes new appendices for completed and low-priority items
    • Plans for broader circulation, additional edits, coordination with costing spreadsheet?
  • (George) CASA VLBI Readiness
    • Thanks to Justin and Mark (et al.) for VLBA and JIVE prioritizations
    • Basic FTE costing complete: ~2/3 of required work not among JIVE's keen interests for next ~18 months.
    • Req doc and costing spreadsheet supplied to Brian Glendenning for NRAO Users Committee (May 26)
      • Some curiosity re CASA VLBA support expressed by UC panel, even before Brian's presentation....
  • (Ryan) CNGI Status
    • CNGI/ngCASA Conceptual Design Review: 2020 Jun 9-10
    • Documentation provided to panel May 20
    • Awaiting Review Item Discrepancy tickets... (5 so far)
    • CASA staff to spend ~20% of time beginning to explore
    • FYI: CNGI Development instructions
  • Pending admin issues
    • DIY casa5 tarball build instructions can be found here
    • casa6 build issues: formal instructions for plotms, CASAshell, casa5/6 co-exist, c++ unit tests in casa6
    • New VLBI integration branch -- not needed?
  • Upcoming meetings/workshops of relevance
    • Virtual NRAO Synthesis Imaging Workshop: Q&A Sessions: June 29 - July 17.
    • JIVE VLBI Workshop 2020 Nov 2-6. Virtual, hopefully with an in-person component.
    • VLBI-specific sessions at European Astronomical Society Meeting on 2020 June 29: Session SS16
  • Other admin?


  • CASA 5.7/6.1
  • Processes
    • How should EHT contribute as stakeholder? No formal precedent for "external" stakeholders in current process. There are now several "semi-external" stakeholders (VLBI, ALMA SD) which effectively control their own planning, and Urvashi advises we continue in this manner for now. Up-to-date requirements document and priorities (as informed by EHT and VLBA) should help....
      • FYI, EHT is producing DATA data products
      • JIVE as conduit for EHT CASA/VLBI interests ok for now
      • VLBI development planning significantly orthogonal to general CASA cycle planning, modulo leveraging CASA-specific resources
    • All VLBI-specific efforts to be documented with CASA effort; isolated via "VLBI@NRAO" and "VLBI@JIVE" JIRA labels.
    • Use "Release Notes" field to indicate current issues/status (appears in tables)
    • Use "Developer" field to indicate responsible developer(s); permits "Assignee" to vary losslessly.
  • CASA 5.8/6.2 Planning
    • CASA 5.8/6.2 VLBI Development
    • JIRA 5.8/6.2 Status
      • CAS-13056 (Des) for CASR-467 (overlaping solutions) development (George to consult)
      • CAS-8537 (Mark) for gaincure work (formerly CAS-8546) (George to consult, at least on maintaining existing VLA mechanism)
      • George to study what is needed in plotms for fringefit (CASR-537; may not require significant effort from Pam)
        • Some mechanical issues reported with plotcal, which is to be deprecated soon anyway (so not a durable solution)
      • George/Justin to coordinate initial testing on CASR-463 (TEC) to better characterize basic requirements
        • More interest in this for EVN than previously thought
        • Even for VLA, difficult to isolate a decisive demo/test dataset that is not obscured by TEC complexity vs. poor TEC info sampling...
        • Also, FYI: From Frank Schinzel (VLA): "anonymous ftp access to CDDIS to be discontinued 2020 Oct 31". See CAS-13040.


  • (Mark) WSRT-specific UVFITS export fix for LOFAR data installed in casacore
  • (Mark) FFTW-related fix in importfitsidi (casacore), to be merged after 5.7/6.1

-- GeorgeMoellenbrock - 2020-05-27
Topic revision: r1 - 2020-05-27, GeorgeMoellenbrock
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