Report to the Director
at the ATNF in Epping, Sydney
- September 23/24, 1999 -
Report to the Director.
The meeting was held at the ATNF Headquarters, Marsfield, on September
23/24, 1999. The closed session commenced at 9:30 and ended at 16:00 on
Friday, the 24th of September 1999.
Members present: Dr. A. Green (Chair), Dr. B. Koribalski (Secretary),
Dr. J. Chapman, Dr. E. Corbett, Dr. M. Costa, Dr. D. Jauncey, *Mr. S.
Juraszek, *Dr. L. Kedziora-Chudczer, Dr. C. Lineweaver.
(* denotes replacements for non-attending ATUC members,
see the list of apologies below)
Apologies have been received from Dr. R. Balasubramanyam, Dr. M. Britton,
Mrs. M. Johnston-Hollitt, Dr. M. Sevenster, Dr. R. Sood, Dr. I. Stewart,
Dr. M. Walker.
Ex-officio members: Dr. J. Reynolds, (apologies received from
Dr. D. McConnell).
It is with regret that we record the resignation from ATUC of Dr. I.
Stewart. We also acknowledge his contribution with appreciation and
wish him well in the future.
Matters arising from the Director's response to the previous
(a) [Point 2] ATUC is concerned that the lower limit of 70% for the time
available for astronomy on the ATCA and Parkes telescopes not be reached.
(b) [Point 4] ATUC applauds Narrabri's initiative for real-time data
processing. The following points were noted:
- a comprehensive log of the processing should be available;
- on-line reduction will encourage use by optical astronomers;
- advantages will be earlier publication of results and on-the-fly
modification of observing strategies;
- access of images for remote observers would be helpful;
- a quality check should be provided for the reduced data;
- more user feedback is required before additional resources
- the production of an archive of calibrated fluxes for ATCA
calibrators is a good suggestion. Does the early release of this
data need TAC approval?
(c) [Point 7] ATUC requests a progress report on the spectral
ripple investigations at Parkes.
(d) [Point 10] ATUC is satisfied with 40% of the telescope time allocated
for overseas users.
(e) [Point 11] We urge that the proposed AIPS++ workshops be organised
soon to accommodate university users as well as ATNF/AAO staff.
(f) [Point 13] ATUC is encouraged by the initiative to improve the AT
list of calibrators.
New Business Matters:
- a) ATUC congratulates the ATNF on the successful outcomes of the
b) ATUC believes the ATNF has a responsibility for an increased outreach
program. Outreach should include media coverage and public awareness
as well as the educational aspects. We would like the AT Student Committee
to organize a workshop to cover:
- the effectiveness of current programs
- better definition of outreach goals
- improved media contact by researchers
- the possibility of the appointment of a Creative Arts Fellowship
to improve the public interface with the ATNF.
- a) ATUC considers that scientific involvement in the AMIBA project
would be desirable, but it should not have a significant impact on ATNF
resources. We encourage the Director to seek an innovative solution.
b) ATUC is disturbed about the possible impact of the "access restricted
to contributors" policy (a version of "user pays". We suggest that a model
using reciprocal access be investigated. The HST model of funding successful
US observers is worth noting.
- ATUC recommends signing of the MOU with SEST, which will include
operational support along present lines. A review of the project within
12 months would be desirable, because considerable resources have been
spent to date.
- The proposed receiver changes to Ceduna have been reviewed by the
User community, and they are considered to have minimal scientific impact
on VLBI research at this time.
- To avoid delays in setting the observing schedules, observers are
strongly encouraged to provide more detailed information on time limitations
on the proposal forms. ATUC recommends that observing schedules are posted
on the Web at least 1 month before the start of the following term.
In addition, it would be helpful if VLBI observers were better informed
of the details of the session schedule.
- ATUC notes that there are no direct budget implications for the
proposed Child Care Centre. We are happy to see it go ahead.
- ATUC would like to encourage the involvement of the university community
in the SKA project.
- ATUC supports the initiative of the Parkes OIC to quarantine the live
operational system and to allow modifications only after sufficient testing.
Provision of adequate commissioning time after any modifications would be
- ATUC suggests that NAPAs be listed separately on the observing schedule
web page. ATUC endorses that ToO and NAPA results be made publicly available
promptly, and that links to these results be added to the web pages.
- ATUC requests a detailed report on the status of the 22 GHz calibrator
source observations, including any polarization characteristics that have
- The next ATUC meeting is proposed for 9/10 March 2000, before the
AT Steering Committee meeting, which is provisionally scheduled for
14/15 March 2000. The Joint ATNF/AAO Symposium is planned for the
16/17 March 2000.
Anne Green (Chair)