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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #052: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #20

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_/                 XMM-NEWTON NEWS #20   ---    25-Jan-2002                 _/
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                ESA, XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
            Villafranca del Castillo, Satellite Tracking Station
                P.O. Box - Apdo. 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain


SOC Home Page:           http://xmm.vilspa.esa.es/
Helpdesk web interface:  http://xmm.vilspa.esa.es/xmmhelp
Helpdesk email address:  xmmhelp@xmm.vilspa.esa.es
News Mailing List:       http://xmm.vilspa.esa.es/news/xmm_news_signup.html


            - 1st SAS Workshop at VILSPA: pre-registration
            - XMM-Newton AO-2 status
            - Inauguration of the XMM-Newton Users Group
Dear Colleagues,

1st SAS Workshop at VILSPA: pre-registration

The XMM-Newton SOC is planning to hold a XMM-Newton Data Analysis Workshop,
at the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre, possibly at the end of April 

We are currently collecting 'expressions of interest' from the XMM-Newton
users to find out how many people would be interested to participate, what
level of experience with X-ray astronomy data analysis and the Science
Analysis System (SAS) they have, and which items they would mostly like to
be addressed.

Please, fill in the questionnaire available at


and let us know about your interests in such (and future) SAS Workshops.

XMM-Newton AO-2 status

The processing of the submitted XMM-Newton AO-2 proposals has suffered a
delay of some 2 months with respect to the originally anticipated timeline.
We will announce a more detailed timeline of the AO-2 review process by

Inauguration of the XMM-Newton Users Group

The XMM-Newton project scientist will from now on be assisted by a new
advisory body: "The XMM-Newton users group".

This group has been established following approval by ESA's Director of
Science, and will meet for the first time on 6/7 March 2002 at the location
of the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre in Villafranca del Castillo,
Spain. This group replaces the XMM-Newton Science Working Team such as to
ensure the broadest community input possible. The Users Group will meet
at regular intervals, and will formally report on an annual basis to one
of ESA's advisory bodies: The Astronomy Working Group (AWG).

For your information, the mission statement of the users group is:
Advise the project scientist on all matters relating to the optimisation of
the scientific output of the XMM-Newton mission. As such it replaces the
Science Working Team as an advisory body, and in the process adds a number
of external members who participate on a rotating basis.

The formal description of the activities and responsibilities of the users'
group is kept to the minimum to allow for maximum flexibility in their

The following applies:

- The project scientist and the chairman of the users' group propose
   membership of the users group to D/SCI, after consulting the appropriate
   advisory bodies (AWG etc.).
- Membership for the user's group is for two years. It is currently foreseen
   that two years after the formal start of the users' group half the external
   members will be replaced, and in another two years the full membership and
   size of the users group will be reviewed with the aim of converging towards
   a smaller group.
- The users group meets at least twice a year, and the meeting venue is
- The project scientist is in attendance of the users' group meeting, and the
   team leader of the user support group in VILSPA is the executive secretary
   of the users' group.
- The XMM-Newton users' group can advise the project scientist (and through 
   him the OTAC chairman) on matters relating to OTAC and the proposal 
   selection process, but the OTAC chairman (through the project scientist) 
   remains independent in all these matters.
- In all cases where the project scientist judges the decision/recommendation 
   by the users group to violate resources available, or jeopardise the 
   missions' safety, or if the project scientist otherwise disagrees; he can 
   decide to take the decision/recommendation to his management for a final 
   decision. At that point, the chairman of the users' group will also be 
   invited to provide his input. It is, however, envisaged, that this will be 
   an exceptional situation, as the decision process in the users group 
   should be one of consensus rather than conflict.
- The chairman of the XMM-Newton users' group will make an annual report to 
   the AWG (Astronomy Working Group).


The members of the users' group are:

Name               Voting    Comment
Jürgen Schmitt        Yes    Chairman
Roberto Pallavicini   Yes    Mission Scientist
Richard Mushotzky     Yes    Mission Scientist
Jacqueline Bergeron   Yes    Mission Scientist
Richard Griffiths     Yes    Mission Scientist
Phil Charles          Yes    External
Xavier Barcons        Yes    External
Andrea Comastri       Yes    External
Michiel Van der Klis  Yes    External

Bert Brinkman         No     RGS-PI
Martin Turner         No     EPIC-PI
Keith Mason           No     OM-PI
Mike Watson           No     SSC-PI
Bernd Aschenbach      No     Telescope scientist
Malcolm Longair       No     OTAC Chairman
Fred Jansen           No     Project Scientist
Norbert Schartel      No     Secretary

The E-mail addresses of the users group members entitled to vote are listed 
below so that XMM-Newton users have the opportunity to bring forward their 
questions and concerns to these representatives.

Name                     E-mail
Jürgen Schmitt           schmitt@hs.uni-hamburg.de
Roberto Pallavicini      pallavic@oapa.astropa.unipa.it
Richard Mushotzky        mushotzky@lheavx.gsfc.nasa.gov
Jacqueline Bergeron      bergeron@iap.fr
Richard Griffiths        griffith@astro.phys.cmu.edu
Phil Charles             pac@astro.soton.ac.uk
Xavier Barcons           barcons@ifca.unican.es
Andrea Comastri          comastri@bo.astro.it
Michiel Van der Klis     michiel@astro.uva.nl

Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC

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