October 2007 Release

Calendar (NR with changes)

  • June 15-30: All Proposal Helpdesk members submit comments & recommendations about plan of action to the helpdesk email, following the recommendation that this email list be the nexus for communications. NR asks Dave Harland for information about his common models for inclusion. DSB organizes PST feedback, generates a potential list of testers (internal and external), and writes a paragraph describing the sources/resources/sessions tabs.

  • July 1-15: Open Sky reviews & revisits available documentation about process, requirements, lessons learned, and develops first instance of screen mock-up for upgraded PST. A "mock-up" is the fully implemented GUI but missing the functionality behind the scenes. It will show you what the application looks like, will allow you to navigate through the pages, and will allow you to validate your input, but will not allow you to submit a proposal.

  • July 15-31: Mock-up reviewed by steering committee and comments provided. Open Sky continues developing PST upgrade.

  • August 1-15: All process descriptions/requirements for proposal handling due to Open Sky by August 1st (Amy Shelton will work with Carl to do this for GBT; will be checking With him over next few days to make sure Aug 1 is reasonable date). Open Sky continues developing PST upgrade and begins development of mock-up for proposal handling.

  • August 15-31: User acceptance testing (UAT) and incremental improvements of upgraded PST by steering committee.

  • September 1-15: Upgraded PST available for test runs within internal NRAO community; minor revisions potentially made at recommendation of steering committee.

  • September 15-30: Upgraded PST opens for business on Monday, September 17th. Joan, Carl, Lori do UAT on proposal handling tools.

  • October 1-15: Refractory time – Open Sky provides post-deadline support on PST and proposal handling tools as necessary.

Comments to Open Sky (NR with changes)

  1. Review/resolve manual aspects of proposal submission process.
  2. Review/resolve user interface problems. In particular:
    • Registration. User interface/interactions and problems with making changes.
    • Saving data. It must be clear how and when data from the PST are saved. For example, how is "validate" different from "save" and is there a better way to handle this?
    • Screen refresh. Why does the screen have to refresh after every click?
    • Sources/Resources/Sessions. Explore ways to improve how the user specifies information in the Resources/Sources/Sessions tabs. Is there a better way to input and display this information. A fraction of our users find the current system confusing. Can this be displayed graphically? For surveys there may be many sources with different sessions and resources. We currently allow source lists to be input from a file. Can this be done with resources and sessions?
  3. User interface changes. The primary goal here is to make some fundamental structural changes to begin aligning us with ALMA, but still end up with an application that users immediately know how to use based on their experience with the current PST. Also, we want to get users thinking in terms of a "tree" structure that will eventually support the concept of Science Goals.
    • Change tabs view on current PST to tree view used in ALMA observing tool (OT).
    • Use ALMA OT File-Edit-View menu structure and thumbnail images.
    • Use new NRAO EPO web look & feel to contain application (e.g. header images).
    • A few minor changes/additions to resources tab for GBT, as defined by Minter/Maddalena and reviewed by Balser (for GBT dynamic scheduling). (NR when did they agree to do this?)
  4. Sources/Resources/Sessions. Explore ways to improve how the user specifies information in the Resources/Sources/Sessions tabs. Is there a better way to input and display this information. A fraction of our users find the current system confusing. Can this be displayed graphically? For surveys there may be many sources with different sessions and resources. We currently allow source lists to be input from a file. Can this be done with resources and sessions?
  5. Proposal Handling. Provide a proposal handling interface for Joan, Carl and Lori that simplifies their jobs.

Resource/Sources/Sessions

Currently we require that the PST has enough information such that the scientific referees, the technical reviewers, and the telescope allocation committee (TAC) can judge the proposal to decide whether it should be given any telescope time. Also since we have limited tools for scheduling there must be some information about how the proposal will be executed. In the future, however, there will probably be secondary tools to aid the user in scheduling their observations as we move to dynamic scheduling. So we may be able to relax this requirement for the PST.

Resources primarily specify the equipment to use (e.g., receiver, detector, etc.) and the tolerances (e.g, bandwidth, resolution, etc.). Sources consist of objects in the sky that have positions and motions (velocities) relative to the telescope. Sessions are used to organize the observations and are really only required for scheduling. In the simple case there may be one source which will be observed with one set of resources for a single block of time (one session). But usually the user will want to observe multiple sources and use different resources (e.g., observe 10 sources using two different receivers). And they may want to organize the observing into many distinct blocks or sessions. For larger surveys there can be over 100 sources and many sessions. In these cases it is usually easier to specify this information in a file that is then loaded into the PST. We currently do this for sources.

List of internal and external testers (feel free to add/subtract from this list)

Internal Reviewers
Name Agree Location Comments
Carl Bignell DONE GB GBT scheduler
Joan Wrobel DONE AOC PST documentation
Crystal Brogan   CV  
Claire Chandler DONE AOC  
Teddy Cheung   Postdoc  
Mark Claussen   AOC  
Paul Demorest   CV Pulsar observer
Vincent Fish   postdoc GBT/VLA/VLBA
Ed Fomalont DONE AOC  
Dale Frail   AOC Previous Project Scientist of PST
Marijke Haverkorn   postdoc  
Nissim Kanekar DONE postdoc  
Ron Maddalena DONE GB  
Toney Minter DONE GB PST documentation
Frazer Owen DONE AOC  
D.J. Pisano   postdoc  
Paul Ruffle DONE GB Experience with graphics arts
Michael Rupen DONE AOC PST documentation
Tony Remijan   postdoc  
Jeff Wagg DONE postdoc  

External Reviewers
Name Agree Location Comments
Thomas Bania DONE Boston University Fresh look (only used it once so far)
Fabian Walter   MPIfA User's Committee
Elias Brinks DONE University of Hertfordshire Provided critical feedback
Tracy Clarke   Naval Research Lab User's Committee
Jeremy Darling DONE University of Colorado User's Committee
Bryan Gaensler   University of Sydney User's Committee
Kelsey Johnson   University of Virginia  
Yuri Kovalev   MPIfR (Bonn)  
Maura McLaughlin   West Virginia University Pulsar observer
Rachel Osten   University of Maryland User's Committee
Ingrid Stairs DONE University of British Columbia User's Committee

-- DanaBalser - 02 Nov 2007
Topic revision: r1 - 2007-11-02, DanaBalser
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