AT Users Committee meeting report

This is my first report since taking over as ATUC Chair in June 2006, and I would like to record ATUC's thanks to the outgoing Chair, Dr Steven Tingay, and Secretary, Dr Jim Lovell, for all their hard work over the past three years. We welcome Dr Michael Dahlem (ATNF) as the new ATUC Secretary.

A full report on the ATUC meetings held in June and October 2006 can be found on the ATUC website (, but a couple of points are worth highlighting here:

  • The next ATUC meeting will take place in Sydney from 30 April to 2 May 2007, and will include a one-day Australia Telescope science symposium on Monday 30 April. This is a reinstatement of the annual symposium series which was held regularly until 2004 (often as a joint AAO/ATNF symposium), at which AT users are invited to present science results from the national facility telescopes. More details, and a call for papers, will be posted on the ATNF website soon, but please keep this date free in your diaries.
  • Both 12-mm and 3-mm observations with the Compact Array remain feasible (particularly at night-time) outside the nominal winter observing season. A recent paper by Middelberg, Sault & Kesteven (PASA 24(3), 2007, p. 147) analyses several years of data from the Compact Array Seeing Monitor and shows that in terms of atmospheric phase stability, nights in spring, summer and autumn are as good as or better than daytime observing in winter. Observers may wish to take this information into account when planning their millimetre observing proposals.
If you have comments on any of the issues discussed in the full ATUC reports, or suggestions for topics to be discussed at the next ATUC meeting, please feel free to talk to me or your local ATUC member (listed on the ATUC webpage). Comments and feedback can also be submitted online via the feedback form on the ATUC webpage at the URL:, and comments from overseas users of the ATNF facilities are also welcome.

Elaine Sadler
ATUC Chair