of the RadioAstron teleconference
December 5, 2002
The teleconference has been chaired by Willem Baan.
The agenda of the teleconference and the list of participants are attached to the Minutes.
The main purpose of the teleconference was to review the accomplishment of action items formulated at the 27-th RadioAstron meeting in Moscow (September 2002).
The following conclusions and action items were developed as a result of discussions:
- The Minutes of the 27-th RadioAstron meeting were approved by the participants of the teleconference.
In reference to the Minutes of the Meeting, Jauncey related the following in an email that as discussed in Moscow in September, the RadioAstron mission now differs dramatically from that, which has been discussed by the RISC for the last decade or more. It was his understanding that there was agreement reached in Moscow, that the ASC would provide the RISC with a full description of the present mission. Without such a document it is not possible for any of the prospective partners to even consider the sort of formal agreements envisaged in the draft RISC terms document. We need the details of such items as, for example, the amount of observing time to be made available to the global community through peer revue.
These points did not get reflected in the Minutes. In response, the Russian colleagues proposed that an up-to-date version of the Mission Requirements (the TZ document) will be distributed to all RISC members and all participants. The NASA participants offered to have the document translated and have the English version distributed to all. The Document describing the observing time requirements and other parameters for the global community will be prepared by a special working group, which will be nominated by RISC. RAS, Rosaviakosmos, and RISC must approve this document.
- There are currently two versions of RISC Terms of Reference: an old version (1994) called Version 1, and a new version prepared by ASC in accordance with the action item 2 of the 27-th RadioAstron meeting and named Version 2. It was decided that ASC will incorporate comments on Version 2 of the Terms of Reference and will distribute a corrected version (named Version 3) together with the Version 1 to all RISC members and participants of the teleconference on December 10 with a request for any comments to be submitted before December 20. The ASC will then create Version 4 of the Terms of Reference, which will be based on the comments received and on discussions between the representatives of RadioAstron project leadership in Russia. This will be done not later than January 31, 2003.
- Letters requesting (re-)appointments of RISC members have been sent to the following addresses:
- Fred K.Y.Lo, NRAO, Charlottesville, USA
- Marc S.Allen, NASA, Washington, USA
- David Southwood, ESA, France
- Ron Ekers, ATNF, Epping, Australia
- Tofani Gianni, IRA, Bologna, Italy
- Rajaram Nityananda, NCRA, TIFR, Pune, India
- Harvey Butcher, ASTRON, Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
- Richard Schilizzi, JIVE, Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
- Phil Diamomd, EVN, Jodrell Bank, UK
- Anton Zensus, MPIfR, Bonn, Germany
- Hiroki Matsuo, ISAS, Sagamihara, Japan
- Anssi Malkki,FMI, Helsinki, Finland
- Zhao Junliang, ShAO, Shanghai, China
- Alain Maurissen, Neuchatel Observatory, Switzerland
- Burnard Burke, MIT, Cambridge, USA
- Daniel Altshuler, Chris Saulter, Arecibo Observatory, NAIC, USA
- Norbert Bartel, York University, Toronto, Canada
- Georgii Polishuk, ROSAVIAKOSMOS, Moscow, Russia
- Stanislav Kulikov, Lavochkin Association, Moscow, Russia
- Leonid Lytvynenko, IRA, Kharkov, Ukraine
No letters were sent to Canada because ASC is waiting for a reaction from the Canadian Space Agency on the letter sent from the Russian Aviation and Space Agency with a proposal to participate in the RadioAstron project.
A complex discussion was held on the problem of the prolongation of the guarantee terms for the 18-cm and 6-cm receivers. Jauncey had informed the meeting via email that discussions are ongoing in Australia with suppliers in order to determine the reliability of components. A similar discussion is going on in The Netherlands. Diamond mentioned that the EVN had transferred the ownership of the 6-cm receiver to ASC in a letter send in March 2002. Baan also mentioned that ASTRON could provide advise and limited assistance in support of testing procedures of the Flight Modules, but that any space qualification procedures should be done in Moscow under the supervision of RosAviaKosmos. It also transpired that the 6-cm Flight Modules have been opened in order to install opti-couplers for protection of the input stage of the receivers. A similar operation had been done on the Engineering Modules at ASTRON in Dwingeloo.
In addition the issue of receiver storage conditions was brought up. In response to a similar discussion in Moscow, the ASC would make information available on these conditions. This information may influence the decisions regarding the 18 cm receiver's future. During the telecon, it was said that the receivers have been stored at room temperature and without special considerations for the environment.
Andreyanov was asked to review the usage of the on-board Hydrogen (highest priority for the sensitivity) and Rubidium frequency standards in the science operations (increasing of integration time) and during in-orbit checkout. This issue has been raised in connection with the ESA/Neuchatel Agreement on Space Hydrogen Masers and the terms of guarantee of the flight modules of the on-board Rubidium standard developed by Neuchatel Observatory.
Andreyanov raised the issue of the ultra-sensitive on-board accelerometer, which is the highest priority when increasing the sensitivity by increasing the integration time and for astrometric accuracy. Kellermann indicated that it was not clear that an accelerator was essential for this VLBI mission. Kardashev mentioned that this was needed because of the high orbit of the current mission, and that the possibility to install such an accelerometer was recommended in the Minutes of the 26th RadioAstron Meeting in 2001 (as well as for VSOP-2). It was proposed that Andreyanov would send draft of the letter for French ONERA Company to Phil Diamond, who will try to contact ONERA in order to get information about the cost and time needed to manufacture flight model of the accelerometer.
It was found that not all participants have received the graphs of the time-line for the next 18 months of project developments. For this reason the discussion on this subject (item 8 of the Agenda) was postponed to the next telecon. The ASC will distribute the drawings of the time-line to the RISC members and to the participants of the teleconference on December 6.
Discussion on the composition and plans of activities of working groups was resulted in action items for the ASC:
Kardashev informed the participants that ASC plans to organize the meeting of Working Group representatives in April 18-19, 2003 in Moscow, if it will be necessary. The next 28-th RadioAstron Meeting is proposed to be held in Moscow on September 24-26, 2003 (or November 4-6, 2003 as was proposed by Kellermann and Preston).
The Chairman of the telecon indicated that the efficiency of these teleconferences and the concreteness of their outcome will be greatly enhanced by a timely distribution of all relevant supporting documents to all participants. The Chairman also suggests that substantive issues should only be discussed when adequate supporting documentation has been distributed.
The next teleconference is planned for February 20, 2003.
- to distribute by email the information prepared by the Russian co-chairmen of the working groups concerning the proposed membership and the suggested working plans (by December 6);
- to prepare a short document describing the Terms of Reference for the proposed working groups and to distribute this to RISC members and to participants of the teleconference (by December 20), with a request for comments by December 31, 2002.
1. Sound check and attendance.
2. Review and corrections of the telecon's agenda - N.Kardashev.
3. Minutes of the 27th RadioAstron meeting and matters arising - M.Popov.
4. RISC Terms of Reference (AI#27.1) - N.Kardashev, D.Jauncey.
5. RISC membership, including requests on new (re-)appointments (AI#27.2) - N.Kardashev.
6. Delivery of flight models and the issue of their expired guarantee (AI27.3) - V.Andreyanov.
7. Recommendations on the use of flight models of the 18- and 6-cm receivers (AI27.4) - P.Diamond, D.Jauncey.
8. Timelines and mile-stones for the next 18 months (AI27.5) - N.Babakin.
9. Composition and plan for working groups for 2003-2004 (AI#27.6) - V.Andreyanov, L.D'Addario, B.Kanevski, G.Langston, M.Popov, E.Fomalont, Yu.Ponamarev, Ch.Savinell, S.Likhachev, J.Romney, N.Kardashev, K.Kellermann.
10. New action items and the next teleconference (Feb 20, Th, 2003) .
11. Next meetings: WG's Meeting -- April 18--19, 2003, and 28-th RadioAstron Meeting&RISC -- Sept. 24-26, 2003 or Nov. 4-6, 2003.
List of participants
1. Allen M. NASA, USA
2. Andreyanov V., ASC, Russia
3. Babakin N., ASC, Russia
4. Baan W., ASTRON, The Netherlands
5. Burke B., MIT, USA
6. Diamond P., EVN, UK
7. Fomalont E., NRAO, USA
8. Gurvits L., JIVE, The Netherlands
9. Gosh T., NAIC, USA
10. Hayes J., NASA, USA
11. Hirabayashi H. ISAS, Japan
12. Kanevski B., ASC, Russia
13. Kardashev N., ASC, Russia
14. Kellermann K., NRAO, USA
15. Kogan L., NRAO, USA
16. Langston G., NRAO, USA
17. Popov M., ASC, Russia
18. Preston R., JPL, USA
19. Romney J., NRAO, USA
20. Saulter C., Arecibo, USA
21. Savinell C., NASA, USA
22. Slysh V., Arecibo, USA
23. Smirnov A., ASC, Russia
24. Vasil'kov V., ASC, Russia