GMVA TAC: Meeting Minutes (08 February 2017)
Only one GMVA proposal with ALMA was accepted for 16B/cycle 4 due to the mismatch between the different TACs: NRAO/GBO/LBO, ALMA, and Other GMVA Observatories (OGO). There are two main issues:
- Double Jeopardy: There are effectively three TACs and therefore you may do great on one but not the others. As a result, for the one semester where ALMA was included we only selected one proposal for observing. This seems like too much of a barrier. We briefly discussed having one TAC to oversee time allocation but it is very unlikely that we could modify the ALMA process. Since we only have one cycle under our belt with ALMA it was suggested maybe we should not alter the procedures and get more data. But given the uncertainty in the GBT's high frequency program it would be good to put something in place now to increase the odds that a good proposal will get time.
- Timing: The timing typically goes like the following. The NRAO/GBO/LBO TAC will finish first and have its allocations. Soon after this the OGO results will be in place. Last will be ALMA. For example, the last time this involved semester 16B and ALMA cycle 4. So the 16B proposals could be scheduled in either Fall 2016 or Spring 2017 depending on availability. Any GMVA proposal with ALMA would occur in the Spring 2017 session. How best to communicate with the users given these mismatched between TACs?
The next GMVA cycle with ALMA is 17B/cycle 5. We received 9 GMVA proposals (7 with the GBT and 5 with ALMA; all of the ALMA ones include the GBT). The following way forward (at least for 17B/cycle 5) was suggested.
- Check if the 4 non-ALMA proposals can be scheduled in the Fall 2017. This will require input from the GMVA scheduler. If this is not true then we need to consider another plan.
- Proceed as normal with the NRAO/GBO/LBO TAC for the non-ALMA GMVA proposals. That is, they receive a score in the SRPs and are considered for scheduling with the NRAO/GBO/LBO TAC. The various schedulers meet to merge the NRAO/GBO/LBO and OGO results and schedule these GMVA proposals for the Fall 2017.
- Proceed slightly differently for the ALMA GMVA proposals. Score these proposals as usual in the SRPs but put them on hold during our TAC meeting. That is, the NRAO/GBO/LBO TAC will not consider these proposals for scheduling. Once the ALMA TAC has produced their results the NRAO/GBO/LBO ADs/schedulers meet to decide which ALMA GMVA proposals can be scheduled. We then meet with the GMVA scheduler and fold in the OGO results.