ATUC Meeting Report to Director


March, 2001



The meeting was held on 19/20 March 2001 at the ATNF Headquarters, Marsfield, Sydney. The Business (Closed) session commenced at 9:30am and ended at 5:10pm on Tuesday, 20th March.


Members present: Dr. Ramesh Balasubramanyan, Dr. David Barnes, Ms. Hayley Bignall, Dr. Elizabeth Corbett, Dr. Simon Ellingsen, Dr. Anne Green (Chair), Dr. Carole Jackson, Dr. Dave Jauncey, Mr. Vince McIntyre (secretary), Mr. Erik Muller, Dr. Mark Walker.


Ex-officio members present: Dr. Dave Mc Connell.


Apologies: Dr. Jessica Chapman.


Appreciation was expressed to the retiring members for their valuable contributions to ATUC:

Ms. Bignall, Dr. Chapman, Dr. Jauncey, Dr. Lineweaver, Mr. Muller


Matters from Director's response to the previous ATUC report


[Point 1]. ATUC is pleased with the planned increase in Marsfield Accommodation but would like more details on the time frame for completion.


[Point 3]. Key Performance Indicators. We will suggest some minor amendments to the formatting and will establish progress on KPI as a standing item 1 on the agenda.


[Point 4]. An important issue for ATUC is that oserving schedules are available one month before the start of each term. ATUC suggests the following possiblities could be explored:

a. An acting OIC be appointed for the fortnight required for scheduling

b. Delegating the scheduling

c. Moving the date of the AT Steering Committee meeting

d. Changing the dates of the observing terms


[Point 5]. ATUC thanks the OIC Parkes for surveying the Parkes users and coming up with recommendations for receivers to be upgraded and maintained.


[Point 16]. ATUC applauds the appointment of a full-time web manager.



New Agenda Items


1. ATUC has given feedback on the Letter of Intent for the next round of MNRF proposals. It is vital for the users to be involved with the preparation of the full ATNF-led MNRF-II proposal. ATUC proposes to organize an open forum for discussion and feedback to assist the preparation of the application.

2. In response to a user concern, ATUC would like to clarify that at Mopra, VLBI observing is available all year. Millimetre-wave observing is normally only available in the southern winter. Full observer support is provided during these periods. Outside these periods, applications are treated by the ATNF on a case-by-case basis.


3. ATUC congratulates the ATNF on provision of the sensitivity calculator web page, and the web-based ATCA calibrator database.


4. ATUC supports the idea of an online archive of Compact Array data. Since significant resources will be required for implementation, the scientific priority of this project will be ranked at a future date. ATUC requests a full proposal to include: an online raw data archive, and extension to fully calibrated datasets. A first step towards this would be to improve the functionality of the current online index.


5. ATUC supports guided tours of the Parkes Telescope tower, as long as scientific or observing programs are not compromised. More extensive access to the telescope by limited numbers of people should be available on designated days. Safety issues need to be investigated.


6. a) ATUC recommends that large surveys continue to be ranked and reviewed by the TAC according to existing guidelines.

b) ATUC congratulates Roopesh Ojha for his initiative on the LBA polarimetry system.

c) ATUC assigns priority of 1 to the proposed 6GHz multibeam system for Parkes.

d) ATUC recognizes the scientific value of the proposed 22GHz multibeam system for Parkes. We will be in a better position to rank this proposal after results from the single-baseline 22GHz survey at ATCA are available.


7. ATUC is pleased that the ATNF is attracting an increasing number of international proposals. We request statistics on the fraction of time allocated to projects with overseas PIs. Information on team composition for successful projects would also be helpful in assessing the impact upon access for Australian observers, particularly students.


8. ATUC supports the proposed taxi service (ATNF funded) for observer transport at Narrabri and the introduction of the phone card system at the ATCA.


9. ATUC supports the division of spectrum management into two areas: widespread preservation of existing bands and new protections at selected sites.


10. On the question of weather-dependent scheduling at the ATCA, ATUC intends to allocate some time for discussion at the next Reports (Open) session of the User's Committee. This discussion is to resolve a longstanding item from previous ATUC reports.


11. ATUC recommends that there be some hands-on AIPS++ analysis during the synthesis workshop in September 2001. Similar practical training would be most useful for the roadshow visits.



Anne Green (Chair)

ATUC User’s Committee/atuc_mar2001_report.doc