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ASCA Guest Observer Facility


Dupont Plaza Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Prepared by: Alex Brown, Chair

Members Present: Alex Brown, David Burrows, Jules Halpern, Mark Henricksen, Christine Jones, Greg Madejski, Chris Mauche, Craig Sarazin, and Kim Weaver

Members Absent: Jack Hughes and Paul Plucinsky

Others: Ken Ebisawa, Keith Gendreau, Eric Gotthelf, Paul Hertz, Koji Mukai, Rob Petre, Nick White

Headquarters Situation - Paul Hertz

Paul reported on plans for ASCA AO6, which will operate as a two-stage review with observing time awarded by an ASCA proposal review and funding provided later via the Astrophysics Data Program. The aim is to synchronize the various high energy mission proposal deadlines, so that they can all the feed into the ADP funding review. Currently an ADP dealine is scheduled for December 1997. Later Note: Subsequently this deadline has shifted to May 1998 leaving a significant funding gap for many ASCA observers.

Paul explained that HQ policy is that future missions would not include proprietary data rights, but that ASCA would continue under the existing system. The general AUG opinion was that data rights served an important purpose and allowed proposers time to bring to fruition the intellectual property contained in their observing proposals.

AO5 Proposal Review, Merging, and Funding - Rob Petre

Rob summarized the AO5 review process (see handouts). The merging process was much cleaner than in previous years, with only one 100 ksec time-critical B target being lost. There was little merging conflict and very few target overlaps. In the future the Japanese would like Priority C observations to be no longer than 40 ksec to allow easier scheduling.

Rob outlined the AO5 GO budget review process and the financial problems of rapidly declining GO funding.

The proposals for AO6 will be due on 6 August 1997. The proposal review will be 15-17 October. Funding will be from the Astrophysics Data Program.

Recommendation passed by the AUG: The AUG recommends that page charges be covered by the GOF for argued cases where no ADP funding is available.

Mission Status and Other Matters - Nick White

Nick described proposed changes to the proposal merging process that would give US GO improved access to USJ/JUS observing time. The changes would be benficial to US proposers and continue the fostering of US-Japanese collaboration.

Recommendation passed by the AUG: The AUG endorses the new arrangement for merging USJ proposals.

Nick thanked the AUG for their help in preparing and presenting the 1996 ASCA Senior Review proposal. ASCA was evaluated very favorably and new funds provided for GO and GOF support.

The process for funding support via the ADP was discussed further. Concerns were expressed about transmission of information from the ASCA review to the ADP panels and the high energy technical review input that would likely be available to ADP panels. The AUG requested that a letter be sent to NASA HQ expressing our concerns on this topic. Later Note: This letter was sent by the Chair after input from AUG members.

Nick described the mission status. Instrumental difficulties include two degraded gyros and a battery with a minor problem. The GOF is moving to the Rev2 software and a new release of FTOOLs is expected shortly. GOF staffing is expected to be stable for the next few years with a gradual shift of personnel to the Astro-E effort. The archive will be moved to a new jukebox.

Calibration - Keith Gendrau (see handout)

Discussion of the status of the individual detector systems was deferred to the relevant Workshop sessions. Keith gave a presentation on the status of the instrumental calibration, and inconsistencies seen between the SIS and GIS detectors. The most significant calibration uncertainties seem to relate to problems with the telescope optical constants, rather than mirror contamination as suggested previously. Difficulties still exist with the low energy calibration. The AUG noted that calibration should be a major priority of the GOF.

Statement passed by the AUG: The AUG appreciates and encourages the ongoing calibration effort of the GOF.

Workshop Preparation

Much of the remainder of the meeting was spent discussing the preparations for the Cherry Blossom Workshop that immediately followed the AUG meeting. Topics for the Workshop Panel were considered and the future direction of ASCA science was discussed.

Next Meeting

The next AUG meeting is expected to be in the spring of 1998.

This document was generated using the L aTeX2HTML translator Version 96.1 (Feb 5, 1996) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds.

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The translation was initiated by Alex Brown on Mon May 18 15:36:30 MDT 1998

Alex Brown
Mon May 18 15:36:30 MDT 1998