Australia Telescope Users Committee

Report to the Director on the meeting held at the Australia Telescope National Facility,
Epping NSW on Friday 14th March, 1997

The AT Users Committee meeting commenced at 1315 and ended at 1600. Members present were Dr A Green (chair), Dr L Allen, B Gaensler, Dr C Heisler, Dr S Johnston, Dr K Jones, Dr P Jones, Dr N Killeen, Dr J Reynolds (secretary), Dr E Sadler, Dr M Wieringa and Dr A Wright.

Apologies were received from Dr J Bland-Hawthorn, Professor Peter McCulloch, Dr M Mazzolini and Dr S Ryder.

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

i) ATUC endorses the proposal to hold a synthesis imaging workshop in late 1997, but suggests that its scope and title be widened to include broader aspects of radio and mm-wave astronomy.

Business matters:

1. ATUC strongly supports the continuation of mm-wave observing at Mopra. ATUC recommends that the extension of the solid surface at Mopra be completed and that the telescope be retained in that format. (Priority 1)

2. ATUC assigns the highest scientific priority to the development of a North-South spur for the Compact Array, which would enormously enhance the potential of the telescope for mm-wave astronomy. If the North-South spur proposal requires additional station(s) on the East-West track, ATUC suggests that the additional funding required should be requested from the CIP budget. (Priority 1)

3. ATUC strongly recommends that resources be provided to ensure that the time-critical portion of the multibeam data pipeline keeps up with the rate of data intake. This includes the necessary consumables. (Priority 1)

4. ATUC supports the principle of having adequate computing facilities at the telescope sites, so that observers can reduce sufficient data to assess the quality of their observations, as well as make appropriate use of their time. (No priority assigned)

5. ATUC recognises that the problem of locally generated interference at Parkes is a serious one, and recommends further investigation into possible solutions. (No priority assigned)

6. ATUC is concerned that the level of support provided by the computer services group at Epping has declined, in particular by the lack of an easily identifiable support person who can respond promptly.

7. ATUC endorsed the one-day format adopted for this meeting, consisting of an open discussion with presentations in the morning followed by the closed session.

8. Priorities. ATUC assigned the priorities to the following items as noted (dash denotes no specific priority assigned);

Compact Array
0 ... Pulsar backend (construction nearly complete)
2 ... 256MHz backend upgrade
1 ... North-South spur

1 ... Narrowband m/beam filters (4MHz)
2 ... Correlator upgrade
... Interference excision (no priority assigned)

1 ... 15->22m surface extension

0 ... Pulsar S2 baseband data playback unit (completed)

Computing / OCC
1 ... Multi-beam time-critical data pipeline
2 ... Wideband data links to observatories
- ... ACC upgrade (no rating given)
- ... Parkes telescope control system (no rating given)
- ... Additional data reduction facilities at the observatories (no rating given)

Anne Green

Last updated: 17 April 1997