Minutes in bold. DRAFT

CASA/JIVE VLBI Coordination Meeting

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

2021 Sep 29 @ 1400UTC


  • Future Meeting dates (usually last Wed of the month):
    • 2021 Oct 13 @ 1400 UTC Technical meeting (see first bullet under Development below)
    • 2021 Oct 27 @ 1400 UTC Admin meeting (modulo ADASS schedule)
    • 2021 Nov 17 (one week early, to avoid USA Thanksgiving)
    • 2021 Dec 15 (two weeks early, to avoid holidays)

General Admin

  • General Status w.r.t. Coronavirus measures
    • NRAO/ALMA:
      • NRAO in North America now officially fully-vaccinated and "back to work", with masking/SD protocols still in place.
      • ALMA Santiago offices now open to staff on voluntary attendance basis; OSF/AOS staffing continues to increase based on careful review. Cycle 9 observing starts Oct 1.
      • Science/computing staff continuing work-at-home for now? No! ASTRON (and JIVE) back to work @work, with some (experimental) teleworking continuing.
  • CASA Release Schedule
    • CASA 6.4.0: Early October (urgent for PL development/integration for ALMA Cycle 9)
    • CASA 6.2.1: Patch release on Sep 27 for ALMA Cycle 8
    • CASA 6.3.0: Released Aug 30 (early!)
    • Release version OS/python matrix (from Ryan). This info now in casadocs here.
  • (Justin) Stakeholder prioritization
    • CASA 6.5 prioritization underway, due to Justin by Oct 11
    • CASA 6.5 development work to formally begin ~March 2022
      • Should assemble priorites conscious of items currently on 6.4 schedule, and particularly identify big-ticket items for 6.5 (most likely polcal with resolved calibrators)
  • Documentation and related
    • (Mark) Collated requirements (2021 July 02) ...status? Mark to finalize on timescale of 6.5 prioritization (Oct 11).
    • (Des/George) Fringefit memo...status? (TBD: George to add some general calibration context)
    • (Justin) VLBA CASA Recipe circulated; comments solicited/receieved
      • inp/go (mainly features of imp) still fascinates traditionalists....
    • (Ilse) CASA VLBI Paper planning? (E.g, to follow general CASA paper Bjorn is organizing?)
      • Narrowly-focused on VLBI, short, quick; referencing general CASA reference paper if timescales make sense.
      • Meeting next week to discuss
  • CASA repo/build logistics
    • (Ryan/George) CASA repo re-org for sunset of CASA 5 (CAS-13461)
      • git should manage low-level c++ stuff, including moves; xml stuff may require more careful attention
      • currently excludes c++ unit tests, which will be opt-in on a case-by-case basis (relevant casa5 directories will persist for some period of time)
    • Building c++ unit tests in CASA 6 from Darrell (CAS-13461) (still some issues with google tests?)
    • VLBI Integration Branch: CAS-13295
      • Probably will create new one when repo reorg occurs
    • casa6 build instructions via vmware (from Ville)
  • Misc. Admin
    • (Ryan) Revised CASA Management Plan (2021 August 30)
    • (Ryan) Recruitment process for new VLBI developer underway
      • Job posted, including at AAS job register (through mid-Nov); applications coming in; phone screenings to start soon.
  • (Ryan) CNGI/ngCASA Status?
    • Demo 'release' of prototype package status? New link on main casa webpage.
    • FYI: CNGI Development instructions
    • Some casa6 development to be considered using new technologies ("CNGI tech transition"), if adequately isolate-able. Meeting Sep 30 to discuss in more detail.
  • Meetings/workshops of relevance
  • Other admin?
    • (Mark) Helpdesk recap
      • VLBI-specific helpdesk should field issues, make JIRA tickets as needed, coordinate through George to Jen/Urvashi to include in current development plan, and follow through with standard work-flows (verification, validation, etc.). In general, isolated VLBI stuff that will be coded at JIVE should be ok; broader work implicating NRAO staff (until we hire local VLBI developer!) may need some nuanced negotiation as regards urgency.


  • We agreed that scheduling a ~monthly (optional) technical meeting involving George, Mark, Des, and Neal (managers not allowed!) would be a good idea, as it would give us a chance to stay connected and better-engaged in the actual development work, and cover ground that the usual administrative meeting can't easily support. I suspect we will also address logistical topics like work-flow issues and repo re-orgs and similar, as well, so that we're tending more to merely report on these things in the admin meeting. Nominal first meeting will be Oct 13 at 1400UTC (this does not conflict with CUC VLBI presentation), where we'll discuss scheduling future meetings (probably 2nd Wed each month).
  • CASA 6.3+6.4 prioritization complete
  • Ongoing maintenance/development CASA 6.3/6.4 JIRA (VLBI) Status
    • Finished:
      • (Mark, CAS-13466) AveragingTvi2 preavg opt-out for fringefit: Merged to 6.3.
      • (Neal, CAS-13005) Handle refant exhaustion better. Merged to 6.3
    • Ongoing for 6.4.x
      • (Des, CAS-13224) memory management improvements in fringefit.
        • Re-validation complete, merged to 6.4.0.
      • (George, CAS-12735; 12765,12553; 12954,10276) Frequency meta-info
        • Validation @NAASC completed (today!) (CAS-12735,12954,10276) for 6.4.0. PR pending doc finalization.
        • (Des, CAS-13623, 12765,12553) Finalization of VLBI deployment in progress. Should move to formal verification and validation asap.
      • (Mark, CAS-13266) Per-scan interpolation via overloading per-obs mechanism. (6.4.1)
        • (George) Semantics of "Time Segment" granularity to be generalized by George, to avoid internal confusions.
    • Underway for 6.4.1
      • (Des, CAS-13361) Polarization combination for fringefit.
        • Des/George converging on approach via a TVI layer (cf frequency averaging)
      • (Des, CAS-13056) Overlapping solution intervals
        • Initial implementation awaiting review by George
      • (Mark, CAS-13003). EOP update (6.4).
        • Investigating using almacalc with Python interface.
        • Maybe a candidate topic for all-python, new-tech implementation?
    • Other/Miscellaneous
      • (Mark, CAS-13622) FITS-IDI filler does not always update OBSERVATION table correctly
        • Affects fetching of TEC maps for EVN data; fix and tests ready
        • Mark to set Fix version to 6.4. George to negotiate merge (pending ver/val test completion) to 6.4.0.
      • (Mark) Dysco ("lossy" compression of MeasurementSets, no ticket yet)
        • Integrated in casacore now; needs one-line diff in CASA to enable
        • Mark to make ticket (Fix vers=6.4), for likely inclusion in 6.4.1.
      • (George/Justin) to coordinate initial testing on CASR-463 (TEC) to better characterize basic requirements
        • (Justin) Initial tests of VLA-focused implementation with VLBA data work mechanically, mostly; line-of-sight TEC appears broadly consistent with AIPS dispersive delay, but quantitative details need attention, including behavior near/at/below horizon
      • (George, CAS-13287) AveragingTvi2 problems for certain conditions; under separate investigation (cf CAS-13466)
      • CAS-12485: OTF weight munging for solve (Can we complete validation and deploy? Des seeking interested users at JIVE)


  • n/a

-- GeorgeMoellenbrock - 2021-09-29
Topic revision: r2 - 2021-09-30, GeorgeMoellenbrock
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