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The SOC Pilot Project: MALT-90

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  1. MALT90 Project – Presented and edited by Jill Rathborne SOC Pilot Project – Presented and edited by Kate Brooks The SOC Pilot Project: MALT-90 Jessica Chapman CASS Observatory Operations Research Program Leader 9 September 2010

  2. The SOC Pilot Project Project Goals: • Trial SOC-mode observing from Marsfield, initially to support Mopra Large Surveys from Sydney. • Establish and implement the technical and user requirements needed to do this. • Gain experience of Sydney-based observing, and working with science teams on Large Projects. • Extend the ATNF data archives to provide National Facility support for Mopra Large Survey Data Products.

  3. Mopra Large Surveys Working Group (MWG) A Mopra Large Surveys Working Group was established in May 2010. The members are: Chapman (Project Leader), Amy, Barry/Drazenovic, Brooks, Edwards, Indermuehle, Wark & Bock. Requirements for MALT-90 were established in consultation with Jim Jackson and members of the Science team. Suggestions received from ATUC and input from focus groups were also included in the planning. May – September 2010: Work was carried out to ensure that the technical and user support requirements for the pilot project were met.

  4. Key Changes for (but not limited to) the MALT90 observers • First-time observing permitted from Marsfield • Access to a MALT90 Support Person based at Marsfield • Raw data streamed to Marsfield to a dedicated server (draco) • Direct video link between rm23 (Marsfield) and Mopra desk (Narrabri) • Evening hot meals available at the Marsfield lodge • Creature comforts added to rm23 • Priority given to reservations at the Marsfield lodge • CASS resources dedicated to provided archive for MALT90 data products

  5. Visitors Services - Marsfield The Marsfield lodge provides on-site accommodation and has eight bedrooms with a shared kitchen. Improvements to the Lodge facilities: Dark bedrooms with new window shutters to block daylight After hours hot meals can be ordered through canteen New observers fridge MALT90 Observers and support astronomers have priority bookings for lodge rooms Room-23 provisions: Observers comfort in remote observing area - radio, clock, whiteboards, games, access to a small kitchen with tea/coffee/biscuits.

  6. Computing Infrastructure • Mopra (& ATCA) observers have dedicated access to remote observing computer terminals in room 23. • Powerful new server and dedicated Marsfield disk space (~5 TB) provides for fast off-line data processing. • New high-quality point-point video link has been installed at Narrabri and Marsfield. (Cost = $60K) Rm 23 (Marsfield) Observers Area (Narrabri)

  7. MALT90 Support Person • For most ATCA and Mopra observations, observing support is provided by a Duty Astronomer based at Narrabri. For MALT-90: • Observing support is provided by a support astronomer located in Marsfield. • The support astronomer is on the Marsfield site at all times during observations for this project (only). • Hot meals are provided. • Support roster set up with 3.5-day blocks. • CASS funds travel and accommodation for 7-days support (i.e. two blocks). • Lodge room and cab charge (to return home) can be provided if needed for support astronomer.

  8. MALT90 Support Person – what is it testing? • Test video-link usage between support person in Marsfield and the support staff on site at Narrabri. • Test the willingness of astronomers and students from both ATNF and the community to volunteer to a support/DA program that is based in Marsfield. • Test the impact of reducing the roster cycle from 7 days. • Test the communication channels between the support person in Marsfield and the: Millimetre support scientist in Narrabri; the Head of Science Operations in Marsfield (particularly for schedule changes); the Site Manager in Narrabri; and the ATCA DA in Narrabri. • Achieve Goal 1 in the SOC Phase 1 – (e.g support from SOC).

  9. Data Archives • All Mopra raw data are archived in the Australia Telescope Online Archive For MALT-90: • The science team provides scripts and software for ‘pipeline’ data processing – based on existing packages. • The science team is responsible for verifying the quality of data products released. • Final data products are image cubes. • CASS will provide support to release data products through the ATOA data archives. • There is NO proprietary period for the data products. These will be released as soon as they can be made available.

  10. Initial feedback from MALT90 Science Team • New observers have found it easy to learn how to observe from Sydney. • Observers find video system very helpful when working closely with other observers or support staff at the other site. One observer reported that the system was useful at changeovers but very distracting at other times. The screens in particular were very hot. Better ergonomics of camera layout is needed. • Observers appreciate the high level of expertise from local (Marsfield – aka Jill) astronomers. • Lack of interaction with Narrabri Duty Astronomer. • Observers like staying at Marsfield lodge and like having a choice of hot meals. • No issues with sound levels reported for lodge (so far) – at least for those staying in the rooms with shutters. • Observations & science goals were not significantly impacted. MALT90 Observers reported a positive experience

  11. Initial Feedback from staff and visitors • Australian-based astronomers have said that it is attractive to come to Sydney for a week, with expenses are paid for observing support, as this allows them to work with CASS staff. • Support astronomers are finding the 14-hour days too long to be onsite for 3-days running. Luke warm response from staff to sign up to the support scheme. Still need a ‘backup” DA in Narrabri. • Some communications need to be improved (e.g. Sydney observers with Narrabri DA and communications to staff). • Some staff and visitors, working nearby, have found the video system intrusive and raised privacy issues. • Neither of the Mopra observing areas in Sydney and Narrabri are ideal. Both can be improved in longer term.

  12. Next stages • Oct 2010: Review of pilot study and ‘lessons learnt’. Some modifications to video set up are likely. • Oct 2010: Consultation with the User Community (through ATUC) – and information provided in the ATNF News. • Nov 2010: Next announcement of Opportunity with information on SOC-mode observing for Mopra and possibly ATCA. • Release of data products through ATNF archives (in 2011, date to be confirmed). • In 2011 MALT-90 is expected to observe from both Sydney and other remote locations.

  13. Motivation – MALT90 Project • Coordinated effort to maximize the efficiency and scientific output of ATNF facilities • Mopra 22m telescope • Australia Telescope Compact Array • Formed the Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team (MALT) • Identified three Galactic plane surveys • 45 GHz Methanol masers • 90 GHz Dense gas, high-mass star formation • 115 GHz Molecular clouds, galactic structure

  14. MALT90:Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team 90 GHz survey • Capitalize on recent progress made in identifying the earliest stages of high-mass star formation • 90 GHz molecular line survey of high-mass star-forming dense cores with the Mopra 22m telescope • ~2000 cores, 16 molecular lines • MALT90 goal : • characterize star-forming cores and to study their physical and chemical evolution • MALT90 products: • Cubes of each core in the 16 molecular lines • Source database • Detection statistics • Line properties (peak T, VLSR, Dv, integrated intensity) • Released to the community as soon the data quality are verified • MALT90 team: • 50+ members, 10+ institutes (CASS, Boston University)

  15. Online tools • Challenges of large, international projects • Many people, many locations • Access to project databases • Real-time update of status • Central wiki that contains all information relevant to the project • Source information • Past, current, future observing schedules • Observing strategies, roster, log • Summary of science observations, pointing corrections, calibration • Data reduction overview, status

  16. Online tools : observing schedules, source information

  17. Online tools : OTF schedule file creator

  18. Online tools : observing log

  19. Online tools : data reduction Reference scan smoothed Renamed based on source/ scanning direction Position information Fit baseline Produces map (one for each IF) Combines Long/Lat scans Organizes data into sensible directories Updates database (wiki)

  20. Year one summary • ~860 hours over 3 months (July – Sept) • 9 observers • 3 locations (Narrabri, Marsfield, Boston) • PhD students, post-docs, faculty members • Experienced, novice ~520 sources

  21. Requests • Data products accessible to the community via the archive • Raw data (470 GB) • Processed cubes (1.7 TB) • More efficient observing • Pointing checked and applied as part of a schedule file • Manual selection of pointing source, correct schedule file, command to reduce the data and apply correction • Batch submission of schedule files • Submit multiple observations to be completed in order • Better access to information within the wiki (database searches, links) from external networks • Limited to internal (non-visitor) network • VPN on external network

  22. Survey overview Number of dense cores targeted 1,500 Number of Pre-stellar cores 500 Number of Protostellar cores 500 Number of H II Regions 500 Angular Resolution 38 arcsec Spectral Resolution 0.11 km/s Number of lines imaged simultaneously 16 Size of map 3 arcmin x 3 arcmin Sensitivity (TA*rms at 0.11 km/s) 0.2 K Total size of survey 3 TBytes Time for one map 31 minutes Total time for MALT90 2,250 hours Number of 12-hour nights required 240 (with overhead) Dates of Data Collection Winter 2010 to 2012 860 hours scheduled for July-Sept 2010