Work Status

15 Dec 2008

project text
Algorithms There has been a lively email exchange regarding the proposed Algorithm R&D Group. However, there will be no possibility for further administrative action until the second week in January due to scheduling conflicts (SAGE, XMAS, AAS, URSI).
Archives Data from test observations using the WIDAR correlator is being collected in SDM/BDF files and stored in the NGAS archive at the VLA site. It is also being automatically copied to the NGAS archive in the SOC. It is completely indexed and available via the advanced query page. JohnBenson is still debugging some of the finer points.
CIS DavidHalstead mentioned that there is an observatory-wide initiative to consolidate the various helpdesks. The requirements should come from the telescope (and other) projects. He will circulate a document to this group giving a list of issues for the projects to consider.
EVLA The bug reported last time has been formally reported as a bug to the software vendor. Fortunately, it is possible to disable the troublesome feature, which was not being used.
Tests of OPT are continuing. At present, observations created from JObserve and OPT are not producing identical observations.
On-site shared risk observing towards the end of 2009; the exact dates are not finalized. Preparations to support this are just starting.
GBT We are currently interviewing for two open Software Engineer positions - one more general purpose and one for KFPA. We have an interview scheduled the first full week in January for the KFPA position.
There were internal and external reviews of the Dynamic Scheduling Project. Also, members of the Dynamic Scheduling project met with DavidHalstead and NicoleRadziwill last week to discuss common databases (static contact info and proposal info) and our desire to participate in single sign on; we believe DSS can share the common database and single sign-on (while helping the BOS as well).
The PTCS project will be having an external review after the first of the year.
The KFPA project will be having an external review January 30-31, see CriticalDesignReview for materials as they are being developed.
Mustang will be back on the GBT and observing after the first of the year.
Interactive Services OpenSky released a test version of single sign-on for acceptance testing on 4 Dec 08 using CAS.
OpenSky plans to release the next version of the PST for acceptance testing on 2 Jan 09.
VAO The VAO startup has been delayed but is still expected to go forward in 2009. There are indications that the NSF review of the VAO proposal may already have taken place.
Planning for the NRAO VAO program is anticipated but has not yet begun due to uncertainty in VAO funding.
Current VO development consists primarily of ongoing standards development (mainly TAP, SIAV2, applications framework).
Web Wiki:Ccs.ImageGallery work dominated the past few weeks with emphasis on image submissions. The Wiki:Ccs.ImageGalleryValidation topic was created to document the new workflow and Wiki:Ccs.ImageGalleryDatabase documents the schema used.
Wiki:Ccs.WikiMigration: migrating the internal wiki to; significant progress made

01 Dec 2008

project text
Algorithms The 3-day Oxford meeting is in full swing. Video participation is being coordinated by the NRAO to Cape Town, Munich, SRON(NL), Manchester, Charlottesville, Haystack, Socorro, and Penticton. This meeting is to begin to coordinate the requirements of a variety of instruments under construction, upgrade, or design: ALMA, EVLA, VLBA, e-VLBI, e-MERLIN, MWA, LWA, LOFAR, ASKAP, MeerKAT, PAPER, etc. on to SKA, plus existing instruments that will also benefit from such developments.
A proposal has been submitted to NRAO NM management for an algorithm development group.
Archives EricSessions is in CV to work on GBT data archiving.
CIS Several members of staff spent time at SuperComputing08. NCSA has a large installation with 200,000 processors, which we should leverage. DavidHalstead would like the NRAO to attend SuperComputing09 as an exhibitor. This would be a foot in the door for the future. Since the meeting was in Austin, the NRAO people participants met with the OpenSky folks there.
EVLA The WIDAR CDR is two days this week. Data rates of 10 MB/s have already been achieved. So far this can be handled by our installation, but the data sets are >10GB in size, and two software conversions are needed.
Version 0.2 of the OPT is almost ready for release pending the resolution of intermittent failures that seem to be related to 3rd party software.
GBT We are currently interviewing for two open Software Engineer positions - one more general purpose and one for KFPA. I won't be at the meeting today because I will be conducting a telephone interview.
There will be an internal review of the Dynamic Scheduling Project tomorrow starting at 9am (eastern); please attend if interested. There will be an external review next week on Monday and Tuesday. Also, members of the Dynamic Scheduling project be meeting with DavidHalstead and NicoleRadziwill next week to discuss common databases and our desire to participate in single sign on.
GoogleSky JaredCrossley would like to make GoogleSky a standard NRAO service. He is preparing a poster for the AAS in January 2009.
KAT Some members of the MeerKAT software team were in Charlottesville (host NicoleRadziwill), Green Bank (GarethHunt), and Socorro (BryanButler and EdFomalont). In Charlottesville, they spent time much time at the NTC exploring hardware/software interfaces; with Rick Fisher on RFI and general engineering practices, and with BillCotton and others on algorithms. In Green Bank, they had a very productive exchange with the M&C group. Many of their ideas gelled well with the experience of the GBT engineers. In Socorro, they visited the OTF and the VLA. They met with the M&C team, and also met with the VO and archive people. There was a very useful exchange of ideas between the two groups. In general the NRAO groups formed a very favorable impression of the talent and experience of the group.
NicoleRadziwill has been asked by MeerKAT to review their design documents ahead of a software review on December 16.
Interactive Services The CAS prototype is due tomorrow. The new GBT dynamic scheduling system is likely to be a second customer for this.
Web Image Gallery work (Kai, Josh, Pat), mostly on submissions. Documentation of the current code is the main focus; fixing it to make submission work is our priority.
wiki migration (from to, which uses AD authentication); more tests, getting close
Summer Student codebase needs an overhaul (critical, needed this month!)

17 Nov 2008

project text
Algorithms "Final" draft of a proposal is in preparation.
Algorithms Tests of the video connections needed for the Oxford meeting were not successful.
ALMA Review in progress.
ALMA David Clark from Edinburgh is due any day to become the scheduler.
CASA The search to replace Joe McMullin failed. BrianGlendenning, who has been the interim leader, will become the leader of CASA with 25% of his time.
CASA BryanButler and Brian G (wearing his ALMA hat) will supervise Brian (wearing his CASA hat).
CASA AndyHale will become the CASA scheduler with 50% of his time.
CIS Several people: DavidHalstead, RonDuPlain, BobGarwood, and JohnFord are at Supercomputing 08 this week. They will meet with the OpenSky folks at the conference.
EVLA The M&C focus in on commissioning the WIDAR. There is a CDR on December 2/3 in advance of the next major component order.
EVLA JohnBenson has added a search tool for EVLA data to retrieve both SDM and BDF files from the NGAS system at the VLA site.
EVLA The ObsPrepTool was successfully used to create a script for a complicated observation. There will be an announcement of Ka band observing opportunities for the winter session. All Ka band observing will use the ObsPrepTool.
EVLA GigE between Socorro and the VLA site is imminent (a few weeks).
GBT Next release of GBT software will run on RHEL5. Issues with the OS move have placed us behind schedule. We are working to resolve the issues now and expect to release sometime in the first half of December.
GBT Dynamic Scheduling presented at ADASS; current focus is on upcoming internal/external reviews. The NRAO-wide internal review will be held the week of December 1. The external review will be held December 8/9.
GBT PTCS work on OOF finished. Focus is on improved servo system.
GBT There is a meeting at U. Penn. this week to do training and prepare for the upcoming observations.
Interactive Services  
KAT The MeerKAT group is in CV. They will travel to GB (weather permitting) on Wed and to Socorro on Thurs. EdFomalont will take then to the VLA site on Friday. BryanButler may join them. They have meetings planned in Socorro Mon-Wed next week.
Web penn and teller (aka staff and safe) now at RHEL5
Web Image Gallery work (Kai, Josh, Pat), mostly on submissions.
Web wiki migration (from to uses AD authentication; tests ongoing.
Web ISSTT Website overhaul and 2CheckOut integration for online registration
Web Assistance to other groups on BOS migration (to a RHEL5 machine in CV)

20 Oct 2008

project text
Algorithms SanjayBhatnagar, BillCotton, EricGreisen, and FrazerOwen will attend a workshop 1-3 Dec 2008 in Oxford. We will have a video feed of some sort for those remaining stateside
GarethHunt will circulate a document on algorithm coordination this week
ALMA Overview document for review is final
6.0 release has been delayed to end of October
Archives Adding access to old 140 Foot data with links from the new library webpage
CASA Meeting this week to decide on Management structure. The proposal is continue with BrianGlendenning as manager with a deputy
2.3 Release almost ready. Still needs a decision on whether to include modification to handle SMA data for CrystalBrogan
EVLA Widar correlator debugging continues
BDF version 2.0 documentation is ready for comment
BDF data can be combined with SDM
First image with Widar and 4 antennas last week
Search page for the archive to interface to Widar data is ready
Much of this quarter will be devoted to creating an expert user interface to set up the Widar
The ObsPrepTool is progressing. It will be used for Ka band tests this week
Guppi Working on converting this from an expert to a general user device
KAT KAT software engineers will be in CV 17-19 Nov 2008 and in Socorro 21-26 Nov 2008. NicoleRadziwill is finalizing arrangements and contacts for their visit
Interactive Services The decision on MRs for the coming quarter has been taken
Single sign-on
Minimization of duplicate identities
Will investigate improving the referee access. We have a prototype - the one used by CarlBignell in GB
Also want to look into a IM-based helpdesk (with message logging)
VAO No reviewers for this have been assembled by the NSF yet
NASA also seems to have reduced interest
VAO funding therefore will probably not appear next fiscal year - FY2010
VAO funds in Europe also seem to have decreased
Web penn and teller (aka staff and safe) will be upgraded to RHEL5 this week
donar (aka will provide standard operations services with safe mode on
wiki migration to a new server will use authentication against the AD domain, no longer using the wiki facility
The new library application (replacing RAPCAT) was deployed last week

-- GarethHunt - 2009-04-06

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