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Minutes of the talk on the:
    ALFA Front End Construction

Avinash (Desh) Desphande (NAIC)


A more detailed version of this talk by the speaker is available in HTML, PDF, or PPT format.

CSIRO is providing the design and fabrication of the front end. The NAIC effort includes: antenna controls, IF/LO system, backend(s), data acquisition and archiving

Construction schedule:

Sep 2003 IF/LO system
end 2003 Backends (hardware and software) [first set of 100 MHz WAPPS, now have 4; need 7 or possibly 8, thought to expand to 200 MHz but not current priority]
Jan-Apr 2004 Precommissioning: test 7 copies from single pixel
Apr 2004 Delivery of array from CSIRO to Arecibo expected
Apr-Sep 2004 Commissioning integration
Sep-Dec 2004 Tests/calibration:

Current issues include:

Post Commissioning:

ALFA will be maintained by NAIC. The first observing runs assigned to the science consortia will be treated as test runs. The ALFA technical team will provide active suport to resolve remaining difficulties with the instrumentation and software.

NAIC has set up its own ALFA Advisory Committee (ALAC), co-chaired by Daniel Altschuler (NAIC) and Riccardo Giovanelli (Cornell). A second NAIC advisory group (Data Management Committee or DMC) co-chaired by Arun Venkataraman (NAIC) and Jim Cordes (Cornell) is currently looking into long term NAIC needs for data management.

Development of additional back-ends may continue through 2005. Full piggy backing will begin only when the additional backends become available.

Project Management:

NAIC is currently recruiting a project manager for the ALFA project. There will also be regular local telecons and monthly telecons with the group constructing the array at CSIRO.

ALFA Science Consortia:

Four main groups has been identified Pulsar (P-ALFA), Extragalactic (E-ALFA), Galactic (GALFA) and SETI (interested in piggybacking). The Pulsar consortium has already met (Nov 2002) and GALFA will meet next week (Mar 2003).

Pulsar Consortium:

The pulsar consortium met in November 2002 in Arecibo. The P-ALFA website is: http://alfa.naic.edu/alfa_pulsar.html. Topics they discussed/decided on include:

Subgroups were organized to work on different issues. Action items were outlined at the meeting. A report is available on the web as is a summary of the talks presented at the meeting. They appointed a coordination committee with 8 members, chaired by Jim Cordes. The Point of Contact (POC) at AO is Paulo Freire.

Questions/Discussion:

Eli B. What will be possible ideally with piggybacking and parallel observations?
Desh If there is a similarity between telescope motions, one could provide additional backends to allow piggybacking. Three possible backends should cater to all surveys. For example, for the pulsar surveys, requirement include a bandwidth of 300 MHz with 1024 channels/beam. That is rather coarse resolution, but extremely fast dumps are needed.



next up previous
Next: The IF/LO System Up: Minutes of the 1st Previous: Front End Optics


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Last modified: Thu Apr 17 18:03:23 EDT 2003