<Minutes of the 33rd Subaru Telescope Advisory Committee Meeting>

 

Date: 11:00 – 16:00 October 12th, 2000  ( Japan  standard time )

Place: Subaru TV Conference Rooms in Mitaka and Hawaii

Committee members: Ando, Iye (Chair), Takashi Ichikawa, Ohta, Gouda, Kobayashi,

Tamura (Secretary), Hayashi,  Maihara,

Observers: Usuda, Yamashita, Fuse, R.Kudritzki, B.McLaren, R.Wainscoat

 

The order of  the agenda was changed and the following minutes are given in chronological order.

 

0.       The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.  (Iye, exhibit 33-0)

 

1.       Greetings from  the new director of IfA, University of Hawaii. (Kudritzki )

 

2.       Report from Subaru Telescope Program Committee (Okamura, exhibit 33-3b)

2.1        Program Committee Meeting was held at Hawaii observatory on September 25th.       The procedures of making the call for proposals were reported from the Observatory and the committee discussed the baseline policies for selecting proposals, reaching in agreement on the following issues:

a)                   to adjust the number of nights

b)                   not to merge proposals with similar scientific contents but choose better one

c)                   to distribute the available nights to each of the 5 field categories according to the number of proposals or to the number of requested nights (either scheme yielded the same result this time)

d)                   to allocate time to foreign proposals with the upper limit of 10%

e)                   to digitize referees ranking as A= 3; B=2; C=1 to derive unbiased average ranking

f)           to use the average score of available referees when not all the five referees are available due to the conflict with proposers. (The minimum number of available referees was three for five proposals.)

Two further issues were discussed:  the basic policy to avoid the target conflicts between the GT program and individual proposal and the concrete way to make comments to be sent to the proposers.

As a result, the following proposals were accepted out of the 114 submitted proposals.

                 IRCS                     16 programs     accounting for  20 nights

                 Suprime-Cam       10 programs     accounting for  16 nights

       Finally, the committee summarized identified problems and measures to improve the procedures in making next call for proposals and the following selection process.

  

3.        The schedule toward the Open Use and related matters (Hayashi, exhibit 33-3a)

3.1        Tentative schedule for S01A semester Open Use was presented.

3.2        The problem on scientific interference between the Guaranteed Time programs and Open Use programs was discussed; e.g. would it be fair to ask a referee on an open use proposal when he/she is involved in a GT program whose scientific objectives and targets are in conflict with the open use proposal to be refereed

3.3        Researches based on observations made on UH hours prior to the Open Use (Dec, 2000):

Iye explained that Japanese researchers has made an arrangement to assure an opportunity for those who have contributed to establish the Subaru Telescope to take a look at the draft of scientific papers based on observations made prior to the Open Use before its submission and to make some contributions if any.  He expressed a desire to set up a similar arrangement for papers based on observations made during the UH time before the start of the Open Use in December, 2000.

 

Kudritzki expressed the need for fast publication and pointed out that the inclusion to the author list should depend on the contribution to the paper. Karoji proposed to establish scheme whereby a written agreement is made prior to the UH observation and presented an example of the draft agreement.  UH will ensure to inform Subaru Observatory and the involved instrument team of  the nature of the observation prior to its execution.

 

4.       S01 Open Use (Ando, exhibit 33.4)

4.1        Ando proposed to reduce the number of observing nights offered for the Open Use and for the Observatory Use for the semester S01 that were approved in the previous meeting in order to secure the necessary time for the following two essential operations that were newly identified.  One month period will be needed for the remedy of problems identified in the structure of the fixed points of the primary mirror and another month might be necessary to re-aluminize the primary mirror.  He proposed to offer 36 nights for the Open Use for the S01A Semester during Apr.-July, 2001.  August- September will be assigned for the above operations.

4.2        The open use instruments to be offered for the S01A Semester were identified by the Observatory. They shall be OHS/CISCO, IRCS, FOCAS, and HDS.

4.3        There were questions why the Suprime-Cam will not be available for the next semester.  This decision was made by the observatory considering the scientific need for exchanging the CCD chips of the SuprimeCam which cannot be done under the status of the common use instrument because it takes time and the overhead of instrument exchange between the prime focus and other foci.  Disappointment was expressed on the unavailability of the Suprime-Cam for the next semester both from UH side and from some members of the committee.

4.4        A domestic committee member expressed the concern of Japanese astronomersf general complaints against the inequality between the UH astronomers and the domestic astronomers in the access privilege to the SuprimeCam prior to the start of the Open Use. 

 

5.       Collaborative arrangements with UH and JAC

5.1  Usage of UH 2.2m Telescope Time (Tamura, exhibit 33.5a)

Negotiations are in progress to make 10%-15% of the UH 2.2m observing time available to the Japanese community starting from February, 2001 for a couple of years, with the possibility of extending the period further for the future.  NAOJ will cover the corresponding fraction of the annual operating expenses and will allocate the corresponding observing time to Japanese applicants. Japanese community will have an access to all the current and future UH equipments. The Japanese community may install its own instruments. Travel and lodging expenses shall be covered entirely by the NAOJ.  The main objectives of this arrangement are to use the UH2.2m facility to promote instrument development and scientific collaboration to maximize the output from Subaru. It is, therefore, envisioned that the use of the 2.2-meter shall be divided roughly in three parts; 1/3 of the time for the test observation of new instruments, 1/3 for Subaru related activities, 1/3 for individual scientific programs. The actual procedure to make time allocation  shall be quite flexible and be made among a few core members around Subaru. The announcement of such new opportunities, however, should be reported also at the Optical Infrared Astronomy Committee.

5.2    Usage of UKIRT Telescope Time (Sekiguchi, exhibit 33-5b)

Negotiations are in also progress to obtain UKIRT time to be assigned, by Japanese time allocation committee (to be defined), for researchers in Japan. The plan calls for a maximum of 100 nights over a five-year period, beginning from August 2001, in return for some contribution from Subaru side.  Prototype example of such an agreement exists regarding the implement of Max Plankfs tip/tilt secondary onto UKIRT.

 

6         Brief report on the Hawaii Observatory (Ando, exhibit 33-1a)

6.1    Summary on progress since June 2000:

a)       Continuing the operational tests of the open use instruments.

b)      AO will be installed on telescope and its first test is foreseen at the end of October.

c)    There  were 114 applications of proposals for the 1st Open Use call for proposals.

d)     The concrete procedures for the smooth start of Open Use are being worked out.

6.2     Operation:

Two categories of operators for the telescope and equipments are organized and training of the operators has started.   Safety management at the summit is of  top priority.

6.3     Staffing:

Two support scientists are employed.  Looking for three more. Two additional operators are needed in order to complete the group of eight. One lab technician has resigned and a replacement is being sought.

6.4     Expenses:

FY 2000 contracts were made on the maintenance and on functional improvements on the telescope and on instruments.  New budget is assigned for the first year of  FMOS project and some others are for R&D.  Another big expenditure is the contract on maintenance and improvement of software.

6.5     Mauna Kea Directorsf meeting, Users committee: (Supplemented by McLaren)

    Master plan was finalized in June.  It calls for a MK Management Board and MK Management Office.  The latter consists of four people and is looking for a permanent director. The former consists of seven volunteers. Three out of the seven are Hawaiians. At the first meeting, a subcommittee was established and a date for the next meeting was set.  This meeting is open to the public. It would be important for Subaru to attend the meeting and to share the results of the observatoryfs scientific program.

6.6     Telescope (Usuda, exhibit 33-1c)

1) Prime-focus tests were conducted in June and July. Fundamental functions were confirmed.

2) Function of the automatic temperature compensation for the Cassegrain and primary foci were tested and confirmed.

3) Function of the Cassegrain ADC was confirmed by FOCAS.

4) Telescope operation workstations, TWS1 and 2, were replaced at the end of August.

5) In August, revision of the software was made and the time required to acquire a guide star using the auto-guider was improved from 90 sec to 5 sec. Additional improvements are necessary.

6) Primary mirror is cleaned with CO_2 snow once every 3 weeks. Its reflectivity is being monitored.

7) Known problems with the telescope were prioritized.

6.7  Instruments (Yamashita, exhibit 33.1b)

1) Suprime-Cam  :  Two more MIT CCDs will be installed before the start of open use.  Replacement to an ion pump and test on remote control were carried out. Imaging quality and pointing/tracking performance was verified.

    2) IRCS :  After the first engineering run, some modifications, installment of  new filters, and an assemble test with the adaptive optics were carried out at the base facility.  The second engineering run carried out in September enabled operation of IRCS through the standard observation control system SOSS.  Fundamental operational data using  grisms and echelle were obtained.

    3) FOCAS :  Imaging and long-slit low-resolution spectroscopy modes were established. System efficiency and limiting magnitude are yet to be calibrated.  MOS mask alignment procedures are under improvement and 0.h3 precision is attained.  Replacement to MIT CCD needs to be scheduled.

    4) OHS : Background was reduced considerably by installing a masking cover.  Performance verification observations were carried out for 9 nights. CISCO is heavily used for observatory time and for UH time.

    5) HDS : Installed at Nasmyth focus at the end of March.  Fundamental performance was confirmed with red and blue image rotators in July and August. An R=100,000 wavelength resolution with 0.4 arcsec slit was achieved.

    6) COMICS : Imaging and low-resolution spectroscopy modes were established. The residual glow effect was reduced through a laboratory test. Fringing problem is identified for medium dispersion spectroscopy.

     7) CIAO : The collimator support and ghost image problems revealed during the first engineering test were solved, as confirmed by the second test in October. The combined test with the adaptive optics system  was completed at the base facility.  Will collaborate on the AO engineering tests in October and January.

    8) AO : Final adjustment and testing with IRCS/CIAO was conducted at the base facility and the AO system was delivered to the summit on Sept 29th.  First light is scheduled for the end of October.

6.8    Announcement  (Fuse, exhibit 33.6)

    Open Use science results will be widely disseminated by the Public Relations Department.  The PIfs co-operation is essential, and the PR Department will help to clean up the images.

 

7         Policy on acknowledgements (Hayashi, exhibit 3.10)

7.1   After reviewing examples from several observatories, Hayashi proposed as an example the following phrase in a footnote on the title page: gBased [in part] on data from the Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japanh OR gBased [in part] on observations with the Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japanh.    The committee asked the observatory to make the final decision after further discussion.  UH will confirm  whether acknowledgement to UH is necessary when IRCS is used.  It might be better to refer to publications describing the instrument.

{Note added later: UH does not think it necessary to have an acknowledgement to  UH when IRCS is used.}

7.2  The policy of Subarufs data archive, 18 months proprietary period after observation, was explained to UH and asked for identical arrangement for data observed during UH time.  UH has agreed on this.

 

8         Proposed Kyoto University telescope (Ota, exhibit 33-2)

As a future plan for the Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, there is a plan to construct a 3m telescope with 1 degree FOV for optical and 5 arming FOV for infrared. Fiber MOS is the first instrument planned.  A group of astronomers in Kyoto University hope to make a budget request for FY2002.  The main scientific objectives are ASTRO-F follow-up spectroscopy and observations of transient sources, e.g. gamma ray bursters and variable stars.  The new telescope is expected to be operated mainly by Kyoto-University in collaboration of several universities in west Japan, including  Hiroshima University and Okayama University.  Open use of new telescope will also be arranged but on a limited scale.

 

9         Computer facility (Mizumoto, oral report)

The replacement of computers in Hilo is planned. Status and schedule of the development of the simple version of DASH and the data analysis environment in Mitaka were reported.

 

10     Post-Subaru plan  (Iye, exhibit 33-9)

Since some concrete discussion is already in progress in US and in Europe, it would be necessary to start planning the future as soon as possible.  Long term plans for the optical interferometer, next-generation very large ground-based telescope, space telescope and so on, should be accessed  in order to establish early participation to international collaboration in these projects. 

 

11     Miscellaneous

11.1     The Gemini and Subaru Conference [Astrophysical Ages and Time Scales]

 (Sekiguchi, exhibit 33-7) will be held in Hilo on Feb. 5-9th, 2001.

11.2         The Subaru Users meeting  (Yamada, exhibit 33-8) will be held in Hilo from March 7th to 9th, 2001.  Drafts of programs were presented.

11.3         SIRIUS (Tamura, exhibit 33.11)

SIRIUS, a three-color simultaneous infrared camera with three 1024 x 1024 HgCdTe arrays, was successfully operated on the UH 2.2-m on August 10th, 2000.  The instrument met most of the performance specifications. It will be mounted on a 1.4-meter telescope (IRSF), which was recently installed in South Africa by Nagoya University.  It will then be carried back to Hawaii next year. After engineering runs collaborative observations with UH and Japanese researchers are foreseen.

 

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