<Minutes of the 34th Subaru Telescope Advisory Committee Meeting>
Date: 11:00 – 17:00 April 5th, 2001 ( Japan standard time )
Place: Subaru TV Conference Rooms in Mitaka and Hawaii
Committee members: Ando, Iye, S.Ichikawa, T.Ichikawa, Okamura, Kataza, Karoji,
Sato, Sugiyama, Tamura, Nakano, M.Hayashi, Fukushima, Maihara,
Observers: Usuda, Takata, B.McLaren
1. Nomination of the chair and the secretary
New committee members were introduced. After some discussion, Iye was nominated as the chair, Maihara as the vice-chair, and Tamura as the secretary. New chairs should serve next term.
2. The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. (Iye, exhibit 34-1)
3. Reports from the Subaru Telescope
3.1 General report (Ando, exhibit 34-3a)
Open use for Semester S00b starting from December 2000 went smoothly. Improving the telescope control system is under way. Most of the instruments finished functional test observations. AO had its first light in December 2000. FMOS was approved for fabrication as a second-generation instrument. MOIRCS and IRHS are under feasibility study. The statistics based on the AG camera shows seeing better than 0h.8 image size for 70% of time. Telescope operators are under training. There were more car accidents. The first users meeting of the Subaru Telescope was held in Hilo.
Currently, 26 staffs based in Hilo, 33 RCUH staffs, 5 staffs on long term trips to Hilo, 4 COE researchers, plus 3 graduate students are supporting the Hilo activity. The budget for FY2001 is about 4 billion yen. Replacement of the supercomputer is scheduled. Transfer of 1 division from Mitaka and the extension of Hilo base facility are to be requested for FY14.
27 proposals out of 105 were accepted for S01a open use offering 36 nights with IRCS, CISCO, FOCAS, OHS, and HDS. For the next semester S01b, 47 nights will be offered for open use with the above instruments plus SuprimeCam. The guidelines for accepting proposals from abroad, target of opportunity observations, and formats for describing the targets of observations were discussed..
The time for observatory staffs was not secured during the semester S01a due to many engineering problems and compensation for this in the future will be necessary. Only domestic PI instruments will be considered for acceptance to mount the Subaru Telescope. Further engineering efforts are needed for primary mirror control, automatic compensation for temperature variation, offset Shack-Hartmann analysis, upgrading the force feedback loop from the loads at fixed points, improving the performance of the IR chopping secondary. Large scale maintenance operation to improve the mechanical fuse structure at the fixation points and recoating the primary mirror will be carried out during August 8 to October 10, when the open use service will not be offered. For the time being, test observations combining the AO with IRCS and CIAO and upgrading other open use instruments are scheduled. Seek for a scheme to share the calibration data.
The chair invited B.MacLaren for comments on the status of UH and Mauna Kea management.
The master plan of Mauna Kea was approved in June. The Mauna Kea operating office invites all the directors for discussion. A dedicated space for Subaru will be assigned at HP. Subaru goods will be sold at Onizuka center. Subaru representatives were identified for the OHANA project. Replacement of IRTF and CFHT for next generation telescopes and an array of wide field small telescopes are studied as possible future plans. HDRT plan under study at IfA was also mentioned.
3.2 FY2000 Budgetary Spending (Karoji)
The total spending amounted to 2.9 billion yen. Travel expenses amounted to130 million yen.
3.3 Telescope (Usuda, exhibit 34-3c)
Best image size in IR is 0h.2 without AO and smaller than 0h.1 with AO. RMS pointing accuracy is 1h. Wind buffeting onto the M1 should be suppressed less than 1.5m/sec using the windscreen. Auto guiding error is 0h.08- 0h.18 for guide stars with m=12-18. The blind tracking accuracy is below the specification. Conspicuous improvement was made on auto-guider performance.
3.4 Instruments (Yamashita, exhibit 34-3d-1)
SuprimeCam: Replace to 10 MIT CCDs is foreseen. A z-filter was installed.
IRCS: No problem
OHS/CISCO: Will be offered from S01a.
FOCAS: MOS mode available on very limited scale. Replacement of refrigerator is scheduled.
HDS: Offered from S01a.
COMICS: Not offered due to the problem with chopping M2. 5 detectors are to be installed.
AO: Got first light in Dec. 2000
4 Report from Time Allocation Committee (Okamura, exhibit 34-4)
TAC met twice for S00b and S01a.. The 5 proposal categories were rearranged to 6 to accommodate more or less even number of proposals to be studied by referees. TAC ranked proposals based on the refereefs points. The applications were 6 times more than available nights and only 1/4 of the proposals were accepted. Up to 10% of proposals from abroad were accepted. TAC made efforts to feed back the comments from referees. The term of service for TAC committee members is two years and needs to be re-elected within one year from now.
5 Partial access for UH88 and UKIRT (Tamura, exhibit 34-3e)
The MOU regarding the partial access to UH88 will be finalized soon and will be signed. The call for proposals was made for the period August 2001 to January 2002. The time allocation of Japanese proposal for UH88 telescope will be made by a small TAC flexible enough to make decision for the time being but more appropriate scheme should be sought for future. This situation was reported at the GOPIRA meeting in March.
Arrangement for UKIRT is under negotiation.
6 R&D subcommittee (Sato, exhibit 34-5)
Sato was erected as the chair of the R&D subcommittee. New members of the subcommittee will be nominated later. MOIRCS (PI: Nishimura) was recommended for approval for the second-generation instrument. The Subaru Advisory Committee endorsed this recommendation. The team consists of staffs and graduate students of Subaru Telescope, Tohoku University.
7 Policy for accepting PI instruments (Yamashita, exhibit 34-7)
Only domestic PI instruments will be considered for mounting at the Subaru Telescope. A small committee summoned by the observatory can do reviewing the science and the performance of the PI instruments. PI instruments proposals for S01b should be submitted within the framework of the open use.
8 Data Archive (Takata, exhibit 34-10)
Data obtained during the test observation by SuprimeCam and by CISCO are to be archived and made available to the public.
9 UH time (Letters between Iye and Kudritzki, 34-8,)
Iye pointed out that the available nights for scientific observations were much less than the optimistic estimate of MOU for the last two semesters but Subaru assigned nights to UH according to MOU which were actually more than 15% of the available nights, and this caused some feeling among Japanese users. On the other hand, UH users community had an uncomfortable feeling on the guaranteed time for the instrument groups. The directors of Subaru Telescope and IfA will continue to establish better mutual understanding.
10 FMOS time (Maihara, 34-9)
Maihara, the PI of FMOS project, reported the status of discussion with UK counterpart to establish common understanding regarding the assignment of time for observation of FMOS. UK participation will be through the guaranteed time and through the open use time.
11 Other issues
Discussion on the compensation of the lost Observatory time and the guaranteed time beyond March 2002 will be made at the next meeting.
Target of Opportunity Observations for S01b will be organized under the leadership of the director, if necessary.