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Report to the Director on the meeting held at the Australia Telescope National Facility,
Epping NSW on Friday April 21 1995

The AT Users Committee meeting commenced at 0845 and ended at 1530. Members present were Professor P M McCulloch (chair), Dr R W Clay, Dr M E Costa, Dr M Drinkwater, Professor K Freeman, Dr P J Hall, Dr K Jones, Dr S Johnston, Dr R P Norris, Dr J Reynolds, Dr E Sadler, Dr L Staveley-Smith (secretary), Dr R Vaile, Dr G White and Dr P Wood.

Apologies were received from Dr M Burton and Dr M Mazzolini.

After preliminary discussions the meeting was open to any interested users from 0930.

The Chairman welcomed Drs Costa and Sadler to their first meeting.

After considerable discussion about the length of prior notice members received concerning issues to be discussed at ATUC meetings, such as Galileo and Ceduna, the committee resolved:

1. In instances where decisions on issues of concern to the ATUC had to made on short time scales, the committee requests that the director notify the committee of these decisions by e-mail as soon as possible.

2. ATUC requests sufficient advance notice of major items prior to the Users Meetings so that members can discuss these issues with the community.

Matters arising from the Director's comments on the previous ATUC report:

tex2html_wrap_inline21 ATUC feels that the joint AAO/ATNF symposium was extremely valuable and would like to see similar symposia in the future.

tex2html_wrap_inline21 ATUC agreed with the Director's comments concerning ToO proposals. However the committee was not happy with the use of the term 'alert' proposal as they believed it could be interpreted in different ways, and requests the Director re-word that section in order to clarify its meaning.

tex2html_wrap_inline21 ATUC thanks the Director and organisers for arranging such a stimulating and productive mm-wave symposium.

tex2html_wrap_inline21 ATUC acknowledges with appreciation the circulation of CA Problem Forum Reports, but requests that postscript material be sent in seperate well identified files.

The following resolutions were agreed to by the ATUC:

3. ATUC recognises the importance of the Galileo mission and the benefits it has brought to the ATNF. ATUC finds the loss of 13 months of Galactic centre time at Parkes unacceptable, however it recognise the importance of external funding and therefore supports the extension of time for the Galileo mission provided about one month (in addition to the solar conjunction time) is retained for proposals requiring observations near the galactic centre. ATUC recommends that this one month period be split into two approximately equal sessions. ATUC identified pulsar monitoring, methanol maser observations, HI multibeam and 22 GHz space VLBI as well as PhD projects as important areas requiring Galactic centre time. ATUC urges the ATNF to negotiate the best possible deal with NASA in return for their additional use of Parkes.

4. ATUC supports in principle ATNF involvement with Antarctic astronomy through the JACARA site testing program and urges collaboration with the relevant European and US groups.

5. ATUC urges the ATNF to continue monitoring all sources of RFI at Parkes, both internal and external, and continue measures to improve the system. ATNF should request a copy of the Phoenix data base to assist with these improvements.

6. ATUC welcomes the availability of remote and service observing to non-ATNF users of the ATCA and encourages continued development and support of these facilities.

ATUC examined the wide range of proposals for future developments. Consideration of these proposals was based on the assumption that there would be no additional funding available from the MNRF or any other source. Members were required to choose between major proposals within the existing budget. ATUC resolved that work on the HI multibeam project and the 3mm SIS receiver for Mopra should continue as a matter of priority, these projects were excluded from further ranking. Four items; accurate time for Parkes, LBA phase transfer for Mopra and the two computing items, were not considered for ranking as ATUC believed that funds were either available from other sources or they were no longer required. The AOS received little support and was not ranked, but should be considered equivalent to a 3. After considerable discussion members were requested to prioritise spending for the next three years, they were each allocated $2m for first priority items and a further $1m for second priority. The following table summarises the first and second votes for each project and gives a sum for each proposal based on 1 for first priority and 0.5 for second. Proposals have been further ranked into three groups according to the sum,
tex2html_wrap_inline21   group 1: sum > 10.5,
tex2html_wrap_inline21   group 2: 10.5 > sum > 5,
tex2html_wrap_inline21   group 3: sum < 5.
This ranking gives projects with a total cost of about $2m in category 1 and $1m in category 2.

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Peter McCulloch
Chair

Last updated: 10 May 1995


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