TOG - Agenda, January 23, 2014

  1. Local Arrangements/Opening Remarks (Neidhardt, Lindqvist)
  2. Approval & last minute additions to Agenda (all)
  3. Acceptance of minutes from last meeting (all) Bonn, April 10, 2013
  4. Review of Action Items from last meeting (all; see appended list)
  5. RadioNet3
    • ERATec (Lindqvist)
  6. Reliability/Performance of the EVN
    • Reliability/Performance of the EVN (Yang), Presentation
    • Pre-session checks, e.g., sampler stats, phase-cal, RFI … (Yang)
    • NME results (Yang)
    • Feedback from last sessions (Yang)
  7. Amplitude Calibration
    • Quality of calibration (Yang), Presentation
    • Timely delivery of ANTAB-files? (Yang)
    • ANTAB-files new systems (all)
    • Beam-shapes for calibrating off-axis detections (Keimpema), Presentation
  8. Digital BBC-systems
    • DBBC development and production status, (Tuccari), Presentation
    • DBBC experience at stations (all)
    • DBBC spare parts (Lindqvist, Tuccari)
    • DBBC feedback from JIVE (Campbell)
    • R1002 and CDAS feedback from JIVE (Campbell)
    • DSN VLBI Processor (Cristina Garcia-Miro), Presentation
  9. JIVE
    • Technical Operations and R&D at JIVE, (Szomoru), Presentation
  10. Joint EVN + LBA observing (Szomoru) Presentation
  11. Technical priorites for the EVN
    • Recording/playback systems in the EVN (Szomoru), Presentation
    • FB2HB2MB6 (Mujunen), Presentation
    • Towards 2-4 Gbps operation (Szomoru, Lindqvist)
    • 64 Gbps with ALMA (Alef), Presentation
    • Development of a Low-noise wide-band integrated amplifier for VLBI antennas, RadioNet3/DIVA Task 1 (Alef), Presentation
    • DBBC3, RadioNet3/DIVA Task 2 (Tuccari, Casey), Presentation
  12. Out-Of-Session observing (all), Report written by R. Porcas
  13. Triggered/interrupted e-VLBI observations (Casey, all), Presentation
  14. SCHED Developments
    • Maintenance of Sched when C. Walker retires (Campbell)
    • Digital BBC-systems, Mark 5C, 2-4 Gbps operation etc. (Campbell)
    • Cable wrap in astronomical schedules (Campbell)
  15. Field System, status and new features
  16. NRAO
  17. Haystack
  18. Mark 5,6
    • Status: Mark 5A/B/B+/C, 6, software, firmware, SDK9 (Ruszczyk), Presentation
    • jive5ab (Verkouter), Presentation
    • Mark 5 problems encountered during last session, (all)
    • Disk inventory and purchase status – 7000 € per station/year (Lindqvist, all)
    • Disk throughput at JIVE, balancing with NRAO, Astro/Geo pool (Campbell)
    • Mark 5 logistics (repairs, shipping rules, VLBA shipping requirements, boxes, labels, etc.) (all)
  19. Activities at EVN stations
  20. Activities at potential new EVN stations
  21. Upcoming meetings (Lindqvist)
    • 8th IVS General Meeting, 2-7 March, 2014, Shanghai, China
    • CANCELLED: RadioNet3 ERATec Workshop, Antenna metrology meeting, 6-12 July, 2014, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
    • EVN Symposium and Users' Meeting, 7-10 October 2014, Cagliari, Italy
    • 3rd International VLBI Technology Workshop, JIVE, The Netherlands
  22. Date and place of the next TOG meeting
    • October 5-6, Cagliari, Italy
  23. AOB

Action Items from the Bonn meeting:

  1. Make sure that the SCHED catalogue is updated when a DBBC (or other new equipment) is taken into production. Friends should send information to Campbell.
  2. All stations: check out the spare part list on the wiki and make sure that each institute contributes.
  3. Bach/Alef: Look for new possibilities to implement phasecal.
  4. All L- and C-band stations: determine beam shapes at L- and C-band, if possible at different elevations. Send results, as well as the elevation intervals used, to Keimpema.
  5. Leeuwinga: send information to stations on how to include the Mark5 command 'get_stats' correctly in the procedure file.
  6. Alef: send information to stations on conditioning code of Brisken.
  7. Verkouter: see if the conditioning code can be incorporated in jive5ab.
  8. Yang: write piece on phase errors and determination of accurate positions in next EVN newsletter.
  9. All stations: install Burgess's script lgput to send logfile to vlbeer automatically.
  10. All stations: send any information on any update of station position to Campbell and/or Yang.
  11. All stations (except Wetzell): implement 80 Hz continuous calibration.
  12. All stations: report Mark5C bugs to Ruszczyk.
  13. All stations: upgrade any FS 9.11.x to at least 9.11.2 if they are using a Mark5B (fix of automatic bank switching).

Summary of ”Permanent” Actions/TOG recommendations


  • Directors agreed each institute to invest ~3000 € in spare parts (see minutes from TOG-meeting at Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico, USA, 29/30 Aug 2011)


  • Stations should spend 7000 €/year on the purchase of disks.


  • Stations should ensure SCHED catalogue information is up-to-date.
  • Stations should update the page of the disk inventory. (Contact Alef to gain access.) They should also indicate the disk space on new modules by e-mail to Lindqvist.


  • Gunn to send email before each session when the final versions of all schedules are ready for download.
  • All should check that Mk5 modules are placed squarely on a flat surface when received; otherwise connectors are easily damaged when bent 8 packs get inserted in Mark 5 units.
  • All stations should condition disk packs if time permits, especially those which are to be used for 1 Gbps recording. If a disk pack is found to be not suitable for 1 Gbps recording, the label can be changed to 512 Mbps.
  • All stations which do both astronomy and geodesy should clearly distinguish between astronomical and geodetic 8 packs and ensure there is no ”leakage” into the wrong pool, as mixing pools can create problems for scheduling.
  • Disk packs should be shipped with one European and one US address on covers so they can be easily returned in case a shipment is lost in transit.


  • All stations should look at data regularly with chchk program, use it to locate significant RFI, report the results to Yun and CRAF representatives and enter them into the RFI-database, and use it to check phasecal throughout the session. The chchk program can be run in gaps, or for example on ftp data files.
  • All stations should monitor Tcal throughout sessions. This can be done by running ANTABFS and plotting the results.
  • All stations should forward FS error log files to Himwich in the event of a crash, including details of what the FS was doing when the crash occurred.
  • All stations should try to run the FS diagnostic tests and investigate the results.
  • All stations should ship disk packs as soon as they are full, at least once per week, following the Bologna rules.


  • All stations should look at pipeline results available from the EVN data archive pages at JIVE, in particular amplitude corrections found by selfcal on strong, compact calibrators. JIVE support scientists should include a comment on the quality of amplitude calibration results, especially to indicate cases where a problem may have occurred and the amplitude correction factors are unreliable.
  • NME calibration files should be made available as early as possible. All stations should look at NME reports sent by JIVE. NMEs should be pipelined as early as possible and email sent to EVNtech when the results are available, to ensure feedback is provided well in advance of the next session.
  • Stations must aim to produce ANTAB and RXG files within 2 weeks after the end of a session. For eVLBI, RXG files from the previous session can often be used. ANTAB files for eVLBI experiments should be produced as soon as possible as rapid analysis is often a high priority for these experiments. JIVE should inform Lindqvist of any problems, so that Directors can be asked to prioritise calibration if insufficient time is available at stations.